More than twice the size of Texas, Alaska is the largest state in the USA: a land of vast natural splendour, abundant wildlife and few people. It offers unique experiences such as walking in unspoilt wilderness, spectacular cruising through the fjords of the Inside Passage, and frontier towns rich in gold rush history. Alaska’s sense of undiscovered wilderness and promise of adventure is still as strong today as it was in the past, and having attracted thousands of pioneers in search of gold, fur, fishing, logging and oil, this ‘Last Frontier’ today lures travellers in search of an unspoilt beauty and close encounters with nature. In fact, Alaska’s three largest cities, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Anchorage, are home to fewer than 300,000 people between them.
The southeast epitomises classic Alaskan scenery, with its fjords, mountains, forests and glaciers. Alaska is one of the top cruise destinations in the world and the main drawcard for visitors to this region is the lack of roads between towns and scenic wonders that make the waters of the Inside Passage a major marine highway ideal for ship travel. The number one attraction in the interior heartland is Denali National Park, an area of untamed magnificence that also encompasses North America’s highest mountain, the snow-covered Mount McKinley. Arctic Alaska in the frozen north is less well-travelled, and few venture as far as Barrow and Nome.
Because of its location in the far north, Alaska is the land of the ‘midnight sun’, and visitors can experience the odd phenomenon of having over 21 hours of sunlight each day in the summer. Despite a reputation for high prices and inhospitable weather, millions of people have discovered in Alaska a unique piece of the US that is worth every dollar.