When to visit:
The summer months are the most popular for visiting Alaska. The weather is forgiving, the scenery and wildlife viewing are incomparable, and there’s a lot to do. It’s also the peak of the tourist season, so prices are high and it’s relatively crowded (though Alaska is roomy enough that it isn’t too bad), and the mosquitoes are at their worst.
Winter is just as good a time to visit Alaska, maybe better. The crowds aren’t quite as heavy and the snow sports and activities are top-flight. It’s a far less touristy season, so while there are less tourist-themed amenities the prices are much lower.
Another way to beat summer crowds and prices is to visit the state in May or September. Travelers hitting Alaska in these so called “shoulder months” can miss these annoyances coming or going.
State Abbreviation: AK
State Capital: Juneau
Largest City: Anchorage
Area: 656,425 square miles (the largest in the USA)
Population: 655,435 (as of 2004)
State Nickname: The Last Frontier
State Motto: "North To The Future"
Major Industry: Petroleum
Major Rivers: Yukon River, Kuskokwim River, Colville River, Copper River
Major Lakes: Iliamna Lake, Aleknagik Lake, Becharof Lake, Clark Lake
Highest Point: Mt. McKinley - 20,320 feet (6,194 m) above sea level.
Origin of the Name Alaska: “Alaxsxaq”, an Aleut Indian word meaning mainland.