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The largest and northernmost state gained its name from the Aleut word, Alyeska, which simply means "great land." The description of this vast, unspoiled wilderness is certainly appropriate, if not understated. From sea level along bays and seas leading to the Arctic and Pacific oceans, Alaska rises majestically to the sky. Denali, peaking at 20,320 feet in the Alaskan interior, is North America's highest point.
|Lupines, common to the north, are among many striking plants in Alaska. |
The entire state is blessed with rugged mountain ranges, gently-flowing rivers and breathtaking scenery. Glaciers formed thousands of years ago. Varieties of wildlife that can't be found anywhere else in the wild.
Nearly all who encounter The Last Frontier for the first time find it difficult to leave Alaska, and Alaska almost certainly never leaves them.
|Quick Facts about Alaska |
Motto: "North to the Future"
Population: 626,932 or 1.1 people per square mile (2002 Census)
State Capital: Juneau, population 30,711 in the metropolitan area
Largest City: Anchorage, population 260,283 in the metropolitan area
Mountain Ranges: Wrangell, Chugach, Alaska, Brooks, Aleutian, Boundary
Major Rivers: Yukon, Porcupine, Tanana, Koyukuk, Noatak, Kuskokwim, Susitna, Copper
State Song: Alaska's Flag by Marie Drake and Elinor Dusenbury
State Fish: Giant King Salmon
State Flower: Forget-me-not
State Mammal: Moose
State Marine Mammal: Bowhead Whale
State Gemstone: Jade
State Mineral: Gold
State Tree: Sitka Spruce