What is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge?

If you have ever wanted to see the real frozen north, you may wish to take a trip to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge! The Arctic Wildlife Refuge consists of almost 20 million acres in Alaska, and this enormous piece of land is dedicated towards the preservation of nature that might otherwise be exploited and destroyed. This is one of the most unspoiled pieces of land on the planet; there is no driving that is permitted within this refuge, and most of it is only accessible through air travel.

Within that vast expanse of land, it only makes sense that there would be such variety when it comes to the terrain that you would find there. There are six different ecozones represented in this refuge, and whether you want to see rolling hills, mountains, rivers, canyons, coasts or tundra, you can see it here. In the north end of the refuge, you will find a number of coastal islands as well as salt marshes and river deltas. You can also find a coastal plain of small lakes, many rivers and tundra, while just south of this, you will run into the very northernmost tip of the Rocky Mountains. After the forested areas, you may find the tundra, a treeless plain, to be a surprise!

One of the most impressive things about the Arctic Wildlife Refuge is the fact that it is home to many endangered species. Simply because it is so large, you would expect many animals to cal it home, but even for an area this enormous, the wildlife is amazing diverse. Some of the most popular park residents include gray wolves, polar bears, caribou, musk oxen, brown bears, black bears, moose and wolverines. You will also see plenty of birds, including golden eagles, snow geese, tundra swans and many species of falcon.

You will also find that the refuge is inhabited by people, as well. The Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation is the Village Corporation of the Inupiat Eskimos in the area, and all of corporations 92,000 acres of land fall within the refuge. Similarly, Venetie Tribal Lands can be found in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge

When looking at the climate of the refuge, you will see that there is usually snow on the ground between September and May, but that you may encounter freezing temperatures at any point of the year. Near the coast, you can expect even cooler temperatures, along with clouds and fog, and there is more rainfall south of the mountains.