By Heather Holliday

Alaska has almost twice as many caribou as people! The population of people in Alaska is around 600,000. More than 1 million caribou populate the state. (Photo: Corbis)

Sleds pulled by teams of dogs were once the primary form of transportation in many areas of Alaska. Dogsleds delivered supplies between residents of the snowbound state. While mushing is still popular for recreation, the most popular means of transportation in the nation's largest state include ferries, ocean barges, trains, and planes. Half of the public roads in Alaska are unpaved. Juneau, the state's capital, has no outside road access and can only be reached by air or water.

Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867. It was a territory until 1959, when it became the 49th state.

Juneau, the capital of Alaska, can only be reached by air or water. It is 600 miles by air southeast of Anchorage, and covers 2,594 square miles of land and 488 square miles of water.

Photo: Corbis

Half of Alaska's population of approximately 550,043 people live in Anchorage. Many U.S. cities have a larger population than the entire state of Alaska. The state's land area is 570,375 square miles, which is larger than the next three largest U.S. states combined.

Alaska borders on two oceans and three seas, while having 3,000 rivers and approximately 3 million lakes. More animals than people live in Alaska, which is home to approximately 430 different species of birds. Bears, deer, elk, moose, and whales also live there. Fishing, mining, oil, and timber are the state's main resources.

In some areas of the state, temperatures can hit extremes of 60 degrees below zero. The northernmost part of the state also has long periods of night and day. The town of Barrow has nearly three months of continuous sunlight beginning in May. However, when the sun sets in November, Barrow receives no sunlight for more than two months.