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If you think Far North Alaska is nothing but snow and cold, think again. Come to this region for great opportunities to view diverse landscapes and learn about the history of the indigenous people.
Watch for unusual wildlife that you won’t find in the lower 49 states of the U.S. Polar bears have natural camouflage against snowy white landscapes. Caribou roam the countryside, looking like reindeer ready to pull Santa’s sleigh.
Travel north of the Arctic Circle to Brooks Range, America’s northernmost mountain chain, where thousands of caribou migrate each year. Backpack through the peaceful wilderness past isolated mountains. Fly, boat or snowmobile into Cape Krusenstern National Monument, with 70 miles (110 kilometers) of shoreline on the Chukchi Sea. In Kobuk Valley National Park, see sand dunes left behind by glacial movement. Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is a pristine wilderness of meandering rivers where native Alaskans live off the rugged land as their ancestors did thousands of years ago. Selawik and Arctic national wildlife refuges are the homelands for moose, ermine, wolves, muskox and many more animals.
On the domestic animal side, mush a dogsled over the snow. Watch portions of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, with the finish line in Nome. In this town on the coast of the Bering Sea, learn about Inupiaq Eskimo heritage, enjoy birdwatching amid summer wildflowers or join a tour panning for gold.
From tiny Wales, Alaska, look west and reflect on the 1867 U.S. purchase of the Alaskan territory from Russia, only 55 miles (88 kilometers) away across the Bering Strait. Ancestors of North American species may have crossed this expanse when it was a land bridge or frozen ice.
Anyone can enjoy the more popular tourist activities of Far North Alaska. Visitors with Arctic winter survival skills and equipment will find the extreme challenges of this region richly rewarding. Amid the expansive space with very low population, find your own private space to enjoy nature in its most rugged form.