It's hard to top—literally—a Top of the World Tour. A day or overnight trip to Utqiagvik offers you the chance to go above the Arctic Circle and see Native life up close. If you come in summer, you'll also get the ultimate Midnight Sun experience—the sun doesn't set from May 10 until August 2.
Flying out of Anchorage or Fairbanks, and often including a stay at the Top of the World Hotel, the tours gives you the chance to explore a whole way of life here: Native culture and whaling are discussed in detail. You'll go along the bowhead whale migration route—a huge part of modern day Inupiat culture. You'll also see the Global Atmosphere Watch monitoring station, and traditional burial grounds.
Tours include the chance to meet local and watch craft-making demonstrations. You may even get to watch an old-style blanket toss: the "blanket" is made several seal skins sewn together and edged with a rope; everyone holds the blanket and "tosses" a dancer in the air. Or, if you're feeling daring, you can take a dip—and quickly submerging yourself—in the icy Arctic Ocean.
- Up-close look at Inupiat culture
- Introduction to modern day whaling culture
- Chance to see local customs such as blanket toss
- Great spot for experiencing midnight sun during summer, and northern lights during winter
Includes tour of village, and introduction to Native life. Departs daily at 12pm, returning at 5pm. Five to six hours.