Alaska is undoubtedly the largest state in America, with a size of 663,268 square miles. And it comes as no surprise that the landmarks in Alaska bring a feel of history, adventure, and fun.
Due to its size and makeup, Alaska is well-known for its beautiful natural parks, wilderness, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and historical landmarks.
Navigating Alaska’s untamed terrain is challenging and requires careful planning. Keep reading to find out the 20 famous landmarks in Alaska you should visit.
Most Famous Landmark In Alaska
Wildlife, glaciers, history, parklands, and unique culture are some of the top things that Alaska is known for. That diverse terrain attracts millions of visitors yearly.
Glaciers can be seen up close on cruises and day cruises in various places in Alaska, including Glacier Bay, the Kenai Fjords, and Prince William Sound.
These excursions provide an excellent opportunity to see coastal Alaska’s stunning mountain vistas and tidewater glaciers.
Alaska is outstanding, but Denali National Park and Preserve is arguably the most interesting. Here’s what you should know about the landmarks in Alaska.
Denali National Park and Preserve
Denali National Park is a notable landmark in Alaska and one of the top national parks on America’s west coast.
It is only three hours south of Fairbanks North Star Borough. It boasts over six million acres of untamed terrain protected by the United States National Park Service.
The park’s center is home to Denali, the tallest mountain in North America. It is possible to climb mountains, but you need guides, gear, and technical know-how to climb the fascinating landmarks of Alaska.
During the winter, tourists can go skiing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding. In the summer, it is possible to hike past Savage River for deeper nature exploration.
Famous Sitka, Alaska Landmarks
Saint Lazaria Wilderness
If you are seeking landmarks in Alaska that are filled with wildlife, the Saint Lazaria Wilderness is for you. Thousands of seabirds nest on the island of Saint Lazaria Wilderness, which depends on its coasts and woodlands for this purpose.
It is part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge located only 20 miles west of Sitka. This protected region has an astounding 7,000 seabirds per acre, making it one of the most exciting landmarks in Alaska.
Unfortunately, only the scientists and keepers of the island are allowed to enter on foot. Therefore, visitors to this vital refuge must travel here by boat.
Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall
The Alaska Native Brotherhood first convened in Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall. In 1987, the National Register of Historic Places included the Native Brotherhood Hall in the National Historic Landmarks of Alaska.
The Brotherhood assisted in the fight against racial discrimination in Alaska, which led to Native Americans eventually being granted full US citizenship.
This structure trumps many Alaska landmarks in terms of longevity. It was established in 1912 to protest the exclusion of Native Americans from dining establishments and movie theaters.
Sitka National Historical Park
The Sitka National Historical Park certainly deserves its spot on the list of iconic landmarks in Alaska. The wars between the Russian American Company and the indigenous Tlingit people began in 1802 and are remembered in Sitka National Historical Park.
The Tlingit clans fled from their strongholds in Sitka by 1804 after initially driving the Russians away. However, they erected blockades against Russian traders until 1822 rather than continuing to engage a more powerful foe head-on.
The Tlingit eventually made their way back to Sitka. Still, neither side would again fully dominate the area where one of the most historical landmarks in Alaska stands.
Instead, until 1867, when Russia surrendered the region to the United States, they coexisted as unfriendly neighbors and commercial partners.
Castle Hill is among the significant landmarks in Alaska, situated in the heart of Sitka. The Tlingit people lived in the area at first, but the Russians took it in the 19th century.
The park’s importance stems from the fact that Alaska was transferred to the United States in 1867. When Alaska became a state in 1959, President Eisenhower raised the 49-star American flag there. If you are visiting historical landmarks in the state, you don’t want to miss Castle Hill.
Russian Bishop’s House
The Russian Bishop’s House is an intelligent choice for those that plan to visit historical landmarks in Alaska. It was occupied by the Russian Empire for more than a century, with Sitka serving as its colonial capital.
During the nineteenth century, their influence extended as far south as California, and the Bishop of Sitka was responsible for promoting Orthodox Christianity throughout the region.
By 1969, the Russian Orthodox Church had decided to close the Bishop’s House in Sitka. However, it was purchased a few years later by the US National Park Service and restored as one of Alaska’s main sites. Some Alaska landmarks invoke memories, and the Bishop’s house fits that bill.
Famous Gulf of Alaska Landmarks
Prince William Sound
Prince William Sound is one of those landmarks that has something for everyone. It is at the top of the list of landmarks in Alaska for lovers of aquatic life. This is due to the regular sightings of sea lions, orcas, and humpback whales in its waters and along its shoreline.
In addition, you can find brown bears, moose, and mountain goats in its rugged environment.
If you come for the scenery, you’ll see fjords, hundreds of glaciers, and one of the world’s only temperate rainforests. Whichever you choose is irrelevant because you don’t have to decide when traveling to this breathtaking region of the world!
Kayak Island, located in the Gulf of Alaska, is renowned among the well-known historical landmarks in Alaska. Nearly 200 years ago, an army lieutenant from Russia felt the island’s form resembled a skin canoe he’d seen manufactured by Native Americans.
The rugged island experiences turbulent weather and is thus the site of Alaska’s first confirmed tornado. Except for the Cape St. Elias Lighthouse, which is occasionally used as a writer’s retreat, there is no permanent habitation on Kayak Island.
LANDMARKS IN USA
Kodiak Island, roughly the size of Cyprus, holds its own among the most prominent landmarks in Alaska. It is second only to the Big Island of Hawaii in the United States.
The north and east sides are densely forested and mountainous, with several deep bays for yachts and the island’s thriving fishing sector. The Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge spans more than half the island.
The enormous Kodiak brown bear, which can reach a height of ten feet and weigh 1,500 pounds, is in charge of the reserve. Bald eagles, salmon, foxes, and many more creatures are shielded from human activities inside the refuge.
Famous Anchorage, Alaska landmarks
Alaska Native Heritage Center
The Alaska Native Heritage Center is among the most important landmarks in Alaska. Since its inception in 1999, the Alaska Native Heritage Center has served as a cultural and educational resource for Alaska’s indigenous peoples.
The museum educates tourists on the histories and cultures of the region’s diverse indigenous people.
The Heritage Center is surrounded by 26 acres of forest, which includes a lake, a theater, life-size village sites, and a demonstration gathering area. The Heritage Center should be on your itinerary of Alaska landmarks when visiting the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is at the top of Alaska’s list of beautiful landmarks. It travels about eleven miles from downtown Anchorage to Kincaid Chalet. The trail is named after the mayor of Anchorage from 1982 to 1987 and the governor of Alaska from 1994 to 2002.
Tony Knowles Trail can be hiked, biked, or skied depending on the season and offers several possibilities for seeing moose and beluga whales in one of the fascinating landmarks of Alaska. You’ll also get great views of Denali, North America’s tallest mountain, on clear days.
Historical Landmarks In Alaska
Oscar Anderson House
Suppose you plan to see interesting landmarks in Alaska to learn more about life in Anchorage in 1915. Head over to Oscar Anderson House.
As Anchorage’s first wood-frame home, the Oscar Anderson House Museum in Elderberry Park exemplifies Alaskans’ interior design and way of life in the early 1900s.
Oscar Anderson, the initial owner, was a prominent businessman in the early development of Anchorage. Anderson was instrumental in developing several sectors, including meat packing, coal manufacturing, air transportation, and newspaper printing.
The house is lavishly decorated during the first two weekends of December, and tour attendees are served traditional Swedish sweets.
Kennicott Mine & Ghost Town
Glacier hoppers departing from Anchorage should stop at one of the fascinating Alaska landmarks. The mine is an abandoned copper mining camp founded in 1903 by the Kennecott Mining Corporation, which ran five mines in the area at the time.
The mining colony quickly grew into a lively village teeming with miners and their families. The mineral boom, however, did not last long, and Kennicott was a ghost town by 1938.
Kennicott is now a famous tourist destination and one of Alaska’s most frequently visited landmarks. As a result, the National Park Service is restoring many historic camp buildings and giving tours of the ones that are safe.
For example, the enormous red mill building, a massive 14-story structure in front of the Kennicott Glacier, provides a postcard-perfect photo opportunity. Tours of the mill are available with an NPS guide to learn about the community and its history.
Fort William H. Seward
Fort William H. Seward, a short distance from Skagway, is an outstanding piece of American history. It deserves its place on the list of famous landmarks in Alaska and is worthy of a visit.
The United States Army built the fort to keep an eye on the rowdy gold miners who rushed to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush.
Aside from maintaining order, the military post supplied a critical military presence in Alaska during a boundary dispute with Canada.
After the US and the United Kingdom settled the boundary issue in 1903, Fort William H. Seward quickly became the only active Army post in Alaska. This rule lasted from 1925 to 1940.
During World War I, the US Army utilized the relatively new army base for training Alaskan draftees. During WWII, the fort primarily served as a recruitment post.
The Army utilized the relatively new army station to teach Alaskan draftees during World War I. It is among the many Alaska landmarks that the US Army heavily utilized during World War II.
Crow Creek Mine
The Crow Creek Mine is one of the oldest landmarks in Alaska. There are hundreds of gold panning spots in Alaska, but very few allow you to work the claim as panhandlers did during the Alaska Gold Rush.
If you want an authentic and fun-filled experience, head to the Gold Rush of Alaska landmarks for a hands-on and interactive trip. Crow Creek is a family-run mine located less than an hour from Anchorage. During a tour of the facilities, you’ll learn how to operate a pan and a creek-side sluice box.
After filling your pockets, take a trip through the 400 acres of spectacular wilderness, including the historic Iditarod Trail, or visit the beautiful outdoor museum that highlights Anchorage’s oldest buildings.
Other Famous Landmarks In Alaska
Totem Bight State Historical Park
Located in Ketchikan, Totem Bight State Historical Park is an allure of iconic Alaska landmarks. Unfortunately, many young native Alaskans moved to non-native cities in southern Alaska in the early twentieth century, where they could obtain more jobs.
As a result, settlements and totem poles around the region were abandoned. When the United States Forest Service began repairing and constructing the totems in 1938, they engaged senior native craftspeople and returned young artisans to the villages, reversing the migration trend.
The Totems are a symbol of the glory days when people made a fortune in the fur trade and could invest more time in craftsmanship.
Japanese Occupation Site
Located in Yakutat, it is one of the landmarks in Alaska that will remind you of the presence of Japan in the US.
A Japanese force of approximately 1,000 assaulted the remote island of Kiska in June 1942, beginning the only part of WWII fought in North America. They quickly overpowered the ten American weather station operators and the zero civilian population.
However, Japan could never turn the barren island into anything useful. In July 1943, the US sent nearly 30,000 soldiers to reclaim this type of American territory.
They accomplished a remarkable bloodless triumph because the Japanese had quietly withdrawn weeks before making a stand elsewhere.
Katmai National Park and Preserve
In 1912, one of the most famous landmarks in Alaska, Katmai National Park, and Preserve, was shaken by the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century.
Novarupta was the culprit, and the area around the volcano has since been dubbed the Valley of 10,000 Smokes.
Bear tours take guests to a viewing point from which they can see this from a safe distance, or you may watch the live bear cam from the comfort of your home. Visitors must lease a floatplane or arrive by boat at Brooks Camp to reach this secluded area.
Yakutat houses one of the gigantic landmarks of Alaska. While this gigantic glacier stretches 75 miles inland, the best places to see it are along the six-mile-wide terminus where it slips into Yakutat Bay in Canada.
Cruise ships can get within a half-mile of the 400-foot ice wall before the icebergs become too dangerous. Visitors may still see, hear, and feel four-story slabs of ice calving off and crashing into the bay despite its size.
Of all the glaciers on the list of landmarks in Alaska, the Mendenhall Glacier, twelve miles from Juneau, is the only glacier that can be reached by car.
Therefore, only the Visitor Center offers breathtaking views of the massive ice structure. You may reach the Visitor Center in several ways, which is fortunate.
The Mendenhall Glacier begins its slow-motion slide of 4,500 feet over thirteen miles near the Juneau Icefield.
It has been receding for about 400 years. This tendency has intensified recently due to Southeast Alaska’s warming climate. Located in Juneau, it is one of the most breathtaking Alaska landmarks.
Discovering Landmarks In Alaska
The famous landmarks of Alaska comprise lovely and breathtaking sites that can fit into your vacation bucket list!
The towns of Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway are located within Alaska’s Inside Passage. They are also home to several must-see Alaskan icons.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Totem Bight State Historical Park, and Mendenhall Glacier are just some of the most popular attractions combining history and nature. Make sure to allow enough time to check out the landmarks of Alaska and everything Alaska offers.