Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
December 20, 2023 ·  4 min read

20 Wild Facts About Alaska

Alaska, the largest and most sparsely populated state in the United States, charms with its breathtaking landscapes and wild beauty. Nestled in the far northwest corner of North America, it boasts stunning natural wonders, including towering mountains, pristine glaciers, and vast tundra expanses.

Here are 20 wild facts about Alaska you might not have known:

Alaska welcome sign
Credit: Shutterstock

Its diverse wildlife, from moose to grizzly bears, thrives in this untamed wilderness. The state is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a host of activities such as hiking, fishing, and dog sledding. Beyond its natural wonders, it has a rich cultural tapestry shaped by its indigenous peoples and a history intertwined with the Klondike Gold Rush. The aurora borealis graces the night skies in the northern regions, adding a celestial touch to this land of extremes. Alaska’s rugged charm and remote allure make it a unique and memorable destination for those seeking an adventurous escape into the last frontier.

Read: Alaska High School Teacher Hunted a Moose and had his Students Butcher the Animal to Learn Life Skills

1. Some areas have no daylight for two months of the year

Utqiaġvik, The largest city of the North Slope Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska and is located north of the Arctic Circle. It is one of the northernmost public communities in the world
Credit: Shutterstock

Utqiaġvik (formerly known as Barrow) is the northernmost town in Alaska. It faces an annual polar night lasting from mid-November to mid-January, during which residents encounter an extraordinary absence of daylight for two months straight—65 days to be exact. It also receives 24-hour daylight from May 10 – August 2.

2. Some places are inaccessible by car

Los Angeles International Airport, California, United States - 02 December, 2022: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 (Reg Unknown) departing.
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To reach the state’s capital, Juneau, one must rely on alternative modes of transportation, such as planes, cruise ships, or ferries, as it is not accessible by road.

3. The official state sport of Alaska is Dog Mushing

Dog sledding Fairbank, Alaska Winter
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Alaska has designated dog mushing as its official state sport since 1972, and the Alaskan malamute, commonly used in mushing, holds the title of the official state dog.

Moose, Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, USA
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Unique moose-related laws exist in Alaska, including bans against pushing a moose from a plane or offering a moose a drink. Sensible advice extends beyond state borders: refrain from such actions anywhere.

5. Temperatures can seriously plummet

Amazing winter landscape. Wonderland in winter. Spectacular aurora borealis (northern lights) over forest through winter frosty pine trees in night scenery. Creative image. winter holiday concept.
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Alaska holds the U.S. record for the coldest recorded temperature: an astonishing -80°F on January 23, 1971, in Prospect Creek, 31 miles from the city of Coldfoot.

Read: Alaska man witnesses humpback whale use impressive feeding technique

6. There is a Christmas Town in Alaska

Welcome sign in North Pole, Alaska
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North Pole, Alaska, home to the Santa Claus House gift shop, embraces Christmas year-round. Thousands of letters addressed to Santa arrive at its unique ZIP code annually.

7. The state flag was designed by a teenager

Alaska state flag waving in the wind with the national flag of the United States. Alaska flag is blue with Big Dipper and Polaris stars. 3d illustration render. Rippled fabric
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The Alaskan state flag, featuring the Big Dipper and the North Star, was designed by 13-year-old Benny Benson in 1927. Despite Alaska’s statehood in 1959, Benson’s charming design remains unchanged.

8. Huge mountains

Alaska nature landscape view from cruise travel in Glacier Bay Alaska, United States, USA destination.
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Alaska boasts 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the U.S., with the towering Denali reaching 20,320 feet, claiming the title of North America’s highest summit.

9. Into hammers? There’s an entire museum dedicated to them

Haines, Alaska, USA - July 29th, 2017: Street view of the Hammer Museum located in Haines, Alaska.
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Haines, Alaska, is home to the first-ever hammer museum in the U.S., showcasing an intriguing collection of hammer sculptures, handle-making machinery, and spring-loaded meat tenderizers.

10. There used to be a festival dedicated to moose droppings

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Talkeetna, Alaska, once hosted the Moose Dropping Festival, where varnished moose droppings were dropped from a crane, but the event was retired in 2009 due to safety concerns.

11. McDonald’s in Alaska means business

Minsk, Belarus - April 6, 2019: McDonald's logo. McDonald's is the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants
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McDonald’s in Alaska offers the Denali Mac, a heartier version of the classic Big Mac with larger patties and more secret sauce, totaling 840 calories.

Read: Dick Proenneke: 30 Years Alone in the Alaskan Wilderness

12. The indigenous population is massive

Alaska totem pole carving art sculture store in tourist travel attraction town on Alaska cruise. Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway stores and shops selling native paintings and art. Closeup of an Eagle.
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Alaska boasts a concentrated Indigenous population, including the Aleuts, Inupiat, Yuit, Athabascans, Tlingit, and Haida, making up over 19 percent of the state’s residents.

13. The US bought Alaska from Russia for some loose change

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The United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million, equivalent to about two cents per acre.

14. More men than women

Close up portrait of a young bearded man frozen in a blizzard fog in woods. Face, beard, mustache eye and foggy glasses frost covered. january change in nyc, new york scene. hello weekend, welcome ny.
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Alaska boasts the highest male-to-female ratio in the United States, with 107 men for every 100 women.

15. Alaska boasts multiple heroic dogs throughout history

Sled dog racing alaskan malamute snow winter competition race
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Alaska honors heroic sled dogs, with Balto and Togo playing significant roles in delivering medicine to a remote village. Togo’s stuffed body is displayed at the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Museum in Wasilla.

16. Many beautiful coastlines

Vibrant blue hues of Nak Nak Lake in the early morning, Katmai National Park, Alaska
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Boasting more coastline than the other 49 states combined, Alaska’s vast and diverse shores contribute to its unparalleled natural beauty.

17. Grow giant vegetables in the summer months

Man holding a giant cabbage larger than his head at a farmer's market
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Thanks to long summer days, Alaska produces oversized produce, including a 138-pound cabbage, a 65-pound cantaloupe, and a 35-pound broccoli.

18. It may be possible to see one part of Russia from Alaska – now that’s close

Vacation adventure. Alaska Glacier Bay cruise ship passenger looking at Alaskan mountains with binoculars exploring Glacier Bay National Park, USA. Woman on travel Inside Passage enjoying view
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The proximity of the Russian island of Big Diomede and the U.S. island of Little Diomede in the Bering Strait makes it theoretically possible for some Alaskans to see Russia from their homes.

19. Roadkill may be considered property of the state

Join the crowd, make this sought-after asset yours
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Alaska considers moose, caribou, and bears killed by cars as state property, redistributing roadkill as food to charity organizations.

20. America’s largest national forest is based in Alaska

Aerial view of the mist hanging in the Tongass temperate rain forest, Misty Fjords National Monument, Alaska
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Alaska hosts America’s largest national forest, the Tongass, which is approximately three times the size of the second-largest, the Chugach, both situated in the state.

Keep Reading: Woman in rural Alaska reveals shocking prices of grocery items in a video viewed 2M times


  1. 25 Wild Facts About Alaska.” Mental Floss. Michele Debczak. April 1, 2022
  2. 65 days of night: Alaska town won’t see the sun until January.” Fox Weather. Emilee Speck. November 18, 2022