"Way up in Wiseman, continuing past Coldfoot" Top 5 Page for this destination Alaska Things to Do Tip by PA2AKgirl

Alaska Things to Do: 496 reviews and 834 photos

  Wiseman sign
by PA2AKgirl

Arctic Alaska...I've talked about our trip here to a few people and none of them really understood what this area was like in the summer. For some reason, people believe that this far north, it's always snowy and freezing. While the summer is short, it gets warmer than Anchorage a lot of the time in places like Coldfoot and Wiseman.

I put these 2 settlements together because they serve different purposes but in a close area (especially considering how far other villages/settlements/camps are from here). Right across from the (laughable) exit to Coldfoot, there is an interagency visitor center for the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management (more information on that in another tip). You may think that because this building is so nice, Coldfoot might attractive as well. Not so much.

Coldfoot is a truck stop. It has gas, food, lodging and a bar. All of these places are along a parking lot that serves as "downtown", I suppose. It's made my standards for " highway hubs" drop significantly... but thank goodness it's there for gasoline and maybe to have contact with other people. There is no ATM (not till Deadhorse), the hotel looks crappy (and it's expensive), the food is good (but expensive) and within a minute, you've seen it all. It's time to move on. We did just that, camping a little farther north at Marion Creek.

The next day we went to Wiseman, a town located off the Haul Road/Dalton Highway. You don't expect much after Coldfoot or even Joy and Livengood. However, this place is so cute! It's a small village situated on the Koyukuk River with cute buildings (though a lot have seen better days), a museum, a walking tour, lodging and river access. Bobby has more information on his Wiseman page. The point of this tip is: don't be discouraged by Coldfoot. Get what you need and go to Wiseman.

Address: Coldfoot and Wiseman, Alaska
Directions: Take the Dalton highway to mile 175 for Coldfoot. Continue to 188, turn left at sign & go 3 miles to Wiseman.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Written Jul 25, 2007
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse


PA2AKgirl Used To Live Here!


“A pet should not have a wardrobe”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 2 5 0

Have you been to Alaska?

  Share Your Travels