Wonders of Alaska
This far northern land is very diverse and its landscape is spectacular. Alaska though is not very rich with separate, specific landmarks – this is a land that brings a very special emotional experience as a whole. Singling out some specific landmarks here feels somehow out of place – Alaska is magnificent with its wast glaciers, supertall mountains, numerous active volcanoes, endless forests, deep canyons.
The most amazing wonders of Alaska are:
- Volcanoes and geothermal features. Alaska has more than 130 volcanoes! And some 50 of them are active or have been recently active! Some volcanoes are unusual – like the perfectly symmetrical Mount Shishaldin. There are interesting geothermal fields, f.e. Mount Recheshnoi Geyser Field has 5 active geysers.
- Archaeological heritage. Alaska most likely has the most ancient man-made heritage in Americas – people came here from Eurasia some 16,500 – 13,000 years ago… or – maybe much earlier. Those people hunted mammoths and other extinct animals. People have lived here since then, developing adjustments to harsh climate – e.g. partly subterranean villages.
Map with the described wonders
If you see this after your page is loaded completely, leafletJS files are missing.
Top 25 wonders of Alaska
Some 1.8-2 m tall and approximately 80 – 100 m wide waterfall that is world-famous thanks to a large group of brown bears catching salmon and other fish. Sometimes up to 50 bears can be seen on this waterfall.
Large, 122 km long glacier that is advancing. Step by step it is blocking the outlet of Russel Fjord, causing massive outbursts of water.
A spectacular glacier that flows for 16 km among cliffs that rise up to 1,600 m high.
The most symmetrical cone-shaped and glacier-clad mountain in the world. This 2857 m high volcano is continuously active and emits a plume of steam.
Approximately 160 m wide, highly acidic crater lake with pH of its water reaching 1.1.
Near symmetrical stratovolcano, 1 730 m high. Almost constantly active. Nearby from the sea rise several more symmetrical volcanic cones – such as the beautiful cone of Mount Carlisle and Herbert Island.
Volcano with a very active fumarolic activity. The crater contains an intermittent acidic lake and thick sulfur deposits.
The only location in Alaska with true geysers: three closely located geyser fields with 5 active geysers (the highest – 2 m tall) and 9 natural fountains.
1,600 m tall granite wall that rises over a horizontal distance of 800 m.
Beautiful ice caves in the deep blue Mendenhall Glacier. Caves are formed by streams leaving the glacier. As the glacier is dynamic and, mostly receding due to global warming, the caves also are constantly changing and every year could be in different locations.
Some 60 – 80 m tall vertical plunge – a waterfall discharging directly in the sea.
A stream with waterfalls that flows down from Mount Chiginagak volcano. Stream is very acidic, with pH of 1.2, its water has a sulfuric odor.
Some 150 m tall waterfall that flows down along the cliff face. Some 40 m wide. The waterfall looks very picturesque from the fiord as it is seen flowing among the trees.
Valley that is filled with volcanic ash from an eruption in 1912. The layer of ashes is up to 210 m deep. After the eruption there formed thousands of fumaroles from this ashfield, most are extinct by now. Rivers have formed deep canyons in this ashfield.
Powerful, 115 m tall and some 30 m wide waterfall that slides down along the cliff.
Possibly the largest maar in the world – two joined round lakes formed by a volcanic eruption some 21 000 years ago. The diameter of lakes reaches 8 km. Several more maar lakes are nearby.
A lava tube where have been found remnants of unique dwarf mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) who lived here around 3700 BC. Cave – 12 m deep pit – was discovered in 1999. Only in Wrangel Island mammoths lived more recently (2590 BC), as far as it is known.
A large number of bones – including human bones – are found on these islands. Bones are washed out in other places and are transported by the sea currents here.
Some 40 different signs and symbols have been hewn in the boulders and rock outcrops at the sea. It is possible that these symbols are even 8000 years old.
Ionospheric research facility – high-power radio frequency transmitter that is able to excite the ionosphere above it. This is a subject of numerous conspiracy theories.
470 m long railway bridge, built in 1910. This expensive bridge currently stands almost without use, but it is cheaper to maintain it than to remove it.
Bar built of wooden logs, the structure includes a lighthouse. The walls of this bar are pinned with thousands of dollar bills, signed by visitors of the bar.
Abandoned Inupiat village on an inhospitable cliff side. Houses are built on stilts above the sea.
Old Russian Orthodox church, built in 1826.
An amazing tour through its history, culture, and landscape, Alaska’s stunning imagery and informative text make it the perfect book for those who dream of visiting the 49th state and those who want to celebrate its singular beauty and expansive history. From the lush rainforest of the Inside Passage to the desolate beauty of the far north, Alaska’s natural wonders never cease to enthrall and amaze. Join National Geographic on this spectacular visual journey through seven distinct geographic regions of this amazing state, bringing each region alive through brisk historical narrative and lavish color photography, art, and maps.
Alaska is a trip of a lifetime. Nowhere else can travelers kayak to glaciers; fly over the highest peak in North America; wonder at the Aurora Borealis; stay out all night celebrating the midnight sun; visit quirky towns; spot bears, eagles, moose, and whales; and learn the true meaning of the word “remote”–all in the same trip. Fodor’s Alaska makes it easy to create a perfect trip from start to finish.