Barrow Travel Guide

  • Barrow
    by JohnBerry
  • Barrow
    by Stephen-KarenConn
  • The Main Street of Downtown Barrow
    The Main Street of Downtown Barrow
    by Stephen-KarenConn

Barrow Things to Do

  • Wading in the Arctic Ocean

    Most people live their entire lifetime without ever seeing the Arctic Ocean. So if you come this far, you might as well get your feet wet. The Arctic Ocean is completely frozen most of the year, but in summer the ice around the shore thaws for several miles out. The beach is comprised of small smooth pebbles, and the water is somewhat warmer than...

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  • Visit the Beach on the Artic Ocean

    The image I have from the air shows that the Artic Ocean in July, 1960 was still full of ice. My Aunt Margaret poses for a photo on the beach without a jacket, although the native boy is wearing one. Note that she is wearing a skirt and probably 3" heals, which as typical for her travel at the time. (My Uncle Chris typically wore a suit and tie...

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  • A walk down main street Barrow in 1960

    Here are the images of town in 1960. Note the unpaved road, the waterfront, and the "shopping mall". At this time all lumber had to be brought in by ship. The local church had a Cessna that provided medical and professional transport for the church. I'm not sure how my aunt and uncle arrived, but they almost certain came by plane.

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Barrow Hotels

See all 3 Hotels in Barrow

Barrow Restaurants

  • Northernmost Mexican restaurant in the...

    Although it is rather pricey, as most merchandise seems to a visitor in this region, it is well worth your time & dollars to stop by Pepe's for lunch or dinner. They also offer pizza and other great dishes. Flautas!

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  • Barrow, Alaska

    The restaurant is a small 6 or 7 table, establishment, run by the owners. Very friendly and great cooks. TRY THE PORK BULGOGI. A korean dish that can be spiced up with a chili sauce. It is to die for. I recomend any of the sushi, and breakfast is the staple, with reindeer sausage. The Korean Fare is great though understated on the Menu. The Bento...

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  • Bigger Servings at Lower Prices

    A local native couple I met in Barrow recommended this restaurant to me as a place that serves bigger portions and charges less money than the restaurants a couple of blocks away but nearer the major tourist hotel. I took their advice and went here for a late supper - around 10 p.m. Since the sun didn't set until after midnight, and then only...

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Barrow Nightlife

  • what night life? :)

    The sun was still shining high at 11pm in April. It was really cool to watch the sun set and then a few hours later see the sun start to rise again. That is something really cool about the place. I don't think I could handle the dark they get during the winter months.

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  • Sunrise sunset

    Sunrise sunset here in Barrow at mid-summer happen within few minutes. As the sunset and before the sky turns dark, there the sunrise again.

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  • yeah_baby's Nightlife Tip

    Non-stop darkness for atleast 65 days is the only nitelife and when I was here, it was considered a 'dry village' so alcohol drinking was prohibited :-(

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Barrow Transportation

  • Will Rogers - Wiley Post Memorial...

    No roads led to Barrow. Water transportation is limited to a few weeks when the ice receeds on the Arctic Ocean during the short summer. Therefore, air is the only practical way for most people to reach Barrow. The airport is within easy walking distance of all three downtown hotels.Alaska Airlines provides two flights daily to Barrow from...

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  • Cab, Walk or Tour Bus

    There are many cab companies here in Barrow, but they are pretty costly. There are no longer any bus services. So you'll either have to rent a car which is about 100$/day or make reservations with one of the local tour buses (Top of The World Hotel/Northernmost Tours).

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  • Top of the World Tundra Tours

    For the average person the most practical, and least expensive, way to see Barrow is to take one of the tours offered through Alaska Airlines from either Anchorage or Fairbanks. Either a day tour or overnight tours are available.Upon arrival in Barrow you will be greeted by your tour guide/driver who will take you on a bus, like the one shown, to...

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Barrow Shopping

  • kcirtip's Profile Photo

    by kcirtip Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Shop offers a fine selection of Hotel gifts as well as Eskimo crafts, jewelry, masks, ivory carvings and baleen items.

    What to buy: King Eider Inn & Barrow Polar Bear shirts, hats, mugs, books, calendars, framed pictures, candies, posters, plush bears and Eskimo crafted items.

    What to pay: Items range from as low as $1 to $400 depending on the item.

    Hats and Shirts

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Barrow Local Customs

  • Eskimo Blanket Toss

    In the Inupiat Heritage Center our tour group saw a demonstration of the Eskimo blanket toss. The young lady in this picture actually touched the ceiling.As effective as a trampoline, the blanket toss (or nalukataq) features a walrus-hide blanket grasped by a number of people in a circle. They toss a person on the blanket as high as possible for as...

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  • Bearded Seal Skin Whaling Boats

    When the ice first breaks in summer several species of whale migrate near the shoreline at Barrow. This bearded seal skin boat, called umiak, and the whalebone and wooden frame for another one, is still used by native subsistance hunters to pursue them. Whaling in the traditional way calls for strong collaboration among participants. If a whale is...

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  • Arctic High Fashion

    Barrow's reigning "Miss Top of the World" and a young friend are seen here modeling winter wear at the Inupiat Heritage Center. Their parkas, hats, mittens, slacks and boots are all hand sewn from the furs and skins of furbearing animals which have been harvested locally. They are designed according to patterns which have been handed down for...

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Barrow Warnings and Dangers

  • Watch Out for Polar Bears!

    According to the local tour operators, the very best time to see polar bears is after the fall whaling season. Although it is possible to see them up here at the Point anytime of the year, October and November allow for the most likely viewing opportunities. In late May and early October, the Eskimo natives go Bowhead whaling. During whaling season...

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  • cold and bears

    I didn't get a chance to see any polar bears but I hear that they can get pretty dangerous when they come through town. Also, watch out for the cold, make sure you are dressed properly and mind the windchill.

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  • Watch for Polar Bears

    Polar Bears are the largest land carnivore on earth, and are the only bear which is known to stalk and hunt man. These giant bears spend most of their lives on the sea ice where their primary food is seals. However, here in the high Arctic it is possible to see a polar bear any time of day or any time of the year. Those who venture outside are...

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Barrow Tourist Traps

  • Top of the World Hotel is one nasty...

    Barrow Alaska's inhospitable Top of the World Hotel was built in 1974 and it shows. The hotel has eroded over the years through numerous ill advised improvement projects into a very old run down lodging facilities serving the unknowing traveling public. The hotel features 50 filthy and poorly furnished guest rooms with very small twin size beds....

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  • Barrow is outrageously...

    Barrow is outrageously expensive, and there is no escaping this fact. Yet the locals and the tourists alike must submit to this reality, as getting goods into Barrow is not like ordering the milk truck to deliver. Being unconnected to anything does have its drawbacks.

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  • An Inupiat Heritage Center, ...

    An Inupiat Heritage Center, exhibits and teaches about the culture. But there's no need to spend the night if your only interest is sightseeing. You can do it in a day and be back in Fairbanks or Anchorage in the evening.

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Barrow What to Pack

  • Bring Your Own Beer!

    During the winter months expect the tires on you suitcase to freeze and break off (if rolling it to your vehicle or hotel) Yes it gets that cold! -40 to -70 below zero at times. Dress warm! You are at the northernmost Eskimo city in the US of A. Bring a GPS if going boating or camping, they're very handy especially if you get lost in a snow...

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  • Be Prepared for Arctic Weather

    Weather in Barrow can change by the hour. Visitors should bring a jacket, hat and gloves no matter the season. Summer temperatures average around 40 F, and in winter it can reach 60 below zero, or colder. Be prepared for severe winter weather September through May. Pack a heavy coat, hat, gloves, warm boots and face covering. During "breakup" in...

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  • Packing List

    Packs are an ideal choice, as they can get wet, exposed to the slush and snow and dirt. Goretex is a must when spending time in the unpredictable, harsh elements. This includes boots and outerwear. Layers are key for clothing, fleeces a good idea. Cotton is a no no, wear wicking underlayers. The idea is to keep warm and dry. Sunglasses,...

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Barrow Off The Beaten Path

  • Visit the Utqiagvik Presbyterian Church

    The church has a long history in the area, having first established the first school in Barrow by late 1890's. By 1906, church service, hymns, etc. are conducted in the native language of Inupiaq. The church has consistently maintained schools and medical services, in addition to worship services since that time. By the time of my aunt and uncle's...

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  • DRIVE TO THE POINT............

    WHALE WHICH HAS BEEN HUNTED AND BUTCHERED..........AND THE REMAINS LEFT FOR THE POLOR BEARS TO EAT.............

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  • BARROW PONT...............HERE I COME IN...

    WE RENTED A HUMMBER WITH A DRIVER AND DROVE TO THE FURTHEREST POINT OF BARROW.............MY GPS SYSTEM INDICATED THAT I WAS NOT ON LAND.....BUT I WAS

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Barrow Sports & Outdoors

  • Join the Polar Bear Club

    All it takes to join the Polar Bear Club is to take a plunge completely beneath the waters of the Arctic Ocean, and pay a lifetime dues of $10.00. For that you get a patch and a certificate giving the time, date, and water temperature for when you took the plunge.Two young men from Pittsburgh, PA, who were on our tour bus became new Polar Bear Club...

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  • SWIM IN THE...

    FOR THE BRAVE AND THE ADVENTURES YOU CAN JOIN THE POLOR BEAR CLUB BY DIPPING IN THE ARTIC OCEAN....................TOO COLD ................NOT FOR ME PLEASE.............

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  • Barrow Hotels

    3 Hotels in Barrow

    1 Reviews

Barrow Favorites

See all 10 Favorites in Barrow
  • Barrow National Forest

    There are no trees in the Arctic, but someone in Barrow has a sense of humor. These three "palm trees" stand near the northernmost house seen in the last tip. The trunks are made of driftwood, the leaves are the long fringed bonelike strips which hang from the upper jaw of baleen whales, and the coconuts are real. Laying on the ground are whale...

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  • Imaiqsaun Cemetary

    Just beyond the satellite dishes on the southwest end of Barrow you will see Imaiqsaun Cemetary, where remains of ancestors excavated at the many archaeological sites around Barrow have been respectfully reburied. Here is the final resting place of the famous "Frozen Family" excavated from Mound 44 in the early 1980's. Also at rest here is a...

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  • Northernmost house in America

    About five miles north of Barrow, on the road to Point Barrow, is a cluster of rustic cabins which comprise the Pigniq "Shooting Station." These small homes are used during summer as a hunting camp for the natives of Barrow who come here to hunt ducks, seals, walrus, and even polar bears.One of the nicest of these cabins (pictured) is the one...

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