How Big is Alaska?
Compare your state to Alaska
Alaska Is Big!
- You could fit West Virginia into Alaska 27 times! One-fifth the size of the Lower 48, Alaska is bigger than Texas, California, and Montana combined!
- Alaska is also far-flung: 9.4 times wider (east to west) and 5.8 times taller (north to south) than West Virginia. From north to south, Alaska measures 1420 miles, the distance from Denver to Mexico City, and east to west 2500 miles, the distance from Savannah, GA to Santa Barbara, CA. See detailed Alaska maps.
- Alaska also has the most northern point (Point Barrow) and the most western point (Cape Wrangell, Alaska -- further west than Hawaii) in the U.S.
Water & Coastline
- Alaska has 19 times as much inland water (in lakes, reservoirs, and rivers) as West Virginia. In fact, Alaska has 3 million lakes over twenty acres big.
- Alaska has more than 50% of the entire U.S. coastline, or 6,640 miles. West Virginia has 0 miles of coastline!
- West Virginia has 76 times more people per square mile.
- If West Virginia's population density were the same as Alaska’s, only 23,950 people would live in West Virginia rather than 1,810,354 (based on 2003 data).
- Alaska’s high point, Mt. Denali (20,320 feet), rises 2.9 miles above West Virginia’s high point, Spruce Knob, at 4,863 feet.
- Not only is Mt. Denali the highest mountain in North America, but Alaska has 15 other peaks higher than any in the continental U.S.
- Alaska has 640 sq. miles of land for every mile of paved road. West Virginia has 14 sq. miles of land for every mile of road. In other words, Alaska’s land-to-road ratio is 46.0 times greater.
- Only 20% of Alaska’s roads are paved versus on average 91% for the other 49 states. During the long, cold grip of winter, Alaskans build ice roads to traverse rivers and ground that is otherwise too soft to drive.
- Alaska has 4.0 times more active pilots per capita than West Virginia.
- Alaska has 102 seaplane bases, far more than any other state.