Alaska Bear Viewing Tours departing from Anchorage, Brown bear viewing trips from 1 to 7 days to Katmai Brooks Falls, Lake Clark, Savonoski Loop, and Bear Viewing and Giant Icebergs. Outdoor Photography Alaska Brown Bears, Grizzly Bears and Black Bears in Alaska.

killer whale fin
Seward Sea Kayaking tours Alaska tour packagesWeb Special Alaska toursNational Geographic Adventure TravelAlaska Certified travel expert ATIA Seward Sea Kayaking tours
Alaska Cruises Fairbanks, Alaska (FAIR-banks)
Recommended Activities and Tours  •  Lodging  •  Recommend Reading

Current Population: 31,535 (2010)
Borough Located In: Fairbanks North Star Borough
Taxes: 8% Bed

Location and Climate
Fairbanks is located in the heart of Alaska's Interior, on the banks of the Chena River in the Tanana Valley. By air, Fairbanks is 45 minutes from Anchorage and 3 hours from Seattle. It lies 358 road miles north of Anchorage. The community lies at approximately 64.837780° North Latitude and -147.716390° West Longitude (Sec. 10, T001S, R001W, Fairbanks Meridian). Fairbanks is located in the Fairbanks Recording District. The area encompasses 31.9 sq. miles of land and 0.8 sq. miles of water.

Interior Alaska experiences seasonal temperature extremes. Average January temperatures range from -19 to -2; average July temperatures range from 53 to 72. Annual precipitation is 11.5 inches, with 67.8 inches of snowfall. Temperatures have been recorded as low as -62 in mid-winter, and as high as 96 in summer. During the winter months, if the temperature drops below -20 degrees Fahrenheit, ice fog can occur. Fairbanks is known for its lingering summer days. When the solstice arrives, there is more than 22 hours of daylight.

History, Culture and Demographics
Koyukon Athabascans have lived in this area for thousands of years. In 1901, Capt. E.T. Barnette established a trading post on the Chena River - "Barnette's Cache." A year later, gold was discovered 16 miles north of the post. The town grew as the Chena steamboat landing brought many prospectors during the Pedro Dome gold rush. Fairbanks was named in 1902 after Indiana Senator Charles Fairbanks, who became Vice President of the U.S. from 1905-1909. In 1903, Judge Wickersham moved the seat of the Third Judicial District from Eagle to Fairbanks. The population of the area continued to increase as Fairbanks became the hub of the Interior, with the addition of the court, government offices, a jail, a post office, and the Northern Commercial Company. Barnette was elected as the first Mayor of the City of Fairbanks in 1903, and established telephone service, fire protection, sanitation ordinances, electricity and steam heat. He also founded the Washington-Alaska Bank. By 1910, the official population had grown to 3,541, although more than 6,000 miners lived and worked their claims on creeks north of town. Ladd Field (now Fort Wainwright) was constructed in 1938. Construction of the Alcan Highway in the 1940s and the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline in the 1970s fueled growth and development.

The Fairbanks area is the second-largest population settlement in Alaska.

According to Census 2010, there were 13,056 housing units in the community and 11,534 were occupied. Its population was 10 percent American Indian or Alaska Native; 66.1 percent white; 9 percent black; 3.6 percent Asian; 0.8 percent Pacific Islander; 7.9 percent of the local residents had multi-racial backgrounds. Additionally, 9 percent of the population was of Hispanic decent.

Economy and Transportation
As the regional service and supply center for Interior Alaska, Fairbanks has a diversified economy, including city, borough, state, and federal government, transportation, communication, manufacturing, financial, and regional medical services. Tourism and mining also comprise a significant part of the economy. Fort Wainwright is located within the city limits. In 2011, 6,670 military personnel were stationed on Fort Jonathon Wainwright . The near-by University of Alaska Fairbanks is the largest employer. Fairbanks is one of Alaska's major tourism spot and its airport is a gateway to international destinations. In 2010, 109 city residents held commercial fishing permits, mostly in the Yukon River salmon fishwheel and gillnet fisheries.

Fairbanks is at the confluence of the Richardson Hwy., George Parks Hwy., Steese Hwy., and Elliott Hwy., connecting the Interior to Anchorage, Canada and the lower 48 states. The Dalton Highway to Prudhoe Bay begins about 75 miles north of town. Goods are transported to Fairbanks by truck, air, and the Alaska Railroad. Regularly-scheduled jet flights are available at the State-owned Fairbanks International Airport. An 11,800' asphalt runway, heliport and seaplane landing strip are available. A public seaplane base is also located on the Chena River. In addition, there are several privately-owned airstrips and heliports in the vicinity.

Fairbanks Visitor Information and Recommend Activities


Fairbanks Lodging, Hotels and Bed & Breakfast


Recommend Reading


Alaska Travel hotline

Backcountry Safaris
P.O. Box 1397 Seward, Alaska USA 99664
1-907-222-1632 or toll-free 1-877-812-2159
Alaska Cruise Expert

Alaska travel package
Web Specials
Make reservations for one of our Alaska sea kayaking adventures before Janurary 15th and save 15% Seward, Alaska Sea Kayaking Trips

Sea Kayaking Related Links
Kenai Fjords Related Links
Kenai Fjords Wildlife
Kenai Fjords Birds
Suggested Alaska Reading
Kenai Fjords Historic Resource Study (online book) by Linda Cook and Frank Norris
Exploring Alaska's Kenai Fjords by David Miller
Kenai Fjords Park - Trails Illustrated Map
Alaska: A Novel by James A. Michener
Alaska: A History of the 49th State by Claus-M Naske and Herman E. Slotnick
Guide to the Birds of Alaska by Robert H. Armstrong
Wild Flowers of the Yukon, Alaska by John G. S. Trelawny
Coming into the Country by John McPhee
Travels in Alaska by John Muir
Kenai Fjords Weather
Current Seward, AK Weather
Click for Seward, Alaska Forecast

Did You Know?
City Of Anchorage. In 1915 President Woodrow Wilson authorized funds for the construction of the Alaska Railroad. Ship Creek Landing was selected as the headquarters of this effort. A Tent City sprang up in the wilderness at the mouth of Ship Creek, and soon swelled to a population of over 2,000. On July 9, 1915, the Anchorage townsite auction was held, and over 600 lots were sold. Although the area had been known by various names, in this same year the U.S. Post Office Department formalized the use of the name Anchorage, and despite some protests the name stuck.
Copyright 2011 Backcountry Safaris, All Rights Reserved