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Cape Promontory, Unimak Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska, United States. Author U.S Fish and Wildlife Service. No Copyright
Cape Promontory, Unimak Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska, United States. Author U.S Fish and Wildlife Service

Alaska: The last frontier, mountains, rivers and glaciers

Alaska (The Last Frontier) is the largest among the states that form the United States of America and is also one of the least populated. Detached from the rest of the federation, Alaska is located in the northwestern part of the American continent and is bordered to the southeast by the Canada (with the states of the Yukon and British Columbia), while on the other sides it is surrounded by the sea, to the north lies the Arctic ocean, to the west the Bering sea and to the south the Pacific ocean.

The Bering Strait, which at its narrowest point is 92 km wide, separates Alaska from Asia, belong to Alaska also some islands located in the Bering Sea, as Nunivak and St. Lawrence islands, and most of the islands of the Aleutian archipelago, a group of about 70 volcanic islands that extend for almost 2,000 km south-west of the Alaska peninsula.

Alaska has a very jagged coastline dotted with numerous coves and islands, with fjords and glaciers. There are many volcanoes, both on the islands than inland, the mountains often come down to the sea and reach the higher elevations of North America.

The southeastern area of Alaska, known as Alaska Panhandle, consists of a long narrow strip of land wedged between the Pacific Ocean and Canada. Land of high mountains, islands, fjords and glaciers here is the capital of the state Juneau, and many historical towns such as Sitka and Ketchikan.

The Coast Mountains and Saint Elias Mountains mark the border with Canada. On the north end, the Mount Saint Elias (5,489 meters) is the highest summit of the chain in the US territory, while the highest peak of the mountain range, the Mount Logan (5,959 meters) belongs entirely to Canada.

The Alaska Range, which extends to arc about 650 km north of Alaska’s southern coast, is home to the highest mountain in North America, the Mount McKinley / Denali (6,194 meters).

Alaska map. Author National Atlas of the United States. No Copyright

Alaska map. Author National Atlas of the United States

To the south of the mountains, along the coast, it is the largest city in Alaska, Anchorage. To the north of Alaska Range are the city of Fairbanks and the Yukon River valley, the most important river of Alaska.

To the north, beyond the Yukon valley is the mountain range of the Brooks Range that exceeds in many points the 2,000 meters and stretches from east to west for over 1,100 km. The highest mountain of the Brooks Range is the Mount Chamberlin (2,749 meters). At the extreme north of Alaska is a large flat area, the Alaska North Slope, characterized by the typical tundra vegetation, here, along the coast is Barrow the northernmost city in the United States.

Explored by the Russians since the end of the eighteenth century. Alaska was a Russian territory until 1867, when the whole territory was purchased by the United States of America.

The Alaskan climate.

  • Area: 1,717,854 km². (1st state for greatness of the United States of America)
  • Population: 722,718 (data 2011) (Whites 66.7%, Amerindian 19.1%, Asian 7.1%, Blacks 4.7%. The Hispanic (classified in different racial types) are 5.5%. Data 2010).
  • Capital: Juneau.
  • Languages: The official language is English (spoken as a first language by 87.01% of the population). The Eskimo-Aleut is spoken as a first language by 4.63% of the population, Spanish is spoken by 2:54% of the population. (Data 2005).
  • Religion: Christian 69% (Evangelical (26%), Protestant (19%), Roman Catholic (14%), Mormon (4%), Orthodox (3%)), Muslim (1%).
  • Time zone: (UTC-9; Summer UTC-8. The Aleutian Islands to the west of 169°30′: UTC-10; UTC-9 Summer).
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