If you already live in Alaska, you know its virtues and why people love living here. Alaska is the largest state in the Union, at 663,268 square miles (over twice the size of Texas), and was admitted as the 49th state on January 3, 1959. The population is around 750,000, and the state has more than 3,000,000 lakes. Dog mushing is the official state sport, and the state even has its own time zone.
The seat of state government is in the capital, Juneau, located in the Southeast rainforest region and accessible only by boat or plane. Alaska has 34,000 miles of tidal shoreline, more miles of coastline that the lower 48 states combined, and one of the world's largest tides. Because the Aleutian Islands extend into the Eastern Hemisphere, Alaska is the easternmost, westernmost, and northernmost U.S. state.
Comprising about 15% of the population, Alaska Native peoples include the Iñupiat, Yupik, Aleut, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, and several Northern Athabaskan cultures. There are many online sources for fascinating facts about Alaska.
About the Matanuska-Susitna Valley
The Mat-Su Valley, or simply "The Valley," is growing by leaps and bounds! It includes three river valleys: the Matanuska, the Knik, and the Susitna, formed by the Alaska Range, the Talkeetna Mountains, and the Chugach Mountains. It is the fastest growing area in Alaska and officially includes Big Lake, Houston, Palmer, Talkeetna, Wasilla, and Willow.
The region is governed by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, which covers 23,000 square miles and encompasses more towns. There are 31 state parks and campgrounds, and the seat of state agriculture is located here. Talkeetna is the starting point for Denali climbers.