Alaska holds a prized place on many bucket lists, but a trip to the Arctic Circle is a rare treat, even for those lucky enough to check the northernmost state off family travel wish lists. Getting there can be tricky and requires a true dedication to exploration, but the payoff is enormous and well worth the time and effort.
Northern Alaska Tour Company offers a wide array of tours to experience the rugged, untamed wilderness of Alaska. Ideal for families with older or adult children, its Arctic Circle Fly Drive Adventure takes you north from Fairbanks along the famed Dalton Highway. As you head deep into the boreal forest and north to the frozen tundra, the knowledgeable guides point out interesting sites like Pedro Dome and the point where the grid officially ends. Guides are also always on the lookout for local wildlife like moose, caribou, arctic wolves, ptarmigans and porcupines. With stops to view the Trans-Alaska Pipeline up close and visit a trading post at the only Yukon River crossing, you have the chance to stretch your legs while taking in the vast enormity of the Alaskan wilds.
The bus takes you all the way to the Arctic Circle crossing, where a smaller transport will take you the rest of the way to an overnight stay at Coldfoot Camp, a work camp originally built for the gold rush miners. These days, the camp, which features rustic motel-style accommodations, is primarily used for pipeline workers, scientists and those adventurous travelers looking to push the boundaries of exploration.
Coldfoot is surrounded by great hiking trails with the beautiful snow-capped Brooks Mountain Range in the background. You can spend your evening hiking and enjoying a great meal at the camp café.
The Arctic Mountain Safari is a great option for your morning in Coldfoot, as it takes you further north into the snow-covered Brooks Range to the Atigun Pass where you will cross the Arctic Continental Divide. After a morning of exploring on foot or on tour, you will board a small airplane to return to Fairbanks. You’ll enjoy stunning views of the Yukon River snaking its way through the landscape as your pilot points out the sites and tells fascinating stories about local history.
Your stay can be extended for additional days to get a true feeling for what it’s like to live in this isolated corner of the world, and Northern Alaska Tour Company offers numerous other tour options like Denali National Park and an overnight journey by air to Utqiaġvik, the farthest north Inupiat Eskimo village. Whichever option you choose, you will experience a part of the world few people are lucky enough to see.
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