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Brooks Range, Coldfoot

#58 of 113 in Nature in Alaska
Mountain · Nature / Park
The Brooks Range (Gwich'in Gwazhał) is a mountain range in far northern North America stretching some 700 miles (1,100 km) from west to east across northern Alaska into Canada's Yukon Territory. Reaching a peak elevation of 8,976 feet (2,736 m) on Mount Isto, the range is believed to be approximately 126 million years old.

In the United States, these mountains are considered a subrange of the Rocky Mountains, whereas in Canada they are considered separate, the northern border of the Rocky Mountains regarded as the Liard River far to the south in the province of British Columbia.
While the range is mostly uninhabited, the Dalton Highway and Trans-Alaska Pipeline System run through the Atigun Pass (1,415 m, 4,643 ft) on their way to the oil fields at Prudhoe Bay on Alaska's North Slope. The Alaska Native villages of Anaktuvuk and Arctic Village, as well as the very small communities of Coldfoot, Wiseman, Bettles, and Chandalar, are the range's only settlements. In the far west, near the Wulik River in the De Long Mountains is the Red Dog mine, the largest zinc mine in the world.

The range was named by the United States Board on Geographic Names in 1925 after Alfred Hulse Brooks, chief USGS geologist for Alaska from 1903 to 1924.

Various historical records also referred to the range as the Arctic Mountains, Hooper Mountains, Meade Mountains and Meade River Mountains. The Canadian portion of the range is officially called the British Mountains. Ivvavik National Park is located in Canada's British Mountains.

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
44 reviews
  • Took a December tour from Coldfoot to just past Atigun Pass. The expansive snow-covered landscape was absolutely beautiful. Our guide, Tim, was very knowledgeable.  more »
  • What a great adventure. We drove on the Dalton over Atigun Pass through the Brooks mountains and was glad we had the chance to do it. It was an additional trip when we visited the Arctic circle and...  more »
  • Lovely!!!! So peaceful and serene.
  • I LOVED the Brooks Range. I can't wait to return!

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