+ WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF SEEING THE AURORA TONIGHT?
Coldfoot Camp is located directly under the Aurora Oval, so every single night that the weather is clear (about 80% of the time), the aurora is visible from camp and from Wiseman—that means your chances are (usually) pretty good. Check out more information about great aurora viewing at Coldfoot here.
Looking for an official forecast? Click here, or here. Don't be discouraged if the forecast is low. The forecast is usually most helpful outside of the Aurora Oval. That means Coldfoot is the best place to view an aurora when the forecast is low, because we're right under the Aurora Oval. And there are plenty of instances where great displays happen even when the forecast is zero.
A side note: though the aurora is, technically, happening all year round, it's only visible in the winter (late August through mid-April) when the sky is dark.
+ Do you sell gloves, long underwear, boots, scarves, socks, or sunglasses on the premises?
The short answer is: we don’t. You can find find hats, beanies, sweatshirts, t-shirts, and vests in our gift shop, but we don’t sell any other clothing items. If you’re worried about the temperature when you visit, we recommend picking up some extra gear in Fairbanks. Value Village is a thrift store in town that often has an excellent selection of outdoor gear. If you’d rather buy new, there are also several outfitters in town with a large selection of great outdoor gear.
+ Where’s the nearest grocery store? Can I get groceries at Coldfoot Camp?
The nearest grocery stores are ~240 miles in either direction–there are five in Fairbanks and a few inside hotels at Prudhoe Bay. There is a small gift shop at Coldfoot camp, but only souvenir items are sold.
Food is usually only available through the restaurant, but depending on availability, guests may ask to purchase supplies from the kitchen (items such as milk, eggs, bread, onions, coffee, spices, etc.). We cannot guarantee the availability of any of these items, but make sure you ask, because we are usually able to help.
A note: some guests find that the prices we charge for supplies are expensive in comparison to stores in town–this is due to the fact that we have to have our supplies shipped from as far as Anchorage. If you’ll likely need supplies from Coldfoot, make sure you budget for it! If you’d like to buy your own groceries in bulk for a trip up the Dalton, the easiest (and cheapest) way is to stock up on non-perishables at one of the grocery stores in Fairbanks.
+ Is Coldfoot Camp dry?
Nope! Unlike Prudhoe Bay/Deadhorse, it’s completely legal to possess and drink alcoholic beverages in Coldfoot. We even have a small bar–the Frozen Foot Saloon–that serves domestic and locally brewed beers, along with a variety of wines. We do not sell nor do we permit you to bring liquor into the Saloon at this time, but you may bring liquor to enjoy in your room if you wish!
+ Are there trails to or in Gates of the Arctic National Park?
Nope! You’re free to blaze your own trail. Most hiking in our area is bushwhacking, or hiking without any trail. If you’re up for the challenge, many of our coworkers hike on their weekends in the summer and have extensive experience with hikes in the area. We would be happy to point you in the right direction or give you pointers if you request them!
For those who just want to take a relaxed walk outside, there are also walking trails surrounding the visitor’s center across the street. A Coldfoot host or coworker would be happy to provide you a map or give you directions!
+ What’s the weather like right now?
Give us a call and we can give you real-time information.
Banner photo by Kenji Sato.