- Alaska has 39 mountain ranges, including 16 of the highest mountains in North America. Denali (Mt. McKinley to flatlanders) is king at 20,322 ft.
- There are six mountain ranges visible from Anchorage including the Chugach Mountains, part of which is in Anchorage. The other five are the Alaska, Tordrillo, Aleutian, Talkeetna, and Kenai ranges.
- Alaska has 30,000+ miles of shoreline, more than the rest of the U.S. combined.
- We have about 100,000 glaciers; only 600 of them are named. (It doesn't say whether the others wander aimlessly, looking for handouts...)
- The Aleutian arc contains 80 volcanoes; 40+ of them are active. Mt. Redoubt erupted in 2009, Mt. Spurr (75 miles west of Anchorage and often visible) erupted in 1992, depositing a layer of ash on Anchorage which remains today.
- Alaska has 17 national parks, and the largest state park in the U.S. Wrangell-St. Elias is the largest national park at more than 13.2 million acres. That's double the size of Denali National Park, containing Mt. McKinley.
- Speaking of Denali National Park, its roughly 9,500 square miles is contained entirely inside the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, which is north of Anchorage. The Mat-Su, or "The Valley" is 23,000 square miles - the same size as West Virginia, and is one of our medium-sized boroughs.
- The Municipality of Anchorage is one of the smaller boroughs, containing 1,955 square miles - the size of Delaware.
- Chugach National Forest, part of which is in Anchorage, is 5.6 million acres - roughly the size of Massachusetts and Rhode Island combined. It's the second largest in the nation.
- The Tongass National Forest is the largest at 17 million acres, located in southeast Alaska.
- The Chugach State Park is one of the largest in the country, at 500,000 acres.
- And for you fisherfolk, the world record king salmon was caught here in 1985. It weighed 97 lbs, 4 oz.
- The world record halibut was also caught here in 1996, weighing 459 pounds.
22 March 2015
Sunday Fun Facts
From the 2010 edition of the Alaska Visitors Guide: