Alaskan Nature: Home Page

Alaska Marine Highway

Alaska's State Flower is the "Forget-Me-Not. Forget me not flowers are very fragrant in the evening and night time, though there is little or no scent in the daytime. They can be annual or perennial plants. Their seeds are found in small, tulip shaped pods along the stem to the flower.

large grizzly bears are part of Alaska natureThe variety and impressive numbers of mammals, birds and marine wildlife in Alaska draw visitors from all over the world. For some travelers, Alaska is wilderness, at least compared to what they may know from back home. The pristine wilderness of Alaska is, perhaps, the last vestige of thriving populations of North American wildlife. Where else can you see polar bears, bald eagles, blue and humpbacked whales, gray wolves, grizzly bears, orcas, lynx, moose, and hundreds of other rare and endangered species in their original and undisturbed natural habitats?

snowy owl found in Alaska skiesNearly 430 species of birds can be found in Alaska, including ducks, geese, swans and the millions of seabirds that nest in colonies along Alaska's coastlines. Alaska's shorelines are home to an abundance of marine life, including stellar sea lions, walrus, whales, seals and sea otters. The world's largest colony of seals, numbering over one million, breeds undisturbed on the Pribilof Islands.


glaciers are one of alaskas biggest tourist attractionsAlaska has 3 million lakes, over 3,000 rivers and more coastline (6,640 miles) than the entire continental United States. Alaska also has an estimated 100,000 glaciers, which cover almost 5 percent of the state. There are more active glaciers in Alaska than in the rest of the inhabited world. Alaska is also home to 80 percent of all the active volcanoes in the U.S. The largest known concentrations of bald eagles, over 3,000, converge near Haines from October through January to feed on late run salmon in the Chilkat River


native Alaskans are an important part of Alaska
Numerous indigenous peoples occupied Alaska for thousands of years before the arrival of European peoples to the area. The Tlingit people developed a matriarchal society in what is today Southeast Alaska, along with parts of British Columbia and the Yukon. Also in Southeast were the Haida, now well known for their unique arts, and the Tsimshian people, whose population were decimated by a smallpox epidemic in the 1860s. The Aleutian Islands are still home to the Aleut people's seafaring society, although they were among the first native Alaskans to be exploited by Russians. Western and Southwestern Alaska are home to the Yup'ik, while their cousins the Alutiiq lived in what is now Southcentral Alaska. The Gwich’in people of the northern Interior region are primarily known today for their dependence on the caribou within the much-contested Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The North Slope and Little Diomede Island are occupied by the widespread Inuit people.


Alaska state flagThe design for the Alaska flag was selected in a contest for Alaska students in grades seven through twelve in 1926. The winning design, submitted by 13-year-old Benny Benson, consisted of eight gold stars on a field of blue, representing the Big Dipper and the North Star. The Alaska Legislature adopted the design as the official flag for the Territory of Alaska on May 2, 1927. Later the drafters of the Alaska constitution stipulated that the territorial flag would become the official flag of the State of Alaska.







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climbing dall sheep in Alaska


mount wrangell is a stunning volcano in Alaska


Alaska's Volcanoes:

Alaska contains over 100 volcanoes Over 40 of these have been active in our historic time.

Learn more about Alaskan volcanoes

Akutan Augustine Cleveland
Iliamna Novarupta/ Katmai Pavlof
Redoubt Mt. Spurr Wrangell