Alaska, northwest of Canada, is the largest and most sparsely populated U.S. state.
It's known for its diverse terrain of open spaces, mountains and forests, with abundant wildlife and many small towns.
It’s a destination for outdoor activities like skiing, mountain biking and kayaking. Massive Denali National Park is home to Denali (formerly called Mount McKinley), North America’s highest peak.
The United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire on March 30, 1867, for 7.2 million U.S. dollars at approximately two cents per acre.
The area went through several administrative changes before becoming organized as a territory on May 11, 1912. It was admitted as the 49th state of the U.S. on January 3, 1959.