How Well Do You Know Alaska?
How Well Do You Know Alaska?
Posted August 3, 2017
Welcome to an Alaskan trivia adventure! As we introduce Untamed Alaska , a new, 11-day trip to this wild and beautiful land, we figured this was the ideal time to test your knowledge.
How it works
Read the question and try to determine an answer (no Googling!). Then click the link below the question to see if you're right! Note: All the answers are at the bottom, so don't keep scrolling after you read one. Use the "Next Question" link to pop back up to where you left off. Enjoy!
Alaska is far and away the largest state in the U.S. by area. In fact, it's larger than many countries! If Alaska were its own country, where would it rank among the largest countries in the world (in terms of area)?
Denali (formerly Mount McKinley) is the highest mountain in North America, at 20,310 feet. But Alaska boasts a number of other major summits. In fact, Alaska lays claim to the top ___ highest mountains in the U.S.
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is Alaska's most famous event, a grueling test of endurance and survival where mushers and their dogs cover nearly 1,000 miles. What is the record for fastest winning time in the Iditarod?
Alaska is home to the largest national park in the United States. At over eight million acres, this park dwarfs Alaska's other three major NPs: Gates of the Arctic, Denali, and Katmai. What is the name of this National Park?
With Alaska's unpredictable weather conditions, conventional travel can often be difficult. Fortunately, the Alaskans have adapted. Lake Hood, located just southwest of Anchorage, is the world's busiest port for what special form of transportation?
Roughly half of all the glaciers in the world lie in the vast, icy reaches of Alaska. About how many glaciers does Alaska have?
Setting aside the 44 million acres of land owned by various Native American corporations, Alaska's land is mostly federally owned. With the smallest proportion of privately owned land of any state, what percent of Alaska is owned by private citizens?
They say everything's bigger in Texas, but it applies to Alaska as well. In fact, some of Alaska's natural features are as large as some states. If Alaska's Tongass National Forest were its own state, how many states would it eclipse in size?
In 1867, Russia sold Alaska to the United States for $7.2 million. How much money per acre did the U.S. pay for Alaska?
The official language of the United States is English. But due to the large number of native cultures in Alaska, the state has recognized many native languages as official state languages. How many official native languages does Alaska have?
Alaska is truly immense. If it were its own country, the 49th state would rank as the 17th largest country in the world in terms of total area, ahead of Iran and just behind Libya. For comparison, Alaska is nearly three times as massive as France, the largest country set entirely in Europe.
With California's Mount Whitney not cracking the list until number 11 (at 14,505 feet), Alaska claims the 10 highest summits in the United States. These range from majestic Denali (pictured, 20,310) to imposing Mount Hunter (14,573).
The Iditarod began in 1973, and has grown into one of the most celebrated outdoor endurance events in the world. In 2017, longtime contestant Mitch Seavey became both the oldest and the fastest musher to complete the race. The 53-year-old Seavey won in 8 days, 3 hours, 40 minutes, and 13 seconds, breaking the record set just one year earlier by his son Dallas.
Located in Alaska's southeastern corner, right next to Canada's Yukon Territory, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park encompasses a stunning array of icefields, mountains, and coniferous forests (or taiga). It's part of the Kluane/Wrangell–St. Elias/Glacier Bay/Tatshenshini-Alsek international park system, a UNESCO World Heritage Site notable for its harsh and beautiful landscape as well as its native grizzly bears, caribou, and Dall sheep.
Directly next to the Anchorage International Airport sits Lake Hood, or more accurately, Lake Hood Seaplane Base. The bustling waterway handles an average of 190 sea- and floatplanes per day, and remains open and operational for ski-equipped planes when the lake freezes over.
Glacier ice covers almost 17,500 square miles of both land and tidal areas in Alaska. The massive Bering Glacier complex in the state's southeastern portion covers 2,250 square miles by itself.
Only one percent of Alaska's land area is owned by private citizens. The rest is divided between the federal government (which owns the highest percentage of land, mostly national forests, parks, and wildlife refuges), the state of Alaska, the University of Alaska, and various Native American corporations.
The vast Tongass, America's largest national forest, is larger by itself than 10 U.S. states: Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Maryland, and West Virginia.
Nicknamed "Seward's Folly" by opponents of the deal, the purchase of Alaska by U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward was completed on March 30, 1987. Though the total sum of $7.2 million sounded excessive at the time, the paltry price of two cents per acre, combined with the U.S.'s seizing control of a large portion of the Pacific coastline, gave supporters a reason to be happy.
More than 5% of Alaska's population speaks one of the state's 20 indigenous languages, so in 2014, the governor of Alaska signed a bill recognizing the state's unique native cultures, and declaring these as official languages.
If any of these tidbits spark your interest in Alaska, consider checking out our brand new Alaskan small-group tour: Untamed Alaska.