What is the Biggest State in the U.S.?

by Katrina Cain on June 26, 2008

The biggest state in the United States is Alaska at 1.7 million square kilometers. Texas could fit into Alaska’s borders almost 3 times. Alaska holds the record for being the largest continental state, but not the largest contiguous state; that honor belongs to Texas. In 1959, Alaska was the 49th state to join the US. It was purchased by the United States from Russia in 1867 for 2 cents per acre!

Alaska has the largest coastline of any US State and is bordered by the Canadian territory of the Yukon and the province of British Columbia. Alaska is one of the wealthiest states in the US. Its main revenue comes from exports of oil via the Trans Alaska Pipeline which runs from Prudhoe Bay in the Arctic Ocean to Valdez in the Gulf of Alaska, where it can be shipped to the rest of the US. Seafood is Alaska’s second largest export; mainly salmon, cod, Pollock and crab; Alaskan king crab is a local specialty. Fish are incapable of recognizing international borders and oddly enough, there are no customs booths in the middle of the ocean. This has made for disputes between Canada, Russia and the US about whose fish is whose.

Alaska is well known for its natural beauty and many species of animals call this state home including four species of bear: the Kodiak, the Black, the Grizzly and the Polar bear. Some scientists classify the Kodiak bear as a subspecies of the Brown bear. The Little Brown Bat, the Short Tailed Weasel and the Red Fox are also native to Alaska. The weasel’s fur turns white in the winter, making it valuable to the fur industry.

Alaska is home to Denali National Park with Mt. McKinley, the highest mountain in North America. For more about Mt. McKinley, see what is the biggest mountain in the world? Another interesting fact about Alaska is that it is part of a three way partnership between British Columbia and the Yukon to share ownership of the Kluane/Wrangell-St. Elias/Glacier Bay/Tatshenshini-Alsek Park UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Want to know what is the smallest US state?

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