Historical Sites

Alaska Native, Russian, WWII & Gold Rush Historic Landmarks

The story of Alaska’s unique history is practically as enormous as the state’s many ecosystems, climates, geology and typography. It begins at least 10,000 years ago and is told orally, visually and physically at the many historic sites around the state.

Alaska is home to dozens of National Historic Landmark sites, National Historic Sites, National Historic Parks, National Monuments and hundreds of properties recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. There are also four state parks (Chugach, Denali, Kachemak and Wood-Tikchik), two national parks (Kenai Fjords and Kobuk Valley), seven national park and preserves, two national forests (Chugach and Tongass), and twenty three national wildlife refuges. Now that’s a lot of history and ground to cover!

Thousands of archaeological sites, some dating back more than 10,000 years, provide visitors with insights and evidence of the earliest humans and animals that roamed in Alaska. While sometimes a bit difficult to access, you can learn more about them at Bureau of Land Management district offices in Anchorage and Fairbanks. Visiting Alaska’s historical sites can provide visitors with education, understanding and an appreciation for the rich tapestry of Alaska’s past as well as a deeper connection to the state as a part of Alaska’s living legacy.

Alaska Native culture can be experienced in communities across the state. Start your exploration by visiting the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage and then try the cultural centers and museums in Barrow, Nome, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka.

Sitka was the capitol of Alaska during the Russian era. Fueled by fur and religion, Russian exploration of Alaska began in the last 1790’s and early 1800’s. Russian people and influences soon spanned the state, from the Aleutian Islands to Juneau. Today, you can still see and explore aged Russian architecture as well as meet people practicing Russian Orthodox religion.

One of Alaska’s most compelling and charismatic eras was during the Gold Rush, beginning in the late 1890’s. Today, artifacts and remnants can be found in historic hot spots like Skagway, Fairbanks, Hope, Eagle, Nome and McCarthy-Kennecott. You can even do a little mining of your own at historical stops in Fairbanks, Girdwood and Skagway.

Alaska played a critical, yet little known, role in World War II as a strategic location to fend off Japanese soldiers in the 1930’s. Discover this via museums, artifacts and bunkers galore in the Aleutian Islands, around Kodiak Island, and even as far east as Seward and Sitka. Some of Alaska’s most important infrastructure used today was developed during this time.

Alaska has a long history of oil exploration and discovery, but the big Alaska oil boom arrived in 1968 when oil was discovered on Alaska’s North Slope. Within 10 years, the Trans Alaska Pipeline System was built and carrying oil 800 miles from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. The Alaska pipeline is still in use today and can be visited in Fairbanks and seen in many stops along its route.

Discovering Alaska’s history will delight and amaze you!

Choose from 46 tours related to

Duration: 15 Days
Starting at: $3509 / per person

This classic Alaska self-drive tour provides you with a vacation to see the best of Alaska’s scenic highways and features three of Alaska’s spectacular national parks.... View Tour Details

Duration: 11 Days
Starting at: $2889 / per person

Sit back and enjoy the scenery as you relax travelling by bus and by railroad between all the best destinations in Alaska including Anchorage, Seward, Kenai Fjords National Park,... View Tour Details

Duration: 2 Days
Starting at: $1519 / per person

This 2-day Kodiak Island Alaska tour combines exploring Kodiak by car, or a guided sightseeing excursion, and bear viewing alongside an expert pilot/guide. Kodiak Island has... View Tour Details

Duration: 2 Days
Starting at: $1267 / per person

This Alaska tour at Brooks Lodge focuses on the experience of staying inside Katmai National Park and the natural wonders this area has to offer. Brooks Falls and Brooks Lodge are... View Tour Details

Duration: 3 Days
Starting at: $869 / per person

Orca Adventure Lodge, located in beautiful Cordova, Alaska in the Chugach National Forest bordering Prince William Sound, was built in the 1880’s and was originally used as a... View Tour Details

Duration: 13 Days
Starting at: $4500 / per person

Take in the grandeur, wildlife, and scenery of Alaska’s wilderness! During our Alaska Lodge tour you will stay in three lodges located within national parks in Alaska for an in... View Tour Details