Location/Climate: On north bank of Yukon River at confluence of Yukon and Porcupine Rivers, 145 air miles northeast of Fairbanks. 14"/yr. precip., 44"/yr. snowfall, -76°F80°F.
Population: 663 (85 percent native).
Travel Attractions: Native town, Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge access, river travel center, northern lights viewing.
Getting There: Charter riverboat from Circle; scheduled or charter air service.
Information: Contact one of the lodges below or a Fairbanks flying service (see the Appendix).
Situated on the Arctic Circle at the confluence of the Porcupine and Yukon Rivers, Fort Yukon was established by Alexander Murray in 1847 as the Hudson Bay Trading Company’s outpost, about a mile upstream of its current location. Gwichin Athabascan Indians used the post as a trading center. Today, descendants of the Yukon Flats, Chandalar River, Birch Creek, Black River, and Porcupine River Gwichin tribes are the primary residents. Subsistence, government, and native and village corporation jobs occupy most residents, with tourism and visitor services a small segment of the economy.
With regular air service, Fort Yukon holds two primary attractions for visitors. It serves as a good base for several possible river trips, including a float from Circle. It is also known by winter visitors as a great place to view the northern lights. See the Appendix for outfitters who offer exploration possibilities.
Where to Stay and Eat in Fort Yukon
Betty’s Bed and Breakfast, 662-2558. The only option in this traditional native community. Northern lights viewing in winter.