The Arctic Circle is an imaginary line that circles the North Pole. At the summer solstice, which is just north of the Arctic Circle, there is sunlight 24 hours a day and the sun doesn’t set for over two months. However, the area that lies just north of this imaginary line will remain in total darkness 24 hours and day and not see the sun for two months. Two months of darkness is a good time for the bears to go into hibernation.
Stevens Village, which is a Native Indian Koyukan Athabascan, can be seen from the air by flying over the remote wilderness that surrounds the Yukon River Valley area. There live less than 600 people in this vast region of over 15,000 square miles of territory within the Yukon Arctic Circle and Alaska area. Since the bears tremendously outnumber people, this qualifies as remote wilderness.
Coldfoot Camp, is one of the unrestricted air strips that is located the farthest north in the Arctic Circle. It takes a permit to enter the Prudhoe Bay oil field and travel any further because it is restricted for private aircraft and vehicles. In addition, there are signs to inform visitors there aren’t any services, including gas stations, available between this location and the 240 miles to the Arctic Ocean when visitors travel north from Coldfoot. If a visitor runs out of gas or experiences some other kind of trouble there isn’t any cell phone service to call AAA.
The Coldfoot camp was originally built in 1970 in support of the development of the Dalton Highway and is currently a supply depot for the area. However, the area had over 200 residents in its glory days in the early 1800’s with its rich history as a gold mining settlement at this same location.
Many residents who live in the Arctic Circle use dog sleds pulled by Siberian husky to get around this frozen wonderland. The weather always seems suits to travel by dogsled. If visitors are willing to drive past the ominous signs informing them that travel is restricted, they can drive north out of Coldfoot on the Dalton Highway. However, visitors will be pretty much at the end of the road as far as lodging or any other services are concerned. Visitors can visit the village of Wiseman, which is located about 13 miles north of Coldfoot. It was a one day trip between the two settlements by dogsled or by walking prior to the Dalton Highway in the 1970’s.
However, no experience of traveling in Alaska would be complete without a firsthand experience of the fascinating cultures and the vast wilderness expanses that are part of the awe and wonder of the Arctic Circle in Alaska.