Destination Guides

The Atlas of Alaska: All the Places Named Alaska in the World

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Sometimes, I get a wild hair while running this site. I focus so much on Alaska, and I occasionally come across a funny or fascinating topic I can’t help but write about. That could be anything from why Denali National Park has no iconic hotel to how to visit Hope or Chicken (yes, both are real towns), or from tracing the origins of the Duck Fart – Alaska’s one claim to libationary fame – to the history of Alaska’s last (and next) solar eclipse.

In this post, I’m focusing on something completely different: Alaska, but also not Alaska. Below, you’ll find a list of all the places named Alaska in the world, some of which are also in Alaska, and all of which are way less popular destinations than Alaska… though I definitely want to try and visit a few of them!

Places Named Alaska Hero
One of these mountains is probably “Alaska Peak!”

Whatever brings you to this post (curiosity? confusion? you just love my blog that much?), I hope you find reading about this particular topic – an “atlas of Alaska” places – as interesting as I did in writing it. And even if you never visit any of these places, peaks, and parts of the world, I hope you’re inspired to at least visit the One True Alaska – The Last Frontier.

Where Does the Name “Alaska” Come From?

According to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs, the name Alaska comes from an Eskimo word alakshak, which means peninsula.

However, the State of Alaska has a different story; “Alaska” comes from the Aleut word alaxsxaq, meaning “the mainland” or literally “the object towards which the action of the sea is directed.” It is also derived from the root of the same word as alyeska, meaning “great land.” (Hopefully, this helps you understand the name of the famous resort in Girdwood!)

In either case, it’s clear that Alaska is a Native word – and may well have been quite common across cultural groups since these peoples may well have interacted in the millennia since humans first arrived in this part of the world. (It’s also worth noting that in this case, many Native Alaska groups claim the land since “Time Immemorial,” which is an accurate term too.)

Map of Places Named Alaska

Places Named Alaska Map
Click to interact with the map.

Places Named “Alaska” in… Alaska!

It might seem silly to start with the places named Alaska in Alaska, but there are a few:

  • Alaska Island – Located off the coast in far Arctic, Alaska Island is part of the Maguire Islands archipelago. It’s so small, you need the GPS coordinates to find it on Google Maps!
  • Alaska Peak – Bordering the Frederick Sound in Southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage, this small mountain is easy to miss – but has a great name!
  • Unalaska – Both an island and community on said island, Unalaska is part of Southwest Alaska’s Aleutian chain stretching out into the Pacific Ocean.

Places Named Alaska in the USA…

…other than Alaska itself, of course! Here are the places in the contiguous U.S. (what we Alaskans call the “Lower 48” or “outside”) that have named themselves (or been named) after The Last Frontier:

  • Alaska, Indiana – Despite having called Indianapolis home for 3 years, I never knew there was a(n unincorporated) town named “Alaska” less than an hour southwest of the city!
  • Alaska, Michigan – I’ve also been to Grand Rapids, Michigan, which is just 20 minutes from this small community… Next trip, I guess…
  • Alaska, New Mexico – A former railroad station, this small populated area is west of Albuquerque and just off Interstate 40. (I would have driven by on my northern New Mexico road trip plan back in 2022, but my travel plans changed when Mr. V fell ill… again, saving this for a future trip!)
  • Alaska, Pennsylvania – Northeast of Pittsburgh along I-80, this populated area is so small it’s generally considered part of Brookville.
  • Alaska, Wisconsin – At the southern end of the Door Peninsula, the unincorporated town of Alaska is most notable for its East Alaska and West Alaska Lakes – which draw fishers – and close access to Lake Michigan.
  • Alaska Basin Trail, Wyoming – A 7.5-mile out-and-back trail in Grand Teton National Park, this is one of the most bucket list-worthy places named Alaska on the list – it’s certainly on mine!
  • Alaska Hill, Colorado – West of Boulder in the foothills of the Rockies, Alaska Hill is actually taller (6893ft) than many Alaskan mountains. (The Chugach Mountains near Anchorage average just 4,000ft!)
  • Alaska Lake, Minnesota – In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Alaska Lake sits on the border of the Red Lake Reservation, about two hours from where my parents live in Northern Minnesota.
  • Alaska Mountain, Washington – Located along the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington‘s North Cascades, Alaska Mountain rises to 5745ft in total, and is a reasonable day hike from Seattle, if you’re up for the challenge.
  • Alaska Peak, California – Drawing on the gold rush connection between the Last Frontier and the Golden State, you can find Alaska Peak in the northern Sierras along Highway 49 (“The Golden Chain Highway”).
  • Alaska Peak, Montana – Part of the Cabinet Mountains in northwest Montana, Alaska Peak would require backcountry hiking to reach.
  • Onalaska, Texas – Home to roughly 3,000 people, Onalaska sits on the banks of Lake Livingston north of Houston.
  • Onalaska, Washington – About halfway between Seattle and Portland, Washington State’s Onalaska is an unincorporated community that’s home to about 650 people.
  • Onalaska, Wisconsin – Just north of Lacrosse, Onalaska in Wisconsin is the largest American community of this name, and is home to almost 19,000 people.

Other Places Named Alaska in the World

Through my research, I also found some other places named Alaska in the world. Most are unincorporated, rural, or natural destinations – much like they are in the U.S., and well, in Alaska itself as a whole! Here are those places:

  • Alaska, Costa Rica
  • Alaska’s Lake, Ontario, Canada
  • Cerro La Alaska, Colombia 
  • Mount Alaska, New Zealand

Do you know of any other places named Alaska in the world? Or have questions about these ones? Let me know in the comments below!

Help others discover this post too!

I was born on the East Coast and currently live in the Midwest – but my heart will always be out West. I lived for 15 years in Alaska, as well as four years each in California and Washington. I share travel resources and stories based on my personal experience and knowledge.

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