History and Trivia

Browsing Stories from Alaska

Mountains in Alaska – More than just Denali

Alaska, the Land of the Midnight Sun is also the Land of the Majestic Mountains. When people think of Alaska mountains, their minds instantly go to Denali, formerly Mt. McKinley. And for good reason: Denali is North America’s tallest peak and easily Alaska’s most popular. The mountain is magnetic to climbers, sightseers and Alaskans, who visit its namesake park by the... Read More

Alaska Reality TV: Lights! Camera! Alaska!

Reality TV Thrives in the Last Frontier Alaska is a unique destination, where life is as real as it gets. Real fascinating and real unique, real cool and real cold, real mysterious and real extreme, real welcoming and even real dangerous. No wonder literally dozens of reality TV programs are, or have been, based in Alaska and around its often more-interesting-than-fiction... Read More

“Only In Alaska” Inventions: Kayaks, Ulus, Gut-Skin Clothing

The unique Alaskan lifestyle is embodied in the inspired inventions, tools and clothing created and used by them in their every day lives. For Alaskans, survival has often depended on being strong and smart, resilient and resourceful with little room for error and no space for waste.  Accordingly, everything in Alaska tends to serve multiple purposes and is used to... Read More

Why is Juneau the State Capital of Alaska?

When it comes to conversations around Alaska’s unique geography, Alaska trivia, fun facts and unusual statistics are dependably fascinating and practically infinite! For example: What’s the distance of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race? ALASKA ANSWER: The traditional route is 1,149 miles. What’s the proper name of the state’s great mountain: McKinley or Denali? ALASKA ANSWER: Alaskans and the federal government... Read More

The Northern Lights: Why Do We See This Strange But Beautiful Phenomenon?

Special Guest Blog by Dr. Melanie Windridge, author of Aurora: In Search of the Northern Lights What are the Northern Lights? The swirling arcs of the Aurora Borealis or "the Northern Lights" that we see are actually billions of oxygen and nitrogen atoms being struck by charged particles and emitting tiny flashes of light high up in the polar night sky –... Read More

Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park

Gold! Gold! Gold! In 1896, the Klondike Gold Rush drew around 100,000 prospectors, laborers and entrepreneurs to the Yukon Territories and Dawson City, Southeast Alaska and Skagway, the Yukon River and beyond, with all routes leading to potential fortunes. Some struck gold and had their lives instantly changed. But most grand dreams of gold were met with the reality of... Read More

When I was 23, I went to Alaska by myself into the glaciers of the coast range and climbed a mountain by myself. It was incredibly reckless, incredibly stupid. But I was lucky. And I survived, and I came back to tell my story.

— Jon Krakauer

Alaska is what happens when Willy Wonka and the witch from Hansel and Gretel elope, buy a place together upstate, renounce their sweet teeth, and turn into health fanatics.

— Sloane Crosley
What Are Alaska’s 5 Most Bizarre Claims To Fame?

We know, you're dying to know! These are the ultimate cocktail party teasers and are sure to get the party rolling once your friends find out you're on your way to ALASKA. Here Are Alaska’s 5 Most Bizarre Claims To Fame: CLAIM #1: Free money for everyone! For at least one day every fall, Alaskans feel flush with cash. That’s because since 1982,... Read More

To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.

— John Muir
Native American Totem Poles in Alaska

Standing tall, colorful, powerful and somewhat mysteriously are some of Alaska's most intriguing treasures and unique storytellers – Native American totem poles. While beautiful, these intricately and creatively carved and painted cedar tree structures are far more than local Alaska art. The carvings are monuments created by the indigenous Haida, Tsimshian and Tlingit artists of the region whose totem poles tell... Read More

John Muir, the famous naturalist, wrote in his journal that you should never go to Alaska as a young man because you'll never be satisfied with any other place as long as you live. And there's a lot of truth to that.

— Tom Bodett

For sheer majestic geography and sublime scale, nothing beats Alaska and the Yukon.

— Sam Abell
3 Things You Won’t Believe About Alaska’s Iditarod

The Iditarod Sled Dog Race is the world’s longest dogsledding race, extending over 1000 miles through some of the roughest and wildest country in Alaska.   The first Iditarod race was held in 1973 to honor the long history and tradition of dog mushing in Alaska.  Before trucks and planes, dog teams were used in Alaska to transport goods, deliver mail,... Read More

“But why Alaska?' I asked her. 'Well, later, I found out what it means. It's from an Aleut word, Alyeska. It means 'that which the sea breaks against,' and I love that. But at the time, I just saw Alaska up there. And it was big, just like I wanted to be.”

— John Green