Alaska, U.S.A. - This huge state, twice the size of the state of Texas, remains relatively untouched by man. Despite the state's great size, it has the second smallest population out of all the other states.
About 500 miles (800 kilometers) of Canada territory separate Alaska from the state of Washington. Alaskans often refer to the rest of the continental United States as the "lower 48." Alaska also sits very close to Russia, only 51 miles (82 kilometers) of the Bering Straight separate the two.
Almost a third of Alaska lies north of the Arctic Circle, and due to its immense size, Alaska enjoys a wide range of temperatures--as low as -80° F (-62° C), to as high as 100° F (38° C). The climate as far north as the Arctic Circle, however, remains relatively mild.
Because of Alaska's far northern position, the summer sun shines about 20 hours a day, causing crops to grow rapidly during that time. At Point Barrow, from May 10 to August 2, the sun never sets.
Along the Arctic coast in the north and west, Inuit (also called Eskimos) still hunt and fish in much the same way that their ancestors did.
Alaska is famous for its towering mountains and beautiful scenery. Mount McKinley, which rises 20,320 feet (6,194 meters) above sea level, is the highest peak in the United States.