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Alaskan Vacations: Hotels, Lodging, Travel Information, Sitka, Alaska

Absolute Paradise offers travel information & lodging for an Alaska vacation: hotels, lodges, salmon fishing & hunting, tours near Sitka, AK and more.

While some find paradise in a sandy beach, others prefer their paradise a little more on the rugged side. With some of the most exciting wildlife and dramatic vistas available to tourists, Alaska challenges, relaxes and thrills you in its own unique ways. Its history of luring opportunity seekers is catalogued in this remote land's museums that chronicle the lives of resourceful eskimos, crafty European traders hot after seal and otter pelts and, of course, the adventurers sure they would make a fortune finding GOLD!

Alaska: Wrangell - St Elias National Park

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Travel Information about Alaska

Alaska History

Anchorage Alaska

Alaska Wildlife - Grizzly BearWhile popular folklore promotes the idea that Siberians who came up from the Asian continent crossed the Bering Straight to Alaska, experts now Alaska Wildlife Eaglesconcede that from between 35,000 to 10,000 years ago, these people crossed great ice sheets that covered the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Straight connecting the two continents. Starting about 15,000 to 10,000 years ago, these giant glaciers melted, separating North America from Siberia. The recession of the great ice sheets exposed the rocky terrain making up what is now Alaska and Canada. Today, descendants of these natives make up just 16% of the Alaskan population.

Travel in Alaskan Mountains
Alaska Kayaking and Travel

European Exploration of Alaska

In 1741, Russian explorer Vitus Bering crossed the Pacific Ocean and lead the Russian Navy to Alaska, landing on an island he named Bering Island. His crew carried word of the valuable sea otter pelts back to enterprising fur traders. Soon, the British, Spanish and French sent explorers to the coast of Alaska.

1784 - European Settlements in Alaska

In 1784, the Russian-American Company began to establish settlements in key Alaskan areas. They continued to expand these settlements throughout the 1800's, under harsh living conditions. By 1859, Russia had grown tired of keeping up the colonies and began the process of selling the Alaskan territory to the United States. The United States, distracted by a Civil War (1861- 1865), appeared interested, but did not finish signing the necessary treaties and turning over the money (7.2 million dollars or 2 cents an acre) until 1867.
The deal occurred only due to the persistence of William Seward, the determined U.S. Secretary of State in the Andrew Johnson administration. Nicknamed “Seward’s Folly” and “Andrew Johnson’s Polar Icebox,” Alaska seemed only a frozen wasteland to many newspaper columnists and American citizens. As it turned out, Alaska turned out to be rich in gold, oil and other natural resources, but more, its location proved crucial during the 20th Century’s “Cold War” between Russia and the United States.

But . . . back to history! In 1898, 37 years after the United States bought Alaska, miners discovered gold in Alaska’s waters and mountains. In just that year alone, 30,000 people flocked to Alaska. While many claimed the gold resources of Alaska to be endless, the discovery of a large vein in 1902 in what is now Fairbanks proved to be Alaska’s last major strike.
And yet, many of the gold-seekers decided to remain in Alaska. With the increased population, suddenly, Congress had to apply civil codes and establish laws in the territory. Even though gold-digging diminished since that first strike in 1898, Alaska had poured billions of dollars into the US economy and contributed to a big part of America’s scrappy, rugged mystique.

In 1912, Alaska gained “territorial status,” which meant it had a say in what federal mandates it accepted. During World War II, the influx of military personnel created a boom in building within the state. After World War II, Alaska foundered a bit economically, but the beginning of the cold war with Russia in the 1940's saw much government money and troops flowing to Alaskan shores to take advantage of its proximity to what was then the Soviet Union.

In 1949, the Alaskan began to lobby for statehood. President Eisenhower signed the treaty and on January 3, 1959, Alaska was officially proclaimed the forty-ninth state of the Union. Considering the huge contributions of Alaskan oil, timber, sea food and tourist industries have made in the past fifty years, Alaska has become an important economic powerhouse of the United States.