Alaska Tourists Say The Darndest Things!...“Is this the Upper 48?”

The Alaska Life received a lot of feedback from a recent post about the crazy comments or questions some Alaska tourists to the 49th state can make: Nicki Bennett I was hiking Flat Top one day, I started talking to one of the many Alaska tourists who was stopped just before the boulders. She was admiring the view of the inlet. I was telling her to catch her breath and try to make it to the top, that it’s even better up there. She snapped at me and said, that’s easy for you to say- you’re from Alaska. I’m from Georgia, we are at sea level! I very politely pointed to the inlet and said "so are we…" Chris Crago Our guide told us one this weekend. On a kayaking trip a guest asked the guide “how long does it take for a porpoise grow into a full grown whale??” alaska tourists quotes Humpback Whale Sculpture in Juneau, Alaska. Photo by: @juneaujolu via Instagram Dot Keith 10 years as a driver/guide I've heard them all. The best was the guy in my motor coach DEMANDING to know when we turn in the northern lights. In spite of my feeble attempts to educate, it all fell on deaf ears. He and his wife were the last to leave the bus at their hotel. He got in my face and refused to move. I finally said, get up at 2:37 am tomorrow and drove off. It was early Sept., but I did not check back to see if there had been any action that night. It is disconcerting to realize how ignorant so many folks are and have no desire to learn. Paula Lawlor From one of the Alaska tourists in the Copper River Valley - "Who takes care of the wild animals at night? I know the rangers take care of the animals during the day, but who goes out at night to care for them?” Lois Paige Simenson "OMG you guys speak English here! They told us we needed passports to get in from Arkansas." Sandi Noyes Couple years ago, I hit a moose. Talking to insurance adjustor stationed in Florida...I was asked..."Who's pet was the moose.?"  It took a couple seconds for me to answer. alaska tourists quotes 'Giant Jack' at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is just a big puppy. Photo by: MsFoo Connie Williams-Klimes "How far from Denali is Mt McKinley?" Susan McGraw "where can I get Alaskan money?” Lisa Ilutsik Oh God, who mows the tundra? Jeannie Metzger My favorite of the Alaska tourists quotes, "They should cut down some of these trees so we can take better pictures." Timothy W. Walker I work west of Prudhoe Bay and this is similar to people who get sick after a couple of days of being up here (probably dehydrated) and saying they must be getting altitude sick because of the high altitude we are at. You know, because we are almost on top of the world, i.e. way ABOVE the arctic circle. We are actually only about 30 to 40 feet above sea level. Lindsey van Rennes was visiting Matanuska glacier a couple years ago, a lady asked "what chemicals do they use to make the ice look blue??" alaska tourists quotes Photo by: Shivan Pande at the Spencer Glacier. Kate Mcq One time I was talking to a tourist family when I noticed the Dad taking a picture of some dog poop that someone didn’t pick up. He looked up and said “hey honey take a look at the bear dung!”. I just walked away Shelley Johnston Worked at a gift shop in Sitka and a tourist asked me “What kind of grass is baleen?” Because we had a ship made out of it for sale. Cheryl Lemon Laffranchi When I worked at Mckinley Park( I'm old) the 'Peeps' (tourists) always asked " When do the animals go on parade?” alaska tourists quotes Dog team "parades" through downtown Anchorage at the start of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Photo by: Jeff Schultz Amber Mitterling “Is this the Upper 48 since we came from the Lower 48?” Laurie Olsen I worked at Glacier Bay Lodge. People would sit and look out the window and ask “What time do the glaciers go by?” Yvonne McLoud Tourist argues: "I've been to Anchorage before. The sun doesn't set for 8 months!"   For more quotes from our beloved visitors from out-of-state, see our previous piece which highlights some more of what some sourdoughs might get a chuckle at!



Got asked for my passport in Michigan. I try to explain that Alaska is part of the US.

Caryl April 17, 2021

We were hiring a person from Florida to come work and she said she was gonna drive. She said it’s just above Michigan? She never showed up.

Caryl April 17, 2021

When I drove to Oregon, of course I had AK plates on my car. People would often ask me how I got here. I drove. How? Is there a bridge? My reply, Yes, it’s called Canada genius!

Jo April 17, 2021

I half to add a few… working in the hospitality industry in Alaska at our local beautiful Alyeska in the reservation department. I had guests ask me many questions, such as…. When do you turn on all the waterfalls? When do you let all the animals out of cages, I would really like to see a bear. Does the tram go up? Do we half to pay another fee to come down?
On the wall above the fireplace there is a beautiful head of a moose mounted. Two guest from another country were having a serious decussion about what kind of horse they were looking out.
A man and a woman were enjoying the beautiful view as they were riding the tram. The woman turns to me and says. Is that the Arctic ocean pointing to Turnagain mud flat.
It’s amazing how little people really know about Alaska. It’s a beautiful mystery to them.

Tanni April 17, 2021

We drove to Illinois and the concierge asked us where we were from. We told him we drove from Alaska. He stared at us in disbelief. Finally, he found is tongue and said, “You can’t drive from Alaska, you must have taken a boat, right?” After a bit of confusion we realized he believed Alaska was an island (“because it is on all of the maps…right next to Hawaii”).

Kellie Seaman April 17, 2021


Eleanor Balaban April 17, 2021

When I moved to the lower 48,I went to the bank to cash a check.(no debit cards back then) the teller told me” We don’t cash checks from other countries “. I tried to explain that Alaska has been a part of the USA for many years. She didn’t believe me.

Pam Luse Nichols April 17, 2021

My all time favorite silly question……. Doesn’t that many barrels make a lot of noise going through the pipeline?

Diane April 17, 2021

Very funny – thank you for sharing. I have lived here for 49 years, and I have heard quite a bit, but the funniest is when they ask if we really live in igloos and mush dogs. :)

Kimberlee Larrabee April 17, 2021

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