Selawik National Wildlife Refuge

Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska.

Selawik National Wildlife Refuge is located in northwest Alaska, in the homeland of the indigenous Iñupiat. Straddling the Arctic Circle, the refuge is where the boreal forests of interior Alaska give way to the open tundra. The rivers, wetlands and surrounding hills (including the Selawik Wilderness Area in the Waring Mountains) nurture abundant fish populations, tens of thousands of nesting birds, seasonal habitat for one of the world’s largest caribou herds, and an ongoing way of life for local people, who continue to hunt, fish, and gather from these lands that have sustained their ancestors for thousands of years. Over two million acres of land make up the refuge, which straddles the Arctic Circle and offers adventure and rejuvenation for visitors.


The Selawik Wilderness was established in 1980 and is 240,000 acres in size. “Wilderness Areas” are undeveloped places where natural forces still dominate and opportunities for solitude can be found. In most of the U.S., Wilderness Areas (set aside by Congress) serve as quiet roadless havens where mechanical vehicles and motorized equipment are not allowed. In Alaska, much of the state is roadless and undeveloped, and Wilderness Areas afford an extra level of protection to keep them that way. Unlike the lower 48, traditional means of access, including snowmachines and airplanes, can be used in some of Alaska's Wilderness Areas.

Nearby Activities


From the airport, follow 3rd Avenue to Lake Street and take a left. Then take a right on 2nd Street. It's about a 10 minute walk, less if driving. 

Additional Information