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 Alaska state parks (Chugach, Denali, Kachemak and Wood-Tikchik), two National Parks (Kenai Fjords and Kobuk Valley), seven National Park and Preserves (Denali, Lake Clark, Glacier Bay, Katmai, Wrangell – St Elias, Gates of the Arctic, Noatak), 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 Alaska cultural centers and museums in Barrow, Nome, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka.

Sitka was the capital 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 Alaska 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 43 tours related to

Duration: 7 Hours
Starting at: $165 / per person

Tour Includes: Narration and services of a professional guide, Transfers to and from most Anchorage hotels, Admission to the Musk Ox Farm, Local Meal, Access to gently used gear (boots, snowpants, winter coats, raincoats... Read more.

Duration: 15 Days
Starting at: $3209 / per person

Tour Includes: 14 nights accommodation, 14 day midsize rental vehicle with unlimited mileage, Approx. 7-8 hour bus tour into Denali National Park (in May and September tour may only be 4 hours long due to snow and road... Read more.

Fully guided
Duration: 12 Days
Starting at: $2599 / per person

Tour Includes: 7-night fully guided land tour, 7 nights hotel accommodations, Domed rail service from Anchorage to Denali, Motorcoach from Denali to Fairbanks, Dawson City to Whitehorse, and Whitehorse to Fraser, Flight... Read more.

Escorted Tour
Duration: 6 Days
Starting at: $1489 / per person

Tour Includes: 5 nights accommodation with baggage handling, 5 breakfasts (B), 1 dinner (D), Group transportation as follows: van transportation for group size 1 to 9 people (driver guide only) or full-size motorcoach... Read more.

Duration: 12 Days
Starting at: $2839 / per person

Tour Includes: 11 nights accommodations, Scheduled Bus or Van transfer from Anchorage to Denali and from Denali to Fairbanks (on certain days, upgrade to the Alaska Railroad possible), Approx. 7-8 hour bus tour into Denali National... Read more.

Escorted Tour
Duration: 8 Days
Starting at: $2529 / per person

Tour Includes: 7 nights accommodation in moderate hotels with baggage handling, 7 breakfasts (B), 1 lunch on boat cruise, 2 dinners (D), Ground transportation as follows: van transportation for group size 1 to 9 people (driver... Read more.

Duration: 8 Days
Starting at: $2729 / per person

Tour Includes: 5 nights deluxe accommodation in Girdwood, Talkeetna and Anchorage, 2 nights at the Kantishna Roadhouse inside Denali National Park, 7 day midsize car rental with unlimited mileage, Prince William Sound glacier... Read more.

Duration: 11 Days
Starting at: $3299 / per person

Tour Includes: 10 nights accommodations, 3 hour Anchorage city sightseeing tour including admission to the Alaska Native Heritage Center, 6 hour glacier and wildlife cruise into Kenai Fjords Nat Park from Seward with lunch... Read more.

Duration: 3 Days
Starting at: $1250 / per person

Tour Includes: 2, 3 or 4 nights lodging and all meals as listed at Bettles Lodge (Standard Rooms have a shared bathroom), Roundtrip airfare between Fairbanks and Bettles, Village tour, Use of Arctic Gear including snow shoes... Read more.