Barrow is located 320 miles (515 km) north of the Arctic Circle on the Arctic Ocean in Arctic Alaska. The town has about 4,500 people and holds the distinction of being the northernmost settlement in the United States and the northernmost settlement on the North American mainland. The residents are 61% Iñupiat Eskimo with a very international mix of American, Filipino, Samoan/Tongan, Korean, Thai, Mexican, Hawaiian, and others added. You can expect to hear 5 or 6 languages spoken on any day. Physically it covers about 21 square miles, and is divided into two parts (Barrow and Browerville) separated by a lagoon. Ilisagvik College is located at the site of the old Naval Arctic Research Lab (NARL) about 6 miles towards Point Barrow. The Point is about 12 miles from town and about 2 miles past the end of the road.
Under the Köppen Climate Classification system, Barrow falls under a polar climate. This means very cold and long winters, and short, cool, summers. If you plan to travel here for winter, bundle up. Wind chills easily fall under -30 Fahrenheit. (-34 Celsius). Highs in the summer are usually around 40.
With the exception of an annual summer barge service, Barrow is a fly-in-only city. The airport, Wiley-Post Will Rogers Memorial Airport, is located directly south of the city.
Barrow is very small, and is actually a flat desert that almost never receives large amounts of snow. So it's easy to get around by foot even in the winter. During the colder months, you can walk directly across the frozen freshwater lagoons. Just bundle up and beware of the wind chill!
Walking in Barrow is great fun, as is checking out the beach directly in front of town. However, do not walk past the edge of town on the beach going south and do not walk either the road or the beach going north towards NARL/Ilisagvik/Point Barrow! And if you do see a Polar Bear stay at least 100 yards away, and preferably in a vehicle. Polar Bears absolutely will eat you.
There are several cab companies in town. They are always driving about, and can be flagged down easily. Rates vary between $5-9 around Barrow proper and Browerville.
UIC Car Rental, located near the Barrow Airport, provides car rentals. Availability can be limited during peak times. +1 907 852-2700. Gasoline can also be very expensive, as the price is set only once per year.
The city bus runs Monday thru Friday 7AM-7PM and can be a good option for daily commutes. Visitors, however, will probably be happier taking cabs due to the convenience, as well as the fact that cab fare for a group of 2 or more people will end up costing less money because the bus charges per person.
There are a number of decent restaurants in the Barrow/Browerville area. Expect to pay approximately $15-20+ per meal at most restaurants.
Bars and Clubs