One of the greatest parts of coming to Coldfoot is that, well, there's nothing to do. Your phone doesn't work, there's no reliable internet, and the nearest town is 240 miles away. You're in the middle of nowhere. There's really only three buildings that are a part of the Camp. So: you made it. What now?
Well, we'd argue that much of the real beauty of Coldfoot--and the best parts of the area--aren't necessarily in camp. They're around camp. Just start walking!
The best way to discover Coldfoot and the surrounding areas is on foot. However, because there aren't too many paths or trails, the terrain can be intimidating for novice hikers and experienced hikers alike. This isn't a bad thing, though, it just gives you a chance to blaze your own trail!
If you're feeling overwhelmed: this guide is for you. Check out our picks for the three best hikes around Coldfoot for hikers of all levels.
1) Visitor's Center Trails
The beautiful Alaska Interagency Visitor's Center is located just across the street from Coldfoot Camp. In addition to an array of awesome exhibits on local flora and fauna, as well as a series of fun, informative presentations on the Arctic region, the Visitor's Center also maintains a series of short trails behind the building. Visitors in the mood for a shorter walk or those who would feel safer sticking to a trail can experience a measured taste of Alaskan wilderness, landscape, and wildlife here.
2) The Coldfoot-Chandalar Lake Trail
While the entire Coldfoot-Chandalar Lake Trail is 60 miles long, making it more fit for a backpacking or camping trip than a day-hike, visitors wanting a more rigorous day trip hike can easily tackle a few miles of the Chandalar trail post-breakfast and turn around in time to make it back to camp for the dinner buffet. No sweat! (Well, maybe some sweat.)
3) Hiker's Choice!
Seriously. Most of the mid-level hikes (without trails) will be best found by driving or walking along the highway and scouting a mountain or hill out for yourself. See a hill that looks perfect for a midday picnic? Order a sack lunch from the Cafe, drive on down, then pull over (without blocking the highway or any access roads) and climb it! Part of the magic of the Arctic is that there are very few hiking and camping regulations--so you can experience it exactly how you'd like. Talk about choosing your own adventure!
If nothing on this list sounds like your thing, don't worry. Come on in to the Cafe and chat with a Camp Host about finding a hike (or walk) to suit you. The great majority of us love hiking and exploring around the Brooks Range--it's a big part of the reason many of us live here--so we may be able to give you personalized recommendations for hikes that would suit your specific interests and needs. Just ask!