22 March 2015

Sunday Fun Facts

From the 2010 edition of the Alaska Visitors Guide:
  • Alaska has 39 mountain ranges, including 16 of the highest mountains in North America. Denali (Mt. McKinley to flatlanders) is king at 20,322 ft.
  • There are six mountain ranges visible from Anchorage including the Chugach Mountains, part of which is in Anchorage. The other five are the Alaska, Tordrillo, Aleutian, Talkeetna, and Kenai ranges.
  • Alaska has 30,000+ miles of shoreline, more than the rest of the U.S. combined.
  • We have about 100,000 glaciers; only 600 of them are named. (It doesn't say whether the others wander aimlessly, looking for handouts...)
  • The Aleutian arc contains 80 volcanoes; 40+ of them are active. Mt. Redoubt erupted in 2009, Mt. Spurr (75 miles west of Anchorage and often visible) erupted in 1992, depositing a layer of ash on Anchorage which remains today.
  • Alaska has 17 national parks, and the largest state park in the U.S. Wrangell-St. Elias is the largest national park at more than 13.2 million acres. That's double the size of Denali National Park, containing Mt. McKinley.
  • Speaking of Denali National Park, its roughly 9,500 square miles is contained entirely inside the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, which is north of Anchorage. The Mat-Su, or "The Valley" is 23,000 square miles - the same size as West Virginia, and is one of our medium-sized boroughs.
  • The Municipality of Anchorage is one of the smaller boroughs, containing 1,955 square miles - the size of Delaware.
  • Chugach National Forest, part of which is in Anchorage, is 5.6 million acres - roughly the size of Massachusetts and Rhode Island combined. It's the second largest in the nation.
  • The Tongass National Forest is the largest at 17 million acres, located in southeast Alaska.
  • The Chugach State Park is one of the largest in the country, at 500,000 acres.
  • And for you fisherfolk, the world record king salmon was caught here in 1985. It weighed 97 lbs, 4 oz.
  • The world record halibut was also caught here in 1996, weighing 459 pounds.
That's enough oohs and aahs for one day. Don't want you overdoing it now, do we?


joated said...

Dang! I think I sprained my ooh!

Thanks for the trivia. Maybe you could make up a set of cards or something. ;-)

Well Seasoned Fool said...

I believe Sitka is the largest, in acreage, city in the USA as the entire island is incorporated.

Ed Bonderenka said...

Yeah, but is it shaped like a mitten?

Rev. Paul said...

joated - that's funny, right there. Maybe you're thinking you need to come back & see some more? (hint, hint)

WSF - you're correct; it's 2,870+ sq. miles.

Ed - naw. Alaska is shaped like a whole hand, with a REALLY long index finger. :)

Corey 1 said...

I thought denali and Mckinley were different peaks

Rev. Paul said...

Corey, Denali has been called that since the Native people (Dena'ina and Athabascan) first saw it. Congress decided to call it Mt. McKinley to honor that President from Ohio ... who never visited Alaska, by the way. It remains a sore spot to many Alaskans to this day.