ALASKA superlatives

In the words of the TravelAlaska folks, they have "more mountains than buildings, more wildlife than people and more glaciers than stop lights." Following are my observations. . . .

These all apply to the USA as a whole.

  1. largest state (in land area)
    570,833 square miles
  2. largest cities (in land area)
    Sitka: 4530 square miles;
    Juneau: 3248 square miles;
    Anchorage: 1940 square miles
  3. most inaccessible capital city
    (There is no road to there from anywhere else.)
  4. fewest counties (tied with Louisiana)
  5. longest state border that's a straight line
    647 miles
  6. most coastline
    34,000 miles
  7. most land per person
    580 acres
  8. highest peaks
    Mt. McKinley's south peak: 20,320 feet above sea level
    Mt. McKinley's north peak: 19,470 feet above sea level
    (Fifteen more of the top twenty are in Alaska.)
  9. highest volcano
    Mt. Wrangell: 14,163 feet above sea level
  10. northernmost point
    Point Barrow: latitude 71° N
  11. westernmost point
    Cape Wrangell1
  12. most islands (I think)
    1800 of them with official names
  13. most rivers (I think)
  14. most lakes (I think)
  15. largest glacier
    Bering Glacier: 2250 square miles
  16. largest fjord
    Lynn Canal
  17. largest national parks2
    Wrangell-St. Elias: 20,587 square miles;
    Gates of the Arctic: 13,238 square miles;
    Denali: 9492 square miles;
    Katmai: 7385 square miles;
    Lake Clark: 6297 square miles
  18. largest national forest
    Tongass: 26500 square miles
  19. largest state park
    Wood-Tikchik: 2500 square miles
  20. least sunny days per year in a major city
  21. most precipitation
  22. heaviest recorded snowfall
    974.5 inches: Thompson Pass, 1952-1953
  23. highest recorded snow pack
    356 feet: Kenai Peninsula, 1976-1977
  24. lowest recorded temperature
    -80° F: Prospect Creek, 1971
  25. most earthquakes
    1000 per year 3.5+ on the Richter scale
  26. biggest earthquake
    9.2 on the Richter scale: 27 March, 1964
  27. most hours of summer daylight
  28. most hours of winter nightdark
  29. least poison ivy and poison oak
    approximately none
  30. fewest reptiles
    approximately none
  31. largest oilfield
    Prudhoe Bay
  32. largest zinc mine
    Red Dog
  33. largest totem pole collection
  34. longest dogsled race (duh)
    Iditarod: 2400 miles
  35. highest percentage of government employees
  36. highest percentage of people who walk to work
  37. highest percentage of high school graduates
  38. highest percentage of personal computer owners
  39. highest percentage of people who shop by mail (per city)
    Juneau: 81%
    Fairbanks: 71%
  40. largest and busiest seaplane base
  41. most registered pilots per capita
    one person in sixty
  42. most ice cream consumed per capita
  43. most Harley Davidson owners per capita
  44. most breweries per capita
  45. most outhouses
  46. fewest nudist colonies
  47. most superlatives listed by me

1 This is the westernmost point when measured from the geographical center of the U.S.A. If you measure from the prime meridian, the 180th meridian is both the easternmost and westernmost place, since it passes through Alaska. That location is all water, with Pochnoi Point at 179° 46' E and Amatignak Island at 179° 10' W.

2 I used to have an entry "most national parks." But that was based on the fact that two of California's national parks—Sequoia & Kings Canyon—are administered as a single unit. Counting them as separate parks, Alaska and California were tied at eight. However, since then, Pinnacles National Monument in California has been promoted to N.P. status.