Covering an area of 1,717,856 sq. km, the State of Alaska is located in the far northwestern corner of the continent of North America.
As observed on the map, Alaska’s immense area has a great variety of geographical features ranging from the majestic mountains, glaciers, active volcanoes, huge tracks of forested land, and some of the planet's most varied extremes of cold, heat, rain, snow and wind.
The major geographical regions (north to south) of Alaska include the Arctic Coastal Plain, North Slope, Brooks Mountain Range, a central upland dissected by the Yukon River, the massive Alaska Mountain Range, the Pacific Coastal areas and eastern Indian Passage, the Alaskan Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands.
The North Slope of the Brooks Range slopes gently north into the Arctic Coastal Plain. The Brooks Range is a collection of icy mountain peaks that form the northern front of a huge central upland area of low mountains, hills, and river valleys, all dissected by the Yukon River and its tributaries. Beginning in the upper reaches of the Brooks Range, only the surface area of ice and snow thaw in spring, as the balance of the land remains frozen year-round. Melted water then flows north to the Arctic Ocean via countless streams and/or small rivers.
The countless mountains of the rugged Alaska Range dominate the southeast regions of Alaska. Mount McKinley (Denali) which rises to an elevation of 20,310ft (6,190m) is the highest point in Alaska and all of North America. Along with the thickly forested coastal areas (from southwest to southeast), numerous mountain ranges cover the land. They stretch southwest across the Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak Island, the Alaska Peninsula, and the Aleutian Islands. Many of these islands have active volcanoes. The Inside Passage of Alaska's Panhandle that fronts the Pacific Ocean and the Canadian province of British Columbia include an estimated 1,000 islands, 15,000 miles of shoreline, and thousands of coves and bays. This area also includes Glacier Bay National Park and the toothy-edged peaks of the Rocky Mountains.
There are hundreds of rivers in Alaska, while the 2,000mile-long Yukon River, being the longest and the major river. Its largest tributaries include the Porcupine, Tanana, and Koyukuk rivers. The state has almost three million lakes; Becharof and Iliamna lakes are the largest. The state’s lowest point is at the Pacific Ocean (0ft).
The State of Alaska is divided into 29 counties. In alphabetical order, these counties are: Aleutians East, Aleutians West, Anchorage, Bethel, Bristol Bay, Denali, Dillingham, Fairbanks North Star, Haines, Hoonah Angoon, Juneau, Kenai Peninsula, Ketchikan Gateway, Kodiak Island, Lake and Peninsula, Matanuska Susitna, Nome, North Slope, Northwest Arctic, Petersburg, Prince of Wales Hyder, Sitka, Skagway, Southeast Fairbanks, Valdez Cordova, Wade Hampton, Wrangell, Yakutat, and Yukon Koyukuk.
With an area of 1,717,856 sq. km, Alaska is the largest and the 3rd least populous state in the USA. Located in the extreme southeastern part of the state, at the base of Mount Juneau on the Gastineau Channel is Juneau – the capital city of Alaska. Government services, tourism, and the fishing industry are some of the main contributors to the economy of the capital city. Situated on a peninsula in the south-central part of the state is Anchorage – the largest and the most populous city in Alaska. It also serves as the major commercial and economic center of the state.
The State of Alaska is located in the far northwestern corner of the continent of North America. Alaska is bordered by the Beaufort Sea and the Arctic Ocean in the north; by the Canadian province of British Columbia and the Yukon territory in the east and southeast; by the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean in the south and southwest; by Russia (Chukotka Autonomous Okrug), the Bering Sea and Bering Strait in the west and by the Chukchi Sea in the northwest.
Regional Maps: Map of North America
|Legal Name||State of Alaska|
|ISO 3166 Code||US-AK|
This page was last updated on February 25, 2021