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Southeast Alaska, also known as the Alaska Panhandle, covers the northern coastline west of British Columbia. The place is sparsely populated and most people live in or near Juneau which is Alaska's capital city since 1906.
It includes part of the  Inside Passage, a shipping lane that connects Washington State with Alaska.
Roads are sparse, the few towns and settlements are all located at the coast and are serviced by the Alaska Marine Highway system.
In summer many cruise ships join the traffic.
Thanks to a mild and rainy climate the rugged terrain with islands and mountains is heavily forested, most of the panhandle is part of the very large Tongass National Forest.
The Tlingi peoples are the original inhabitants, their culture goes back 10.000 years ago and they maintain their age-old matrilineal societal system.
In the 18th century the first Europeans showed up in th form of Russian trappers.
From 1897 to 1899 Haines and Skagway were important ports of debarkation for the stampeders that rushed to the Klondike gold.
Southeast Alaska is famous for its natural beauty and features many national parks and monuments, of which Glacier Bay is the best known.
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