The Far North is an immense region that embodies the vision of Alaska that visitors and Alaskans both share: vast, remote, rich with wildlife and natural resources. The region covers the land that lies primarily west of the Yukon River and north of the Arctic Circle. The main transportation hub to reach the Far North is Fairbanks, with flights beginning or ending there before connecting on to Anchorage and beyond. Daily flights are available to Barrow, Nome, and Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay.

In addition to flight service, the Dalton Highway connects Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay. The highway is an unsealed gravel road and not recommended for private vehicles. However, the tour route provides excellent views of the vast tundra landscape and the Alaska Pipeline. The Far North is an excellent location to experience Alaska's culture and history. Whether guests wish to experience rural Alaska on a day excursion or spend multiple days, the Far North is never out of reach.

Arctic Circle

For those interested in traveling to the Arctic region we recommend planning more time in Fairbanks, as it is the jumping off point for tours. The Arctic Circle is the latitude where the sun does not set on summer solstice, June 21st, and does not rise on winter solstice, December 21st. When guests cross the famed Arctic Circle they will often receive a certificate signaling this accomplishment.

Day trips are popular and often offered as an optional excursion to an itinerary. Tours vary from two hours to a whole day, and can offer a landing at a local village. In addition, there are tours that include a cultural visit to Anaktuvuk Pass, located in the Brooks Range at the heart of Gates of the Arctic National Park. Tours including a scenic float trip on the Koyukuk River and flightseeing of the Brooks Range are also available.

Barrow

Archaeological sites in the Barrow area indicate there were Inupiat people living on the land for thousands of years. Barrow's population is 68% Alaska Native, the majority of which are Inupiat Eskimos. Traditional marine mammal hunting and other subsistence practices are an active part of the culture.

There are many artifacts in the area that have yet to be recovered. Please respect the culture, obey the laws, and refrain from digging for artifacts in and around Barrow. Instead, look for displays around town and you will learn about efforts to protect the Inupiat heritage.

While Barrow is known for its efforts in preserving Inupiat culture, its other claim to fame is unusual daylight hours. Though visitors to Alaska experience longer daylight hours throughout much of the state, during the peak summer months the sun does not set in Barrow for 82 days.

Accessibility

Barrow is only accessible by scheduled air carrier from Anchorage or Fairbanks and often requires a stopover in Prudhoe Bay. Available scheduled service can be spotty, so visitors wishing to include a visit to Barrow should plan for some flexibility with tour dates.

Activities & Attractions

  • Eskimo Culture - Local guides will share their knowledge of the environment and animal behavior, which continues to be essential for the day-to-day survival of Alaska's Inupiat Eskimos. You can learn the ceremonies and traditions of the 4,000 year-old Native culture while touring the new Inupiat Heritage Center, take part in Native dances, and see a demonstration of the traditional blanket toss.
  • Inupiat Heritage Center - The Heritage Center is part museum, part meeting space, and part cultural venue for the Inupiat Natives. The museum includes items from the "Frozen Family," a home built centuries before Caucasian contact, which was found buried in permafrost complete with its original occupants. The center also includes performance space for dances, artisan workshops, and the areas best Native arts and crafts store.
  • Post Rogers Memorial - The airport memorial commemorates humorist Will Rogers and his pilot, Wiley Post, who were killed in a 1935 airplane crash. There is another monument at the crash site, 15 miles south of Barrow.

Accommodation

There is limited lodging available in Barrow.

Dining

There are a variety of restaurants in this Far North town.

Nome

Nome is located on the Seward Peninsula next to the Bering Sea. Late in the 19th century, prospectors found gold near Nome, prompting the last big gold rush in Alaska. Nome provides access to nearly 250 miles of surrounding roads, which visitors can use to explore the surrounding tundra countryside and discover pristine, untouched wilderness.

While exploring the Seward Peninsula in the summer's extended daylight hours, you will have the opportunity to discover wildflowers, moose, reindeer, caribou, birds, and seals. The area also offers excellent fishing for salmon, Arctic char, and grayling.

Accessibility

Though there is a limited road system from Nome that connects it to other nearby communities along the Seward Peninsula, these roads are not connected to the rest of the state. Nome is most frequently accessed by scheduled air service from Anchorage. Smaller regional carriers also connect Nome to other remote Alaskan communities.

Attractions & Activities

  • Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum - Visitors can browse 6,000 historical photos, and other exhibits, of the gold rush and Native life.
  • Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race - Nome's most exciting annual event is the conclusion of the world's most famous dogsled race, the Iditarod. The race spans 1,049 miles from Anchorage to Nome and commemorates the 1925 diphtheria epidemic, which was eradicated when mushers relayed serum to Nome.
  • Native Art - Nome has one of the best selections of Inupiat arts and crafts anywhere in Alaska. Walrus ivory is a local specialty but shoppers will find other types of carvings and handicrafts that are priced reasonably compared to Anchorage standards.
  • Seward Peninsula - With more than 300 miles of developed roads, Nome is the only place in the Far North where you can explore a great deal by vehicle.
  • Roads - Nome-Council road runs east past the ghost town of Solomon, known for the "Last Train to Nowhere." The Nome-Teller Road includes the village of Teller, an authentic Arctic Native village, as well as an opportunity to see wild musk oxen.

Accommodation

There are several small inns and one large motel. Booking early is recommended, especially for the Iditarod.

Dining

Nome may be small but it is filled with something for everyone in the cafés and diners.


Alaska Regions:

Southcentral | Southwest | Southeast | Interior | Far North | Yukon, Canada

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