Wiseman Alaska Northern Lights
Photo Credit: ATIA, Matt Hage



Located just three miles off the Dalton Highway and near the boundary of Gates of the Arctic National Park, Wiseman is a jumping-off point for a wide range of backcountry adventures in the Arctic


Today, less than a dozen people live in Wiseman, a century-old mining town that enjoyed its heyday in the 1920s. Thirty cabins from the gold rush era are still used today, mostly by seasonal residents. It can get cold here in the winter, easily dropping to minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit.


Wiseman’s scenic settling along the Middle Fork of the Koyukuk River and against the backdrop of the Brooks Range give you a sense of its endless backcountry recreation opportunities. Hiking, fishing, river rafting, birding, and wildlife viewing are excellent in summer. In winter, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog mushing, and northern lights viewing are excellent.

Visitors can take a dog sled tour from a local kennel or join guided photography tours and flightseeing trips. A B&B rents out three cozy log cabins. The Wiseman Historical Museum, near the entrance to town, is filled with historic photos and mining equipment. The nearby town of Coldfoot offers additional lodging, tours, visitor services, and the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center, providing travel information and backcountry trip resources for Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Wiseman is 260 miles northwest of Fairbanks and can be reached via the Dalton Highway. Tour companies also lead trips to Wiseman from Fairbanks.


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