67 Alaska Facts and Weird Laws

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When people think of Alaska, their first thoughts are of ice, running away from bears and the wilderness. Alaska is a state of wonders that offers the most breathtaking scenery. It’s the largest in the area and the least densely populated, with just over one person per square mile. 

Alaska is an attractive place for tourists. In addition to natural beauty, an Alaska vacation offers adventure sports like fishing and snowmobiling as well as international trade with Russia. And it’s also home to some very interesting festivals that celebrate its rich culture and history!

Read on and learn interesting facts about Alaska that will blow your mind!

Rod Long- Unsplash

Alaska Facts – Political Climate

  1. Alaska’s politics are often complicated. They typically lean conservative, but because of its large Native American population, they can vary depending on which tribe is dominant in an area.
  2. As of 2021, half of the registered voters in Alaska chose “Non-partisan” or “Undeclared” as their political affiliation. 
  3. Alaska doesn’t have the type of one-party rule that many states do. Because there is no strong party system in Alaska, elections are more about personalities than parties, and politicians might be Democrats or Republicans at different points in their careers.
  4. Alaska has a unique set of institutes to govern the state: 15 institutions govern the state to keep it running effectively. Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and four commissioners who lead the executive branch of Alaska’s government make up the State Board of Directors. 
  5. Alaskan political parties include Alaska Democratic party, the Alaska Republican party, and the Alaskan Independence Party. 
  6. Alaska’s governor may not serve more than two consecutive terms.
  7. Judicial Branch: Alaska has three courts that are located in Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Juneau to handle cases like criminal, civil, family law, etc. Most judges are elected to their positions for eight-year terms 
  8. Alaska has 40 House representatives out of the total 90 members of the legislature.
  9. The Alaska state capital is Juneau.

Alaska Facts – History

  1. Alaska was home to three native groups: Eskimos, Aleuts, and Indians.
  2. Alaska was discovered by Europeans in 1741 when Danish explorer Vitus Bering sighted it on his long voyage from Siberia. The first settlement in Alaska was established by Russian whalers and fur traders on Kodiak Island in 1784.
  3. The Tongass national forest is the largest national forest and it is a massive 16.8 million acres.
  4. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the founder of Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. It was established in 1941 and its purpose was to protect Kodiak bears and their habitat. 
  5. The United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867 in the Alaska purchase. 
  6. The Alaska Highway was constructed during World War II for connecting the United States to Alaska across Canada. 
  7. Alaska’s official state flag was designed by 13-year-old Benson in 1926. Alaska adopted the flag as its state flag upon joining the Union in 1959.
  8. Alaska was an unexplored area when Secretary of State William Seward acquired it from the Russians for $7,200,000 (about two cents per acre) in 1867. The purchase was widely said to be Seward’s folly.
  9. Alaska occupies one-fifth of the USA and is twice as large as Texas.
  10. In 1880, Alaska’s population consisted of 33,426, of which only 430 were not natives.
  11. If Manhattan, New York, had the same population density as Alaska, only 16 people would be living on the island. Wondering how many people live in Alaska? It has the lowest population density among the 50 states in the U.S. However, Wyoming has the lowest population of all the 50 states
  12. The Gold Rush of 1898 brought a mass influx of more than 30,000 people. Since then, Alaska has contributed billions of dollars worth of products to the U.S. economy.
  13. During the Klondike gold rush in 1897, potatoes were so highly valued for their vitamin C content, that miners traded gold for them.
  14. Aurora Borealis [northern lights] can be seen an average of 243 days a year in FairBanks. The northern lights are produced by charged electrons and protons striking the earth’s upper atmosphere.

Alaska Facts – Weather And Nature

  1. There are places in Alaska that get 24 hours of sunlight and those that get 24 hours of darkness!
  2. Alaska has 3 million lakes.
  3. Denali national park is six million acres of wildland and it only has one road going through it. 
  4. The Yukon river flows through Canada’s territory of Fort Yukon and the lower half flows through Alaska.
  5. Lake Iliamna is the largest lake in Alaska.
  6. Of the 20 highest peaks in the U.S., 17 are in Alaska, including the highest peak in North America (20,320 feet above sea level), Denali. According to a National Park Service article, nine Alaska Native groups and five Athabaskan languages have had unique names for Denali that all translate to some form of “The Great One” or “The Tall One.”
  7. Thousands of bald eagles winter over in Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve near Haines.
  8. Temperature records: January low temperature: -22° F (-30° C), Highest recorded temperature- 100° F (37.7° C) at Port Alsworth, on 9 July 1915, the Lowest temperature recorded: -80° F (-62° C) at Prospect Creek Camp, 23 January 1971.
  9. Interior Alaska is known for its many natural geothermal hot springs
  10. Alaska contains more than 100 volcanoes and volcanic fields which have been active within the last two million years. Don’t worry, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska volcanoes have produced one or two eruptions since 1900.
  11. Most U.S. glaciers are in Alaska. Based on the most recent comprehensive survey in 2011, there were about 27,000 glaciers in Alaska and the largest glacier is also in Alaska.
  12. Alaska has 33,000 miles of coastline (more than the entire “lower 48” states put together). Alaska is the only state to have a coastline on 3 different seas — the Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and the Bering Sea.
  13. Alaska is located 55 miles east of Russia. It would take you less than an hour to get to Russia if you could drive through the sea.
  14. Juneau has no road access to the rest of the state! It is the only capital city in the United States accessible only by boat or plane. It is also the largest U.S. city covering 3,108 square miles.
  15. Mount McKinley is 20,320 feet (The tallest mountain and tallest point in North America).
  16. Alaskan Kodiak and Polar Bears can grow to 1,400 pounds and 11 feet tall. Moose can grow to 1,350 pounds, 5 feet high to shoulder with an antlers span of 72 inches.
  17. State Sport: Dog Mushing -which was once the primary mode of transportation in most of Alaska.

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Credit: Unsplash@ugurarpaci
  1. About 52% of Alaskans are men – the highest percentage of any state.
  2. There are 224 federally recognized tribes and 20 indigenous languages spoken in the state.
  3. The northernmost, easternmost, and westernmost points in the U.S. are found in Alaska. It’s true! Point Barrow in the north and both the eastern and western points are in the Aleutian Islands. Pochnoi Point on Semisopochnoi Island in the Aleutians is considered the easternmost point and Amatignak Island is the westernmost point because it lies east of the 180-degree longitude.
  4. At their closest points, Alaska is approximately 50 miles from Russia. If you could drive across the ocean you could be there in under an hour!
  5. Barrow has both the longest and shortest amount of daylight in the state. When the sun rises on May 10, it doesn’t set for nearly three months. When it sets on November 18, Barrow residents do not see the sun again for nearly two months. A summer trip to Barrow will help you understand why Alaska is known as the Land of the Midnight Sun.
  6. Almost one-third of Alaska’s land is in the Arctic Circle. It’s easy to make the trip from Fairbanks. Now that’s a bucket list item we would all love to check off!
  7. The aurora borealis (northern lights) can be seen an average of 243 days a year in Fairbanks. The northern lights are produced by charged electrons and protons striking the earth’s upper atmosphere.
  8. The state bird of Alaska is the willow ptarmigan (though some like to joke the state bird is the mosquito).
  9. Every year Alaska hosts the 1,200 mile-long Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from Anchorage to Nome, often called the “Last great race on Earth.”
  10. Giant vegetables are common in Alaska due to the extremely long days in summer which account for a record cabbage weighing in at 94 pounds.
  11. The word permafrost evolved as a contraction of the words “permanent frost”, referring to the ground that stays frozen for two years or longer. The northern third of Alaska is covered with permafrost.
  12. Nearly one-third of Alaska lies within the Arctic Circle.
  13. Barrow, Alaska also boasts the farthest north supermarket in the country. The store is constructed on stilts to prevent the central heating from melting the permafrost.
  14. The world’s largest and busiest seaplane base is Anchorage’s Lake Hood and it accommodates more than 800 takeoffs and landings on a peak summer day.
  15. The largest Salmon ever caught was at the Kenai River, weighing in at 97.5 pounds.
  16. Pribilof Island is home to about 1 million seals.
  17. Alaska has no plants poisonous to the touch such as poison ivy or poison oak which are found in all other states.
  18. The population of Alaska is only 626,932 and compared to the population of bears in Alaska, there is 1 bear for every 21 people. Alaska has the highest concentration of bears (Grizzly, Black, and Polar), numbering at 100,000.
Credit: Unsplash@hansjurgen007

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Alaska Facts – Stats, Economics, Cultures, And Societies

  1. Alaska’s Ethnic Roots: German 16.6%, Alaska Native or American Indian 15.6%, Irish 10.8%, British 9.6%, American 5.7%, Norwegian 4.2%. Alaska has the largest percentage of American Indians of any state.
  2. Religion in Alaska: 78% Christian (62% Protestant, 8% Eastern Orthodox, 7% Catholic), 10% Buddhist, 7% No Religion, 4% LDS, 1% Other Religions.
  3. Anchorage has the fifth-busiest air-freight airport in the world in annual tonnage. Alaska has six times as many pilots per capita as the rest of the nation.
  4. Alaska is one of the five states that do not have a sales tax. The other four are Delaware, Montana, Oregon, and New Hampshire. 
  5.  According to a source, Alaska, North Dakota and Wyoming are among the only ten states in the US that have more men than women.
  6. A fun fact: it is the only state in the U.S. the letters in the name of which can be typed on the same row of the keyboard – at least on the keyboard of a desktop or a laptop.
  7. In 1968, a large oil and gas reservoir near Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Coast was found. The Prudhoe Bay reservoir, with an estimated recoverable 10 billion barrels of oil and 27 trillion cubic feet of gas, is twice as large as any other oil field in North America.
  8. The Alaska pipeline project began in 1975. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline moved up to 88,000 barrels of oil per hour on an 800-mile journey to Valdez.
  9. Statistically, Alaska has more annual missing person reports than anywhere else in the country; twice the national average.

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Famous Locations In Alaska

  1. Denali National Park and Preserve
  2. Ketchikan
NOAA- Unsplash
  1. Alaska native heritage center
  2. Glacier Bay National Park
  3. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
  4. The Northern Lights in Fairbanks, the North Pole.

Famous People From Alaska

  • Sarah Palin – a Vice President candidate who moved to Alaska when she was two years old
  • Benny Benson – the 13-year old who designed the state flag
  • Vitus Bering – explorer 
  • Susan Butcher – sled-dog racer
  • Carl Ben Eielson – pioneer pilot
  • Joe Juneau – prospector

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Common Misconceptions About The State Of Alaska

Alaska is shrouded in myths and mystery. Some of the common misconceptions about Alaska are the wildlife, weather, and infrastructure.

Credit: memesmonkey.com


Yes, Alaska does have diverse wildlife but the locals don’t spend their days running away from bears or crossing paths with penguins. Alaska is not overrun by animals.


Alaska can be extremely cold but this is not a constant occurrence like some would assume. The winter months are the coldest but there are some areas with fairly reasonable temperatures. A good example is Anchorage which has an average of 60 degrees Fahrenheit in summer.


Contrary to popular belief, Alaska isn’t just tiny little towns and lots of wilderness. Alaska does protect its natural resources but it has major cities much like any other state.

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Top Weird Alaska laws

‘The Last Frontier’ is not a stranger to strange ordinances. Here is a list of strange laws in Alaska. Read the Craziest Laws in the United States, if you want more.

  1. Whispering in someone’s ear while they are moose hunting is illegal in Alaska. 
  2. Kangaroos are not allowed in barber shops at any time. 
  3. It is illegal to give alcoholic drinks to a moose. 
  4. It is also illegal to drop moose or its poops out of a moving airplane. 
  5. Children should not build snowmen taller than themselves for safety reasons
  6. You can’t tie your dog to the roof of your car.
  7. In Alaska, no person may drive a vehicle with three people on the front seat.
  8. Although it is legal to hunt bears, it is illegal to wake them and take photographs.
It is illegal to wake bears and take photographs in Alaska. Image: Daily Hive. 

Final Thoughts

Alaska is more than just the land of glaciers and bears. Alaska offers a lot more to visitors who like feeling the cold, crisp breeze on their faces and like experiencing the extremes of nature. There is so much we could discuss about the Last Frontier, but for now, watch this YouTube video for more interesting facts about Alaska:

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Alaska Facts And Stats

Alaska State Fossil The Lonely, Thirsty, Final Days of the Doomed Alaskan Mammoths – The Atlantic
State CapitalJuneau
Population(2021) 734,323
GovernorMichael J. Dunleavy (Republican)
Date Of AdmissionJanuary 3, 1959
U.S. SenatorsLisa Murkowski (Republican) Daniel Sullivan (Republican)
US House of Representatives1 (of 435 Seats) 
State NicknameThe Last Frontier 
State MottoNorth to the future
State SongAlaska flag song
State FlowerThe forget-me-not
State FishChinook salmon 
State BirdWillow Ptarmigan
State TreeSitka spruce 
State MammalThe moose
State SportDog mushing
State MineralGold 
State GemJade
State FossilWoolly Mammoth

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1. What is the Alaska State Insect? 

The four-spot skimmer dragonfly is Alaska’s state insect. It was designated as the state insect in 1995.

2. Can you drive to Alaska without going through Canada?

Alaska is more than 2000 miles away from the nearest state and getting there requires either taking a ferry or driving through Canada.

3. How many National Forests are in Alaska? 

There are two national forests in Alaska, the Tongass National Forest, and the Chugach National Forest. 

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Sabrina is a former campaign manager who has decided to focus her effort to help people contact senators and get help. She leads our Editorial Team with Ronald and Lawrence to curate content and resources that help us navigate the system.

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