Alaska, the largest state in the USA, is located in the extreme northwest of the American continent and impresses above all with its almost untouched natural landscape.

Alaska is in the far northwest of North America. The US state extends over 1,717,854 km². Alaska is not only the largest state in the USA in terms of area; With only about 740,000 residents (estimated as of 2017) it has the third smallest proportion of the population and the lowest population density of the states of the USA. The capital Juneau with about 32,000 residents is located in the southeast of the state. In addition to Juneau, Anchorage (291,000 residents) and Fairbanks (31,000 residents) are also among the largest cities in the country. Alaska is known for its continental to subarctic climate with wide tundras, snow, glaciers and mountain landscapes. With the 6,190 meter high Denali, Alaska is the highest mountain in North America.

Alaska State Bird and Flower

The Russian history of Alaska

Alaska has a history of some territorial changes. The US state, nicknamed Last Frontier, translated: last frontier, was settled about 35,000 years ago. At that time there was still a land bridge between Alaska and today’s Siberia, which enabled the indigenous people to wander between the regions. In fact, the first European settlers in Alaska came from Russia. The first settlement was established around 1784 at Three Saints Bay. As a result of this Russian settlement, the region became what is known as Russian America, which was of great economic importance for the Russian Empire of that time.

Alaska as a US state

In the second half of the 19th century, the important economic asset of sea otter pelts was drastically reduced due to systematic hunting, and because of the expensive Crimean War (1853 to 1856) the new territory was increasingly difficult to maintain economically. Today’s Alaska passed into the possession of the United States on March 30, 1867 for the equivalent of 7.2 million US dollars.

The nature reserves in the north of the USA

Today Alaska is one of the 50 US states. In addition to the numerous oil and wood reserves, tourism is also an important factor for the territory in the north of the USA. Alaska is known for its vast, pristine wilderness. About two thirds of the country are parts of extensive nature reserves. The state’s major national parks include Denali National Park, Glacier Bay National Park, and Kenai Fjords National Park.

Largest Counties in Alaska by Area

According to Countryaah, the biggest counties in Alaska are listed as below:

Ranking County Area
1 Unorganized Borough 764,443 km2
2 North Slope Borough 230,053 km2
3 Northwest Arctic Borough 92,369 km2
4 Matanuska-Susitna Borough 64,012 km2
5 Lake and Peninsula Borough 61,914 km2
6 Kenai Peninsula Borough 41,499 km2
7 Denali Borough 32,730 km2
8 Yakutat 19,743 km2
9 Fairbanks North Star Borough 18,998 km2
10 Aleutians East Borough 18,091 km2
11 Kodiak Island Borough 17,133 km2
12 Ketchikan Gateway Borough 12,580 km2
13 Petersburg Borough 7,514 km2
14 Sitka 7,433 km2
15 Juneau 7,003 km2
16 Wrangell 6,620 km2
17 Haines Borough 6,074 km2
18 Anchorage 4,421 km2
19 Bristol Bay Borough 1,248 km2
20 Skagway 1,124 km2