Activity of the Week: Journey to the top of the world

07/08/2010 Back To Blog

As Alaskans, we have experienced almost everything — from snowstorms in May to moose staking claim on our gardens. We have fought the mighty kings of the Kenai, skied the north face of Mount Alyeska and taken a boat to the face of a calving glacier. So it’s not hard to imagine that without even leaving the Last Frontier, the chance to visit somewhere truly unique — almost out of this world — is right at our fingertips.

The Arctic Circle Air Adventure departs from Fairbanks heading north above the heartland — over the mighty Yukon River, home to Native villages and above Brooks Range where herds of caribou graze on the tundra. The flight traverses gold-mining fields that brought so many people to this land in the first place and continue to operate nearly 100 years later. The stark metal of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline sparkles in the sunlight, clearly amiss in the green and brown landscape, yet striking in its construction; an icon of the fascinating history of Alaska’s Arctic region.

Soon after passing just south of the Gates of the Arctic National Park, the plane crosses the Arctic Circle and makes a ceremonious landing at a wilderness community on the Middle Fork Koyukuk River. You’ll walk away with a large collection of digital photos and an official Arctic Circle certificate, a testament to your adventure to a land where few have traveled.

If you go: You can book this adventure at the Tour Desk of the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge. The Arctic Circle Air Adventure is just under five hours and requires a moderate level of activity. Children are welcome, but those under five must be accompanied by a car seat. Prices start at $375 per person.

“Activity of the Week” is a weekly blog series that profiles adventures, destinations and tour operators from across Alaska.