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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 28 vacations in Alaska related to Historical Sites

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Alaska by Rail Tour

Travel the entire Alaska Railroad in just 9 days! Take the train from Anchorage to Seward, Talkeetna, Denali and Fairbanks. Cruise to an active glacier, jet boat on the Talkeetna River, view wildlife in Denali National Park, and enjoy... Browse tour

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a GMC vehicle and a moose on a paved road in Alaska

All Alaska Classic Self Drive Tour

Explore three of Alaska's National Parks: Denali, Wrangell - St. Elias and Kenai Fjords. Great wildlife viewing opportunities throughout. Travel on four designated National Scenic Byways showcasing the natural beauty of Alaska with its jagged mountain peaks, lush alpine... Browse tour

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Young Couple View Denali And The Alaska Range In Denali National Park Alaska Summer

Alaska Explorer Guided Bus Tour

The Alaska Explorer Tour is a one-way, guided group bus tour from Fairbanks to Anchorage with stops in Denali and Talkeenta. The Alaska Explorer tour is ideal for a pre-cruise land tour in Alaska. You’ll begin your fun in... Browse tour

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a group of people learning how to pan for gold

Circle Alaska Adventure Tour

Ride the Alaska Railroad, explore Denali National Park, search for gold, meet a sled dog team and much more! Travel abroad the Alaska Railroad to Denali and Fairbanks and by car to Valdez, Seward and Anchorage. We have tailored... Browse tour

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Alaska National Parks Guided Bus Tour

The Alaska National Parks tour is a guided Alaska group tour by bus and by the Alaska Railroad featuring two amazing iconic parks: Denali National Park and a cruise into Kenai Fjords National Park! Enjoy stunning wilderness scenery as... Browse tour

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Fairbanks Highlights Tour in Fall and Winter

This guided “Fairbanks Highlights” day tour during the fall and winter season in Alaska showcases all the best seasonal spotlights of Fairbanks. You will stop at the Trans Alaska Pipeline, where your guide will explain the astonishing engineering of... Browse tour

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two canoes at a dock in Pederson Bay in Kenai Fjords National Park

Alaska Lodge Driving Tour

Travel to off the beaten path locations including overnights at wilderness lodges and inns that offer options for hiking, kayaking and canoeing adventures. The touring route includes a spectacular flight into expansive Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve, as... Browse tour

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people on a train looking at Alaskan scenery through dome-car windows; one woman holds a map of Alaska

Relax Alaska

Great for travelers looking to explore Alaska at a relaxed pace. This tour starts in Anchorage and combines travel by train and motor coach between Seward and Fairbanks, ending with a scheduled flight from Fairbanks returning to Anchorage. Guided... Browse tour

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Unique Itinerary
a person standing next to a wooden sign reading "Arctic Circle, Dalton Highway, Alaska, Latitude 66, 33"

An Alaskan Odyssey

This unique itinerary takes you from the North Pacific waters of Prince William Sound to the Arctic coast near Prudhoe Bay. This itinerary is for independent travelers seeking a chance to see the incredible diversity of Alaska from the... Browse tour

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Fairbanks Highlights Tour

This guided “Fairbanks Highlights” day tour brings you to the to the best attractions of the Alaskan city of Fairbanks. During the tour, you will visit the Morris Thompson Cultural Center where you will find exhibits about Fairbanks and... Browse tour

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Arctic Circle Summer Drive Adventure

Tour up the Dalton Highway to the Arctic Circle on a fully-guided Alaska roadtrip. As you depart Fairbanks, you will drive alongside the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Further up the rugged highway, visit the Arctic Circle Trading Post situated in the homesteaded community... Browse tour

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