Learn about Alaska geography and history. View the detailed highway maps, relief maps, topo maps, and airport locator maps of Alaska. - [Read more]
This is the Alaska state category. Alaska's capital city is Juneau, and its postal abbreviation is AK. Alaska entered the Union as the 49th state, on January 3, 1959. It is the largest state, with an area of 615,230 square miles. In 1867, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million. Fishing drew settlers and, after the 1890s gold rush, the population doubled within a decade. About 25% of Alaska lies within the Arctic Circle. The main Alaska Range includes Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America. Alaska's chief river is the Yukon. The Alaskan economy is based on petroleum, fish, and timber products. Its national parks encourage tourism. Because of its strategic location and oil reserves, Alaska developed as a military area and is linked to the rest of the USA by the 1500 mile Alaska Highway.