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North America > United States of America > Alaska > Arctic Alaska > Kaktovik


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Kaktovik is a city of just under three hundred people on the Beaufort Sea in Arctic Alaska's North Slope Borough.


Barter island village

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.

Get in[edit]

  • 1 Ravn Alaska (BTI IATA), +1 907 266-8394, fax: +1 907 266-8391. 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. Barter Island LRRS Airport (Q2789750) on Wikidata Barter Island LRRS Airport on Wikipedia

Get around[edit]







  • Marsh Creek Inn, +1 907 640-5500, fax: +1 907 640-2026. Airport pickup van (with advance notice), motel-style rooms with TV/VCR, dining room with three meals daily. $325/person.


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