In which state is Alaska located?

Travel Destinations

By Kristy Tolley

Overview of Alaska’s Location

Alaska is the largest state in the United States, located in the northwestern part of North America. It is separated from the contiguous United States by Canada and surrounded by the Arctic Ocean to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south and southwest. Despite being a part of the United States, Alaska is often referred to as the "Last Frontier" due to its remote location and harsh climate.

Geographic Location of Alaska

Alaska is located in the far northwestern part of North America, with its westernmost islands stretching to within 50 miles of Asia. Its total area is over 663,000 square miles, making it twice the size of Texas. The state’s coastline stretches over 6,600 miles, and its highest point is Mount Denali, which stands at 20,310 feet.

Alaskan Bordering States

Alaska is not bordered by any states in the traditional sense, as it is separated from the contiguous United States by Canada. However, it does share a border with the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories.

Alaska’s Latitude and Longitude

Alaska is located between 51 and 71 degrees north latitude and 130 and 172 degrees west longitude. It is the northernmost state in the United States, and its westernmost point is Attu Island, which lies just east of the International Date Line.

Location of Alaska’s Major Cities

Alaska’s largest city is Anchorage, located in the southcentral part of the state. Other major cities include Fairbanks, Juneau (the state capital), and Sitka. Due to the state’s vast size and rugged terrain, many smaller communities and towns are accessible only by plane or boat.

Alaska’s Distance from Other States

Alaska is located a considerable distance from the contiguous United States and is approximately 2,300 miles from Washington State and 4,500 miles from New York City. The closest point in Canada is over 500 miles away, and the closest point in Russia is only about 50 miles away.

Alaska’s Place in North America

Alaska is a part of North America and is the largest state in both size and population in the region. It is situated at the top of the continent and is bordered by Canada to the east and Russia to the west.

Alaskan Timezone and Daylight Saving Time

Alaska Standard Time is one hour behind Pacific Standard Time and four hours behind Eastern Standard Time. The state does observe Daylight Saving Time, which begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

Alaska’s Climate and Landscape

Alaska’s climate ranges from temperate rainforest in the southeast to subarctic and arctic in the north. The state’s landscape is diverse, with vast forests, rugged mountains, glaciers, and tundra. Its unique geography allows for a variety of wildlife, including brown bears, moose, caribou, and humpback whales.

How Alaska Became a State

Alaska was purchased from Russia by the United States in 1867 but did not become a state until January 3, 1959. The territory went through several stages of governance, including being a military district and having a federally-appointed governor before achieving statehood.

Alaska’s Cultural and Historical Significance

Alaska has a rich Native culture that predates European contact, and many of the state’s historical and cultural sites reflect this heritage. In addition, the state played a significant role in World War II due to its proximity to Asia and its strategic location.

Unique Features of Alaska’s Location

Alaska’s location has many unique features, including the fact that it spans two different time zones and is the only state that extends into the Arctic Circle. It is also home to the northernmost point in the United States, Point Barrow, and the westernmost point in the United States, Attu Island. Additionally, Alaska is home to eight national parks, including Denali National Park and Preserve, which is home to North America’s tallest peak, Mount Denali.

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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