5 Interesting Facts about Alaska

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America’s northernmost state, Alaska, is known as the Land of the Midnight Sun. This is because of a phenomenon we’re all quite aware of, 40 days and 40 nights. When the sun rises on May 10, it doesn’t set for nearly three months. When it sets on November 18, Barrow residents do not see the sun again for nearly two months. But don’t let that deter you from visiting this fantastic state. With 17 of the United States’ highest mountain peaks, such as “The Great One”, as well as more than 3,000 rivers and 3,00,000 lakes, the landscape alone is a marvel of possibilities. Alaska also has the only capital city in the United States accessible only by boat or plane. It is also the largest, covering 3,108 square miles.

Photo: Fodors

Kenai Fjords National Park

From towering tidewater glaciers to pods of orcas and breaching humpback whales, Kenai Fjords National Park is the highlight of many visitors’ trips to Alaska. This stunning landscape of mountains and ocean boasts one of the most diverse ecosystems of all of the national parks. Unlike most national parks, you can’t simply drive your car to see the top sights. The view from a boat is the best way to fully experience the park’s wildlife and scenery. Cruising through the fjords to view whales, puffins, and calving glaciers is an experience like no other. 

The Northern Lights

Witnessing these bright colors (reds, greens, purples and blues) dance across the sky is one of the most magical experiences ever. The best time to see the aurora borealis in Alaska is from Aug. 21 to April 21. They call it the Aurora Season. For your best chance at spotting this natural phenomenon, be sure to visit Fairbanks or the Arctic. This region lies underneath the Auroral Oval, a ring-shaped zone where northern lights activity is concentrated.

Alaska Wildlife Rescue

Photo: Alaska Wildlife Rescue

Featured on National Geographic, Alaska Wildlife Rescue takes viewers behind the scenes of real-life wildlife rescues and releases at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage, the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward and the Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka. The show is a great preview to the bears, moose, bald eagles, musk ox and more you’ll be able to see on your visit to Alaska.