The city of Anchorage sits on a high bluff between the two branches of Cook Inlet, backed by the Chugach Mountains. It started as a tent camp near Ship Creek, the housing for almost 2,000 workers building the Alaska Railroad in 1915.
Construction of the Alaska Railroad, introduction in 1935 of farming 45 miles north in the Matanuska Valley, the 1940construction of Fort Richardson and Elmendorf Field (now Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson--JBER), discovery of oil in Cook Inlet in 1957, development of the North Slope/Prudhoe Bay oil fields, and the building of the trans-Alaska pipeline, beginning in 1968
The 1964 Good Friday Earthquake, the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in North America, resulted in millions of dollars of damage in Anchorage, mostly from landslides. Evidence of the earthquake can still be seen along the Turnagain Arm near the Alyeska Highway junction at Girdwood. The earthquake caused the land to sink along the Arm, and sea water invaded root systems of trees, causing them to die. Stands of gray tree trunks line this section of the road.
Today, Anchorage is home to nearly half the state's population, and it has fine restaurants, high-rise hotels, a world-class museum, a zoo, theater, art, and music.
Despite its "biggest city" status and urban attractions, Anchorage remains tightly linked to the wilderness that surrounds it. Chugach State Park lies largely within city limits and offers 500,000 acres of accessible hiking, skiing, rafting, and climbing. Chugach National Forest, the nation's second largest, is less than an hour away, and you can catch 40-pound salmon in Ship Creek downtown.
Anchorage is home to many moose, some 350 black bears, and an estimated 55 grizzlies. A system of parks, greenbelts, and biking and walking trails connect neighborhoods with the wilds of Alaska.
Most flights to Alaska arrive in Anchorage, making this a hub for Alaska vacation travelers. Below, you'll find information on Anchorage transportation, hotels, and tours. We also have an Anchorage travel map and list of Anchorage adventures and activities. We're standing by to answer your questions and help you plan and customize your Alaska vacation.
From luxury high-rises to economy chains, Anchorage has a wide variety of hotel accommodations.
Alaska Denali Escapes can arrange Anchorage Alaska day tours and activities including bear viewing and flightseeing.
Ride the Alaska Railroad, tour Kenai Fjords National Park, and explore the Alaska SeaLife Center.
Visit Denali National Park and Kenai Fjords for rafting, sightseeing, and spectacular wildlife and glacier viewing.
Visit Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Denali, and explore Alaska's expansive landscapes, wildlife, history, and culture.