Urban and wild are not opposites; they are Anchorage’s two defining elements. There is no need to choose one or the other since they are both part of life in Anchorage. Anchorage lives under midnight sun and auroras, shares the backyard with moose, fishes in urban salmon streams at lunch, and cheers runners and reindeer on the main street. The city’s adventures may be beyond belief, but they are not beyond the boundaries.
Anchorage by the Numbers
With a population of 298,190, Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city with 41 percent of the state’s population.
Anchorage, and virtually all of Alaska, is in Alaska Standard Time, one hour behind Pacific Standard Time and four hours behind Eastern Standard Time. It covers 1,961 square miles from Portage Glacier to Eklutna – about the size of the state of Delaware.
Metro + Moose
Anchorage might appear at first glance to be a typical American city, but closer exploration shows some surprising facets of urban life in Alaska. The city’s 300,000 human residents share their space with an estimated 1,500 moose, not to mention bald eagles, bears, beavers, Dall sheep, and the occasional lynx. King and silver salmon fill Ship Creek all summer long, drawing anglers to one of the world’s only urban salmon fisheries. Just a block away, the Alaska Railroad’s largest passenger depot is at the center of train travel, as it has been for more than a century. For access to spots beyond the reach of road or rail, with many sightseeing tours by plane or helicopter take off from the city. A bustling seaplane base at Lake Hood has planes casting off from docks near hotels and homes. There are around 600 takeoffs and landings on the big days, and many sightseeing tours by plane or helicopter.
The aerial view says a great deal about Anchorage. Flying over the city, green is the prevailing color. Broad natural spaces like Far North Bicentennial Park, Kincaid Park are set aside. Paths following Chester and Campbell creeks knit the city together in a network of paved trails.
Farther east, the Chugach Mountains rise quickly. Filled with trails, glaciers, rivers, and wildlife, the Chugach are where locals go to unwind and enjoy the outdoors. One of the largest state parks in the nation is 20 minutes or less from most offices and neighborhoods.
To the west, the city is on the edge of Cook Inlet, so a trip along the Coastal Trail lends good views of the Alaska Range and Denali, and a drive down Turnagain Arm means an occasional beluga whale cameo.
To read more about Anchorage: https://www.anchorage.net/plan-your-trip/about-anchorage/