Mount Foraker is a 17,400-foot mountain in the central Alaska Range, in Denali National Park, 14 mi southwest of Denali. It is the second highest peak in the Alaska Range, the third highest peak in the United States, it rises directly above the standard base camp for Denali, on a fork of the Kahiltna Glacier near Mount Hunter in the Alaska Range. Its north peak was first climbed on August 6, 1934, its higher south peak was climbed four days on August 10, by Charles Houston, T. Graham Brown, Chychele Waterston, via the west ridge. Mount Foraker was named in 1899 by Lt. J. S. Herron after Joseph B. Foraker a sitting U. S. Senator from Ohio; the mountain, along with Denali, was called Bolshaya Gora in Russian. The Tanaina Indians of the Susitna River valley and Tanana Indians to the north are reported to have had the same name for Mt. Foraker as they had for Denali, it appears that the names were not applied to individual peaks but instead to the Denali massif; the Tanana Indians in the Lake Minchumina area, had a broadside view of the mountains and thus gave distinctive names to each.
According to Hudson Stuck, these Indians had two names for Mount Foraker: Sultana meaning "the woman" and Menlale meaning "Denali's wife". 1934 West Ridge FA of Mount Foraker by Charles Houston, T. Graham Brown and Chychele Waterston. 1963 Southeast Ridge. 2nd ascent. July 7th. By Jim Richardson and Jeff Duenwald. Expedition led by Adams Carter. 1968 Talkeetna Ridge, South Ridge FA by Alex Bertulis, Warren Bleser, Hans Baer and Peter Williamson. The summit was reached on July 26, 1968. 4th ascent of peak. 1974 Southwest Toe of Southeast Ridge, variation to the South Ridge, ascent by Peter Reagan, Joe Davidson, Bob Fries, Jim Given, Mark Greenfield, Pippo Lionni, Eric Morgan and Frank Uher. 1975 Archangel Ridge, the north ridge, FA by Gerard and Barbara Roach, Brad Johnson, David Wright, Stewart Krebs and Charles Campbell. Summit reached on July 14, 1975. Subsequently skied. 1976 French Ridge, the South/Southeast Ridge, FA by Henri Agresti, Jean-Marie Galmiche, Gerard Creton, Herve Thivierge, Isabelle Agresti and Werner Landry.
Summit reached on June 3 and 4, 1976. 1977 Infinite Spur, on the south face by George Lowe. Ascent time 6 days. 1977 Southwest Ridge, Nancey Goforth, Erik LeRoy, Chris Liddle, Murray Marvin. The summit was reached on June 1977, after 47 days spent on Mount Foraker. 1989 Infinite Spur, second ascent or route by Mark Bebie and Jim Nelson. Summit reached on June 1989 after 13 days on the mountain. 1990 False Dawn, on the southeast face, first ascent by David Sharman. Summit reached on May 1990 after 5 days on the mountain. 2016 Infinite Spur, first solo ascent and fastest ascent by Colin Haley. Ascent time was 12:29 from the bergschrund to summit; the descent was completed in a whiteout via the Sultana Ridge over the ensuing 48 hours. List of mountain peaks of North America List of mountain peaks of the United States List of mountain peaks of Alaska List of the highest major summits of the United States List of the most prominent summits of the United States ^ This ranking includes Denali North Peak as number 2.
PhotoMountains: High resolution aerial photographs of Mount Foraker climbing routes
Denali is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet above sea level. With a topographic prominence of 20,156 feet and a topographic isolation of 4,629 miles, Denali is the third most prominent and third most isolated peak on Earth, after Mount Everest and Aconcagua. Located in the Alaska Range in the interior of the U. S. state of Alaska, Denali is the centerpiece of Preserve. The Koyukon people who inhabit the area around the mountain have referred to the peak as "Denali" for centuries. In 1896, a gold prospector named it "Mount McKinley" in support of then-presidential candidate William McKinley. In August 2015, following the 1975 lead of the State of Alaska, the United States Department of the Interior announced the change of the official name of the mountain to Denali. In 1903, James Wickersham recorded the first attempt at climbing Denali, unsuccessful. In 1906, Frederick Cook claimed the first ascent, proven to be false; the first verifiable ascent to Denali's summit was achieved on June 7, 1913, by climbers Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens, Walter Harper, Robert Tatum, who went by the South Summit.
In 1951, Bradford Washburn pioneered the West Buttress route, considered to be the safest and easiest route, therefore the most popular in use. On September 2, 2015, the U. S. Geological Survey announced that the mountain is 20,310 feet high, not 20,320 feet, as measured in 1952 using photogrammetry. Denali is a granitic pluton lifted by tectonic pressure from the subduction of the Pacific Plate beneath the North American Plate; the forces that lifted Denali cause many deep earthquakes in Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. The Pacific Plate is seismically active beneath Denali, a tectonic region, known as the "McKinley cluster". Denali has a summit elevation of 20,310 feet above sea level, making it the highest peak in North America and the northernmost mountain above 6,000 meters elevation in the world. Measured from base to peak at some 18,000 ft, it is among the largest mountains situated above sea level. Denali rises from a sloping plain with elevations from 1,000 to 3,000 ft, for a base-to-peak height of 17,000 to 19,000 ft.
By comparison, Mount Everest rises from the Tibetan Plateau at a much higher base elevation. Base elevations for Everest range from 13,800 ft on the south side to 17,100 ft on the Tibetan Plateau, for a base-to-peak height in the range of 12,000 to 15,300 ft. Denali's base-to-peak height is little more than half the 33,500 ft of the volcano Mauna Kea, which lies under water. Denali has two significant summits: the South Summit is the higher one, while the North Summit has an elevation of 19,470 ft and a prominence of 1,270 ft; the North Summit is sometimes counted as sometimes not. Five large glaciers flow off the slopes of the mountain; the Peters Glacier lies on the northwest side of the massif, while the Muldrow Glacier falls from its northeast slopes. Just to the east of the Muldrow, abutting the eastern side of the massif, is the Traleika Glacier; the Ruth Glacier lies to the southeast of the mountain, the Kahiltna Glacier leads up to the southwest side of the mountain. With a length of 44 mi, the Kahiltna Glacier is the longest glacier in the Alaska Range.
The Koyukon Athabaskans who inhabit the area around the mountain have for centuries referred to the peak as Dinale or Denali. The name is based on a Koyukon word for "high" or "tall". During the Russian ownership of Alaska, the common name for the mountain was Bolshaya Gora, the Russian translation of Denali, it was called Densmore's Mountain in the late 1880s and early 1890s after Frank Densmore, an Alaskan prospector, the first European to reach the base of the mountain. In 1896, a gold prospector named it McKinley as political support for then-presidential candidate William McKinley, who became president the following year; the United States formally recognized the name Mount McKinley after President Wilson signed the Mount McKinley National Park Act of February 26, 1917. In 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson declared the north and south peaks of the mountain the "Churchill Peaks", in honor of British statesman Winston Churchill; the Alaska Board of Geographic Names changed the name of the mountain to Denali in 1975, how it is called locally.
However, a request in 1975 from the Alaska state legislature to the United States Board on Geographic Names to do the same at the federal level was blocked by Ohio congressman Ralph Regula, whose district included McKinley's hometown of Canton. On August 30, 2015, just ahead of a presidential visit to Alaska, the Barack Obama administration announced the name Denali would be restored in line with the Alaska Geographic Board's designation. U. S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell issued the order changing the name to Denali on August 28, 2015, effective immediately. Jewell said the change had been "a long time coming"; the renaming of the mountain received praise from Alaska's senior U. S. senator, Lisa Murkowski, who had introduced legislation to accomplish the name change, but it drew criticism from several politicians from Pres
Mount Logan is the highest mountain in Canada and the second-highest peak in North America, after Denali. The mountain was named after Sir William Edmond Logan, a Canadian geologist and founder of the Geological Survey of Canada. Mount Logan is located within Kluane National Park Reserve in southwestern Yukon, less than 40 kilometres north of the Yukon–Alaska border. Mount Logan is the source of the Logan glaciers. Logan is believed to have the largest base circumference of any non-volcanic mountain on Earth, including a massif with eleven peaks over 5,000 metres. Due to active tectonic uplifting, Mount Logan is still rising in height. Before 1992, the exact elevation of Mount Logan was unknown and measurements ranged from 5,959 to 6,050 metres. In May 1992, a GSC expedition climbed Mount Logan and fixed the current height of 5,959 metres using GPS. Temperatures are low on and near Mount Logan. On the 5,000 m high plateau, air temperature hovers around −45 °C in the winter and reaches near freezing in summer with the median temperature for the year around −27 °C.
Minimal snow melt leads to a significant ice cap, reaching 300 m in certain spots. The Mount Logan massif is considered to contain all the surrounding peaks with less than 500 m of prominence, as listed below: In 1922, a geologist approached the Alpine Club of Canada with the suggestion that the club send a team to the mountain to reach the summit for the first time. An international team of Canadian and American climbers was assembled and they had planned their attempt in 1924 but funding and preparation delays postponed the trip until 1925; the international team of climbers began their journey in early May, crossing the mainland from the Pacific coast by train. They walked the remaining 200 kilometres to within 10 kilometres of the Logan Glacier where they established base camp. In the early evening of June 23, 1925, Albert H. MacCarthy, H. F. Lambart, Allen Carpé, W. W. Foster, Norman H. Read and Andy Taylor stood on top for the first time, it had taken them 65 days to approach the mountain from the nearest town, McCarthy and return, with all climbers intact.
1957 East Ridge. Don Monk, Gil Roberts and 3 others reached the summit on July 19. 1965 Hummingbird Ridge. Dick Long, Allen Steck, Jim Wilson, John Evans, Franklin Coale Sr. and Paul Bacon over 30 days, mid-July to Mid-August. Fred Beckey remarked: "couldn't believe that they had climbed that thing. We didn't think they had a chance". Featured in Fifty Classic Climbs of North America. 1967, the first ski descent of the mountain was made in two stages by Daniel C. Taylor main summit to the Kluane glacier 1977 Warbler Ridge. Dave Jones, Frank Baumann, Fred Thiessen, Jay Page and Rene Bucher in 22 days. 1978 West Ridge. Steve Davis, Jon Waterman, George Sievewright, Roger Hurt. Climbed ridge in 27 days "capsule-style". 1979 "Northwest Ridge" Michael Down, Paul Kindree, John Howe, Reid Carter and John Wittmayer climbed to the summit over 22 days, topping out on June 19. 1979 South-Southwest Ridge. Raymond Jotterand, Alan Burgess, Jim Elzinga and John Laughlan reached the summit after 15 days of climbing on June 30 and July 1.
1987 an alpine-style attempt on the Hummingbird Ridge ended with the deaths of Catherine Freer, North America's strongest female alpinist, David Cheesmond from South Africa and Canada, considered among the best alpinists in the world, when a snow cornice broke. 1992 June 6, an expedition sponsored by the Royal Canadian Geographic Society confirmed the height of Mount Logan using GPS. The leader was Michael Schmidt, with Lisel Currie, Leo Nadeay, Charlie Roots, J-C. Lavergne, Roger Laurilla, Pat Morrow, Karl Nagy, Sue Gould, Alan Björn, Lloyd Freese, Kevin McLaughlin and Rick Staley. 2017 May 23, 15-year-old Naomi Prohaska reached the summit. She was part of a team led by her father. Following the death of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, a close friend of Trudeau's, proposed renaming the mountain Mount Trudeau. A mountain in British Columbia's Premier Range was named Mount Pierre Elliott Trudeau instead. During the last few days of May 2005, three climbers from the North Shore Search and Rescue team of North Vancouver became stranded on the mountain.
A joint operation by Canadian and American forces rescued the three climbers and took them to Anchorage, Alaska for treatment of frostbite. List of mountain peaks of North America List of mountain peaks of Canada List of highest points of Canadian provinces and territories List of Ultras in Canada List of elevation extremes by country Irving, R. L. G.. Ten Great Mountains. London: J. M. Dent & Sons. Roper, Steve. Fifty Classic Climbs of North America. San Francisco, CA, USA: Sierra Club Books. Pp. 179–182. ISBN 0-87156-292-8. Scott, Chic. Pushing the Limits, The Story of Canadian Mountaineering. Calgary, Canada: Rocky Mountain Books. ISBN 0-921102-59-3. Retrieved December 27, 2013. Selters, Andy. Ways to the Sky. Golden, CO, USA: American Alpine Club Press. ISBN 0-930410-83-1. Sherman, Paddy. Cloud Walkers - Six Climbs on Major Canadian Peaks. Toronto, Canada: Macmillan of Canada. Lib Congress Cat# 65-25069. Mount Log
A normal route or normal way is the most used route for ascending and descending a mountain peak. It is the simplest route. In the Alps, routes are classed in the following ways, based on their waymarking and upkeep: Footpaths Hiking trails Mountain trails Alpine routes Climbing routes and High Alpine routes in combined rock and ice terrain, graded by difficultySometimes the normal route is not the easiest ascent to the summit, but just the one, most used. There may be technically easier variations; this is the case on the Watzmannfrau, the Hochkalter and Mount Everest. There may be many reasons these easier options are less well-used: the simplest route is less well known than the normal route; the technically easiest route is more arduous than another and is therefore used on the descent. The technically easiest route carries a much higher risk of e.g. rockfalls or avalanche and is therefore avoided in favour of a more difficult route. The technically easier route requires a complicated or long approach march, or all access may be banned via one country.
The term tourist route may sometimes be applied by those wishing to suggest that other routes up a mountain are somehow more "worthy". This belittling of the "normal route" therefore maintains a distinction between those perceiving themselves as serious mountaineers who disparage the incursion of tourist climbers into their domain
Popocatépetl is an active stratovolcano, located in the states of Puebla and Morelos, in central Mexico, lies in the eastern half of the Trans-Mexican volcanic belt. At 5,426 m it is the second highest peak in Mexico, after Citlaltépetl at 5,636 m, it is linked to the Iztaccihuatl volcano to the north by the high saddle known as the Paso de Cortés. Popocatépetl is 70 km southeast of Mexico City, from where it can be seen depending on atmospheric conditions; until the volcano was one of three tall peaks in Mexico to contain glaciers, the others being Iztaccihuatl and Pico de Orizaba. In the 1990s, the glaciers such as Glaciar Norte decreased in size due to warmer temperatures but due to increased volcanic activity. By early 2001, Popocatépetl's glaciers were gone. Lava erupting from Popocatépetl has been predominantly andesitic, but it has erupted large volumes of dacite. Magma produced in the current cycle of activity tends to be a mixture of the two; the name Popocatépetl comes from the Nahuatl words popōca "it smokes" and tepētl "mountain", meaning Smoking Mountain.
The volcano is referred to by Mexicans as El Popo. The alternate nickname Don Goyo comes from the mountain's association in the lore of the region with, "Goyo" being a nickname-like short form of Gregorio; the stratovolcano contains a steep-walled, 400 m × 600 m wide crater. The symmetrical volcano is modified by the sharp-peaked Ventorrillo on the NW, a remnant of an earlier volcano. At least three previous major cones were destroyed by gravitational failure during the Pleistocene, producing massive debris avalanche deposits covering broad areas south of the volcano; the modern volcano was constructed to the south of the late-Pleistocene to Holocene El Fraile cone. Three major Plinian eruptions, the most recent of which took place about 800 AD, have occurred from Popocatépetl since the mid-Holocene, accompanied by pyroclastic flows and voluminous lahars that swept basins below the volcano. According to paleomagnetic studies, the volcano is about 730,000 years old, it is cone shaped with a diameter of 25 km with a peak elevation of 5,450 m.
The crater is elliptical with an orientation northeast-southwest. The walls of the crater vary from 600 to 840 m in height. Popocatépetl is active after being dormant for about half of last century, its activity increased in 1991 and smoke has been seen emanating from the crater since 1993. The volcano is monitored by the Deep Earth Carbon Degassing Project; the geological history of Popocatépetl began with the formation of the ancestral volcano Nexpayantla. About 200,000 years ago, Nexpayantly collapsed in an eruption, leaving a caldera, in which the next volcano, known as El Fraile, began to form. Another eruption about 50,000 years ago caused that to collapse, Popocatépetl rose from that. Around 23,000 years ago, a lateral eruption destroyed the volcano's ancient cone and created an avalanche that reached up to 70 kilometres from the summit; the debris field from, one of four around the volcano, it is the youngest. Three Plinian eruptions are known to have taken place: 3,000 years ago, 2,150 years ago, 1,100 years ago.
The latter two buried the nearby village of Tetimpa. The first known ascent of the volcano was made by an expedition led by Diego de Ordaz in 1519; the early-16th-century monasteries on the slopes of the mountain are a World Heritage Site. Popocatépetl is one of the most active volcanoes in Mexico and the most famous, having had more than 15 major eruptions since the arrival of the Spanish in 1519. Timeline: Mid-to late first century: A violent VEI-6 eruption may have caused the large migrations that settled Teotihuacan, according to DNA analysis of teeth and bones. Eruptions were observed in 1363, 1509, 1512, 1519–1528, 1530, 1539, 1540, 1548, 1562–1570, 1571, 1592, 1642, 1663, 1664, 1665, 1697, 1720, 1802, 1919, 1923, 1925, 1933. 1947: A major eruption. 21 December 1994: The volcano spewed gas and ash, carried as far as 25 km away by prevailing winds. The activity prompted the evacuation of nearby towns and scientists to begin monitoring for an eruption. December 2000: Tens of thousands of people were evacuated by the government, based on the warnings of scientists.
The volcano made its largest display in 1,200 years. 25 December 2005: The volcano's crater produced an explosion which ejected a large column of smoke and ash about 3 km into the atmosphere and expulsion of lava. January and February 2012: Scientists observed increased volcanic activity at Popocatépetl. On January 25, 2012, an ash explosion occurred on the mountain, causing much dust and ash to contaminate the atmosphere around it. 15 April 2012: Reports of superheated rock fragments being hurled into the air by the volcano. Ash and water vapor plumes were reported 15 times over 24 hours. Wednesday 8 May 2013, at 7:28 p.m. local time: Popocatépetl erupted again with a high amplitude tremor that lasted and was recorded for 3.5 hours. It began with plumes of ash that rose 3 km into the air and began drifting west at first, but began to drift east-southeast, covering areas of the villages of San Juan Tianguismanalco, San Pedro Benito Juárez and the City of Puebla in smoke and ash. Explosions from the
A mountain range or hill range is a series of mountains or hills ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form and alignment that have arisen from the same cause an orogeny. Mountain ranges are formed by a variety of geological processes, but most of the significant ones on Earth are the result of plate tectonics. Mountain ranges are found on many planetary mass objects in the Solar System and are a feature of most terrestrial planets. Mountain ranges are segmented by highlands or mountain passes and valleys. Individual mountains within the same mountain range do not have the same geologic structure or petrology, they may be a mix of different orogenic expressions and terranes, for example thrust sheets, uplifted blocks, fold mountains, volcanic landforms resulting in a variety of rock types. Most geologically young mountain ranges on the Earth's land surface are associated with either the Pacific Ring of Fire or the Alpide Belt.
The Pacific Ring of Fire includes the Andes of South America, extends through the North American Cordillera along the Pacific Coast, the Aleutian Range, on through Kamchatka, Taiwan, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, to New Zealand. The Andes is 7,000 kilometres long and is considered the world's longest mountain system; the Alpide belt includes Indonesia and Southeast Asia, through the Himalaya, Caucasus Mountains, Balkan Mountains fold mountain range, the Alps, ends in the Spanish mountains and the Atlas Mountains. The belt includes other European and Asian mountain ranges; the Himalayas contain the highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, 8,848 metres high and traverses the border between China and Nepal. Mountain ranges outside these two systems include the Arctic Cordillera, the Urals, the Appalachians, the Scandinavian Mountains, the Great Dividing Range, the Altai Mountains and the Hijaz Mountains. If the definition of a mountain range is stretched to include underwater mountains the Ocean Ridges form the longest continuous mountain system on Earth, with a length of 65,000 kilometres.
The mountain systems of the earth are characterized by a tree structure, where mountain ranges can contain sub-ranges. The sub-range relationship is expressed as a parent-child relationship. For example, the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Blue Ridge Mountains are sub-ranges of the Appalachian Mountains. Equivalently, the Appalachians are the parent of the White Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains, the White Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains are children of the Appalachians; the parent-child expression extends to the sub-ranges themselves: the Sandwich Range and the Presidential Range are children of the White Mountains, while the Presidential Range is parent to the Northern Presidential Range and Southern Presidential Range. The position of mountains influences climate, such as snow; when air masses move up and over mountains, the air cools producing orographic precipitation. As the air descends on the leeward side, it warms again and is drier, having been stripped of much of its moisture.
A rain shadow will affect the leeward side of a range. Mountain ranges are subjected to erosional forces which work to tear them down; the basins adjacent to an eroding mountain range are filled with sediments which are buried and turned into sedimentary rock. Erosion is at work while the mountains are being uplifted until the mountains are reduced to low hills and plains; the early Cenozoic uplift of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado provides an example. As the uplift was occurring some 10,000 feet of Mesozoic sedimentary strata were removed by erosion over the core of the mountain range and spread as sand and clays across the Great Plains to the east; this mass of rock was removed as the range was undergoing uplift. The removal of such a mass from the core of the range most caused further uplift as the region adjusted isostatically in response to the removed weight. Rivers are traditionally believed to be the principal cause of mountain range erosion, by cutting into bedrock and transporting sediment.
Computer simulation has shown that as mountain belts change from tectonically active to inactive, the rate of erosion drops because there are fewer abrasive particles in the water and fewer landslides. Mountains on other planets and natural satellites of the Solar System are isolated and formed by processes such as impacts, though there are examples of mountain ranges somewhat similar to those on Earth. Saturn's moon Titan and Pluto, in particular exhibit large mountain ranges in chains composed of ices rather than rock. Examples include the Mithrim Montes and Doom Mons on Titan, Tenzing Montes and Hillary Montes on Pluto; some terrestrial planets other than Earth exhibit rocky mountain ranges, such as Maxwell Montes on Venus taller than any on Earth and Tartarus Montes on Mars, Jupiter's moon Io has mountain ranges formed from tectonic processes including Boösaule Montes, Dorian Montes, Hi'iaka Montes and Euboea Montes. Peakbagger Ranges Home Page Bivouac.com
Alaska is a U. S. state in the northwest extremity of North America, just across the Bering Strait from Asia. The Canadian province of British Columbia and territory of Yukon border the state to the east and southeast, its most extreme western part is Attu Island, it has a maritime border with Russia to the west across the Bering Strait. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas—southern parts of the Arctic Ocean; the Pacific Ocean lies to southwest. It is the largest U. S. state by the seventh largest subnational division in the world. In addition, it is the most sparsely populated of the 50 United States. Half of Alaska's residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaska's economy is dominated by the fishing, natural gas, oil industries, resources which it has in abundance. Military bases and tourism are a significant part of the economy; the United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire on March 30, 1867, for 7.2 million U. S. dollars at 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. The name "Alaska" was introduced in the Russian colonial period when it was used to refer to the Alaska Peninsula, it was derived from an Aleut-language idiom. It means object to which the action of the sea is directed. Alaska is the northernmost and westernmost state in the United States and has the most easterly longitude in the United States because the Aleutian Islands extend into the Eastern Hemisphere. Alaska is the only non-contiguous U. S. state on continental North America. It is technically part of the continental U. S. but is sometimes not included in colloquial use. S. called "the Lower 48". The capital city, Juneau, is situated on the mainland of the North American continent but is not connected by road to the rest of the North American highway system; the state is bordered by Yukon and British Columbia in Canada, to the east, the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean to the south and southwest, the Bering Sea, Bering Strait, Chukchi Sea to the west and the Arctic Ocean to the north.
Alaska's territorial waters touch Russia's territorial waters in the Bering Strait, as the Russian Big Diomede Island and Alaskan Little Diomede Island are only 3 miles apart. Alaska has a longer coastline than all the other U. S. states combined. Alaska is the largest state in the United States by total area at 663,268 square miles, over twice the size of Texas, the next largest state. Alaska is larger than all but 18 sovereign countries. Counting territorial waters, Alaska is larger than the combined area of the next three largest states: Texas and Montana, it is larger than the combined area of the 22 smallest U. S. states. There are no defined borders demarcating the various regions of Alaska, but there are six accepted regions: The most populous region of Alaska, containing Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Valley and the Kenai Peninsula. Rural unpopulated areas south of the Alaska Range and west of the Wrangell Mountains fall within the definition of South Central, as do the Prince William Sound area and the communities of Cordova and Valdez.
Referred to as the Panhandle or Inside Passage, this is the region of Alaska closest to the rest of the United States. As such, this was where most of the initial non-indigenous settlement occurred in the years following the Alaska Purchase; the region is dominated by the Alexander Archipelago as well as the Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States. It contains the state capital Juneau, the former capital Sitka, Ketchikan, at one time Alaska's largest city; the Alaska Marine Highway provides a vital surface transportation link throughout the area, as only three communities enjoy direct connections to the contiguous North American road system. Designated in 1963; the Interior is the largest region of Alaska. Fairbanks is the only large city in the region. Denali National Park and Preserve is located here. Denali is the highest mountain in North America. Southwest Alaska is a sparsely inhabited region stretching some 500 miles inland from the Bering Sea. Most of the population lives along the coast.
Kodiak Island is located in Southwest. The massive Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta, one of the largest river deltas in the world, is here. Portions of the Alaska Peninsula are considered part of Southwest, with the remaining portions included with the Aleutian Islands; the North Slope is tundra peppered with small villages. The area is known for its massive reserves of crude oil, contains both the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska and the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field; the city of Utqiagvik known as Barrow, is the northernmost city in the United States and is located here. The Northwest Arctic area, anchored by Kotzebue and containing the Kobuk River valley, is regarded as being part of this region. However, the respective Inupiat of the No