Alaska-Yukon Cruise Tour

Vancouver, BC

Juneau, AK

Skagway, AK

Whitehorse, Yukon

Dawson City, Yukon

Eagle, AK

Chicken, AK

Tok, AK

Fairbanks, AK

Fort Yukon, AK

Denali National Park

Anchorage, AK

Fort Yukon, Alaska
Journey above the Arctic Circle

Picture pages:   Fort Yukon  |  Plane Ride  

History:   Fort Yukon history

We had a free afternoon in Fairbanks and decided to go above the Arctic Circle to Fort Yukon, which has no roads in or out.   At the Fairbanks airport we had reservations with Warbelow’s Air Ventures, Inc. using a bush single-engine plane for the 80 minute flight.  I had the pleasure of sitting in the co-pilot's seat with the pilot Jason.

We were flying at average speed of 150 mph and 2400 feet altitude.  Some mountains were taller than that as we flew around them.  Below us were Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge, the Yukon River, and some large strip mining operations.

The plane landed on a dirt runway.  Our Athabascan native guides were Richard and Cathy.  The population is about 500.  We were driven around town on dirt streets in an old school bus.

Some of the interesting things mentioned by the guides:

 Temperatures – record high was 86 degrees F. in 1989 and a 10 day period of 75-85 degrees below zero.

New health clinic with a Physician Assistant and 2 nurse practitioners.  The clinic cost $350,000 which Richard thought was very expensive.  It just opened this spring.  No births – women go to Fairbanks hospital.

Electricity is $48/Kw with 40% subsidy for First Nation.  One liquor store, 1 patrolman, no property tax, few have driver’s license, kids ride around town on ATVs.  Lots of new HUD homes costing $86,000 for about 1,000 sq. ft.  No one has car insurance, $6.60/gallon for heating oil.  Gas was $7.76/gallon.

In 2008 there were 8 high school graduates, 20% dropout rate, the high school has 32 students, all with laptop computers, 3 churches.

University of Alaska classes – 2 with AA degrees – serves 9 villages. University uses a satellite system for instruction.  Most families have 8-10 kids.

Last year 60 bear kills, only 100 moose (usually 300 moose per year)

100% conversion to Christianity.  Oral history goes back 600 years.

Very confusing genealogy in small communities.

He showed us the chain-link fence around the airport – dirt runway.  It was mandated by Homeland Security – no terrorists attacks yet.

On the return to the Fairbanks Airport we received our official Arctic Circle Club Certificate. 

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