Kaktovik is a city of just under three hundred people on the Beaufort Sea in Arctic Alaska's North Slope Borough.
Kaktovik (the name means "Seining Place") is an isolated Inupiat Eskimo settlement whose subsistence depends upon traditional caribou and whale hunting. This tiny city is on an island in the Beaufort Sea, facing onto the Arctic Ocean; traditionally, Barter Island was a native trading place.
Directly to the south is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a large expanse of federal parkland. An airport was established as part of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) line effort of the Cold War 1950s; in the modern era, more than two thousand people arrive annually (usually in the fall) to see polar bears in the wild. The local road network in the city does not extend beyond the airfield so a visit to this remote location usually entails flying in by bush plane, being transported into town in a van operated by the local hotel, then going back out into the wilds of Alaska with an outfitter.
- 1 Ravn Alaska (BTI IATA), ☏ , fax: . The flight from Fairbanks FAI IATA to Barter Island BTI IATA runs five days a week, taking about 1hr 55min (one way) on a Beechcraft 1900. The return trip is about $1400.
- Kaktovik Arctic Tours, ☏ (mobile). Bear watching, camping and ice fishing with a native Inupiat Eskimo guide.
- Kaktovik Tours, ☏ (mobile). Polar bear safaris, iditarod racing.
- Marsh Creek Inn, ☏ , fax: . Airport pickup van (with advance notice), motel-style rooms with TV/VCR, dining room with three meals daily. $325/person.