View photos of the state with rich natural resources and beauty.
As one of the most notable cultural events and past times in Alaska, dog sledding has a rich history dating back generations. The Iditarod, a dog sledding race that begins in Anchorage, in South Central Alaska and ends in Nome on the Western Bering Sea coast. The race, which consists of many teams of 12 to 16 dogs and their musher includes one of the toughest courses in the world -- a race over 1150 miles in 10 to 17 days.
According to the Iditarod's website, "The Iditarod Trail, now a National Historic Trail, had its beginnings as a mail and supply route from the coastal towns of Seward and Knik to the interior mining camps at Flat, Ophir, Ruby and beyond to the west coast communities of Unalakleet, Elim, Golovin, White Mountain and Nome. Mail and supplies went in. Gold came out. All via dog sled. Heroes were made, legends were born. "
For those who are visiting Alaska, there are dog sledding tours where you can get a feel for this impressive wilderness competition.
Image Courtesy: BugBog.com
Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska with dynamic seasonal events and recreational activities. The city has a lively economy due to the vast natural resources and maritime location. From fishing salmon, to visiting museums, Anchorage has a ton of stuff to keep people occupied with fun stuff to do all year long.
Also, since Anchorage sits at the base of the Chugach Mountains, there's lots of wildlife in the area, even though it's urban. Did you know there 100,000 glaciers in Alaska? There's even one near Anchorage. The Portage Glacier is 45 miles from downtown and it's one of the most visited sites in the state. Image Courtesy: Alaska-in-pictures.com
Do you love to fish? If you like to fish, or eat it -- Alaska is the place to get your fill. King Salmon, Rainbow Trout and Halibut are some of the species many people catch off the coast and in rivers and lakes depending on the type of fish.
For more information about fishing in Alaska, check out the Department of Fish and Game.
Juneau has been the capital of the state since 1906. It's near Mount Juneau, known historically as a mining destination. Though the city is smaller than Anchorage, it's still as large as Delaware and is the only U.S. capital located on the coast.
Much of the city's economy is based in government, but tourism and fishing are also big aspects. Juneau is a popular spot for cruise ships due to its harbors. In addition to fishing, wildlife and politics, Juneau is home to a professional theater company, symphony, opera and a couple annual music festivals.
Image Courtesy: Alaska-in-pictures.com
Each region of the state has something unique to offer visitors. The southwest area is great for those who enjoy nature, hiking and viewing wildlife. Many brown bears roam this landscape.
Southeastern Alaska is also called the Inside Passage, it has islands, shoreline and has a rich history of gold mining. A more mountainous landscape with glaciers looms in Southcentral Alaska where Anchorage is located.
The Interior is home to Mount McKinley, which rises to 20,320 feet. Western Alaska is known for the Kodiak and Katmai bear populations. It also has many nesting grounds for birds.
The Northern expanse of the state is dubbed, "Arctic Alaska." Fewer people live in this area, however, caribou and polar bears live here. In the North Slope there are many oil companies. According to Alaska.com, "In Barrow, the sun stays up for weeks during the summer, but winter brings a two-month-long night."
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The Aleutian Islands are a string of islands in the Norther Pacific Ocean, West of the Alaskan peninsula. There are around 300 volcanic islands that make up this chain, or archipelago. The climate of these islands includes rainfall and fog with cold winters.
The native inhabitants refer to themselves as "Unangan," but some call them "Aleut." Historically, Aleuts are skilled hunters and craftsmen who live in partially underground homes that protect them from the exorbitant rains and winds of the area.
There are many glaciers to visit in Alaska. The Hubbard Glacier is the largest tidewater glacier in North America. Visitors can see glaciers by taking walking, boat, or aerial tours. Exit Glacier is located in Kenai Fjords National Park, near Seward. Sightseeing tours can be found in cities like Valdez, Whittier and Seward for Kenai Fjords National Park.
Glacier Bay National Park, a World Heritage Site, is located west of Juneau. Glacier Bay encompasses protected land and water that is home to diverse wildlife. The retreating glaciers in the park produced the bay and are an attraction unto themselves.
The Kennicott and Root glaciers are located in the state's largest park, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Aside from its glaciers, this park is also known for the old copper mining buildings and mountain ranges. The park is near McCarthy, a city east of Anchorage.
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Wildlife is an important part of Alaskan culture due to its ecology and cultural history with native peoples. The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Alaska's wildlife through public education and by protecting animals that are injured or orphaned.
The organization's website, AlaskaWildlife.org has information about animals that live in the state, along with information about preservation and the latest buzz about animals across the web.