1. Is it dark all the time in the winter?
This depends on where in Alaska you live or visit. Anchorage has 5.5 hours of daylight in mid-winter; however, Barrow, at the most northern point of Alaska, has no daylight from November 18 through January 24. In the summer, Anchorage has 19.5 hours of daylight and Barrow has 84 days of continuous sunlight from May 10 to August 2.
2. Is Alaska part of Canada?
No, Alaska is the 49th state of the United States of America. Alaska uses the same currency as the rest of the U.S., the same postage.
When driving into Alaska, however, you will travel through Canada and must be prepared to cross the U.S.- Canada border and go through Customs. A passport is not needed for U.S. citizens.
3. What county is Anchorage in?
Alaska is unique among the 50 states in that most of its land mass has not been organized into political subdivisions equivalent to the county form of government. Instead, local government in Alaska is organized by a system of "boroughs." The city of Anchorage is in fact located in the "Municipality of Anchorage," along with the towns of Eagle River, Girdwood, Chugiak, and Eklutna.
4. Can I drive across Alaska?
Alaska has very few roads for its vast size. Austria, a country one-eighteenth the size of Alaska, has twice as many miles of road. Alaska has 15 highways, 3 of which are only open between April and October.
Roads go from Anchorage to the Canadian border, to Seward, to Homer, to Valdez, to Fairbanks.
Four major highways, the Denali Highway from Paxton to Cantwell, the Dalton Highway (Haul Road) from Fox to Prudhoe Bay, the Steese Highway from Fairbanks to Circle, and the Taylor Highway from Teslin to Eagle Junction are unpaved.
Alaska is 2,435 road miles and 1,498 air miles from Seattle, WA. This is a three and 1/2 hour flight to Anchorage or a four-day minimum drive. It is also possible to take the ferry during the summer months from Bellingham, WA to Seward, AK and during the spring, fall and winter from Bellingham, WA. to Haines, AK.
5. Is there snow all year round?
This again depends on where in Alaska you settle. Alaska has four different climate zones, ranging from warm and wet, to cold and dry, to cold and snowy. In Anchorage, the weather averages 50 degrees in the summer and 20 degrees in the winter. Snow season runs from October through May, averaging 70 inches of snow in the Anchorage area.
6. Are there penguins in Alaska?
No, penguins live only in Antarctica. Alaska has polar bears living north of the Arctic Circle, as well as brown, black, and grizzly bears across the rest of the state, including Anchorage. Alaska also has moose, which are regularly seen in the middle of the highway, caribou, foxes, eagles, wolves, dall sheep, killer whales, lynx, and beluga whales, among other species.
7. What time zone is Alaska in?
Alaska used to have four time zones, but since the mid 1980s that has been reduced to two time zones. Most of Alaska falls under Alaska time, which is one hour earlier than the West Coast. The Alaskan Aleutian Islands are in Hawaiian-Aleutian time, which is one hour earlier than Alaska time.
8. How cold does it get?
Anchorage has a maritime climate modified by its 61 degree north latitude and by continental influences. Summers are cool and winters are cold. However, Anchorage seldomly experiences the seasonal temperature extremes of interior Alaska or the north-central United States. Total precipitation for Anchorage is only 15.91 inches per year, with the greatest amount being recorded in late summer and fall. Total snowfall averages 69.3 inches, but is mostly light and dry, i.e. low in water content. Reflecting its northerly latitude, Anchorage experiences dramatic seasonal swings in the amount of sunlight, ranging from a low of about 5.5 hours per day in mid-December to a high of over 19.5 hours in mid-June.
9. Will I get to see the Northern Lights?
The aurora borealis (otherwise known as the Northern Lights) are created from charged electrons and protons striking gas particles in the atmosphere. The color and shape of the aurora varies according to how hard the gas particles are being struck. Auroras occur most frequently in the spring and fall months, because of the tilt of the planet. Residents of Fairbanks at latitude 65 degrees north see the aurora an average of 240 nights per year. Because of almost continuous daylight and twilight in the summer months, the aurora is best best viewed in fall, winter and spring.
10. Is it true that there are many more men than women?
Although that is generally true in rural areas of Alaska, especially fishing and mining communities, it is not true for Anchorage. In Anchorage, males and females are almost equally represented - 51.3 percent males and 48.7 percent females.
Taken from the Anchorage Chamber Of Commerce Website