Alaska

Alaska is big,  wild, beautiful and separated from the rest of the USA by Canada. Many people see the state only from a cruise up to Glacier Bay and back. Our trip took us to Anchorage and Denali National Park followed by a one way cruise down the coast to Vancouver in Canada, but even this only provided an introduction to the largest US state. We could not hope to to justice to Alaska on a single page, so click on the links at the bottom of the page for more.

 

Turnagain Arm, near Anchorage

The sheer size of Alaska is breathtaking. After all, as Alaskans are fond of pointing out, it is more than twice the size of Texas, the largest state in the ‘Lower 48’. Much of the Alaskan terraine is very wild and inhospitable, yet is also incredibly beautiful, especially if viewed from the comfort of an coach, helicopter or cruise ship.  This scene of the Turnagain Arm near Anchorage is typical of the coastal scenery.

 

Alaska State Capitol, Juneau, AK, USA
Turnagain Arm, near Anchorage, AK, USA

 

Creek Street, Ketchikan, AK, USA

 

Harvard Glacier, College Fjiord , AK, USA

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Alaska  MinimapWashington StateHawaiiJuneauBritish Columbia, CanadaCanadaSkagwayAnchorageDenali NPAlaska Wildlife

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- The breathtakingly beautiful scenery.
- The wildlife, especially bears and whales.
- The incredible isolation of much of Alaska, making it the last frontier territory in the USA.
- Towns that are now little more than cruise stops, heaving with people when there are liners in port but dead after they leave.
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We have more pages on Alaska. Click below or on the Minimap:

Harvard Glacier, College Fjord

In the north west corner of Prince William Sound is College Fjord, so named because several members of the Harriman Alaska Expedition that discovered it in 1899 were graduates of Ivy League Colleges. The glaciers around the Fjord have been named after colleges. We arrived early in the morning (in summer in Alaska early in the morning is very early), and we had the Fjord to ourselves. When the ship came to a halt, we found ourselves in a cold, harsh but beautiful environment, in deafening silence and with no sign anywhere around us of human activity.

Creek Street, Ketchikan

Ketchikan calls itself the rain capital of Alaska, indeed one to the first things that you see after leaving your ship is a giant rain gauge. With over 4 metres (160 inches) of rain a year it’s wetter than Wales, so the title does seem to be deserved. Creek Street was the red light district of Ketchican in the early 20th century,  but now it is primarily tourist shops. However, one building still gives a flavour of the old Creek Street. Dolly’s House at No 24 used to be the home (and of course business premises) of Dolly Arthur and has been restored as a museum to the way it was during her working life.

Alaska State Capitol, Juneau

Anchorage may be the biggest and best known city in Alaska but it is not the capital of the state.  That role is fulfilled by Juneau in south east Alaska, a city that is hemmed in between the sea and icefields.  The Alaska State Capitol in Juneau is .........well.........not exactly the most exciting Capitol building that we have ever seen. In fact it looks much like a typical office block on a typical street in a typical US city. However, the lack of an impressive Capitol does not mean that Juneau as a whole is uninteresting, follow the link at the bottom of the page to see more of the city.

Alaska  MinimapWashington StateHawaiiJuneauBritish Columbia, CanadaCanadaSkagwayAnchorageDenali NPAlaska Wildlife

 

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