Activities and Events

A globe exhibit at the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center showing the arctic regions of Earth.

Activities and Events

The Visitor Center always offers a variety of exhibits, options for audiovisual programs, and nearby walking trails. Staff are on hand to answer questions about road conditions, weather, trip planning and the natural and cultural history of the Arctic. 

All events are open to the public and free. 


Visitor Center staff offer interpretive programs every evening at 8 p.m. in the auditorium. Topics range from geology to bear safety to the history of the “Haul Road.” To find out the night's topic, look for posters at the Visitor Center or Coldfoot Camp, or call the Visitor Center.

September 1 - 16: Evening programs will begin at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.


There are several options for walking trails at and around the Visitor Center. 

Dettmers Nature Trail (About ½ mile, 15-20 minutes at a leisurely pace.) Enjoy the sights, sounds and scents of the boreal forest along this trail, named in honor of Ron Dettmers, a retired math professor from Wisconsin who volunteered at the visitor center in 2006. Also see the historic Coldfoot cemetery and read about the inhabitants of the original town of Slate Creek. 

Mining Exhibit (A few hundred yards’ extension to the Dettmers Nature Trail.) Learn about life as an early 20th century gold miner by seeing historic equipment and a replica of a miner’s cabin. 

Pipeline Trail (About 1/3 mile, 15 minutes.) A short walk to a viewing deck with interpretive panels that explain some of the unusual engineering features of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. 

Coldfoot Camp Connector (About 1/3 mile one way, 15 minutes.) Rather than walking dusty, busy roads, enjoy a stroll through the boreal forest to reach Coldfoot Camp on the other side of the highway. Coldfoot Camp is a major rest stop for long-haul truckers, with a café/restaurant and hotel. 


Learn more about the Alaskan Arctic via our Agents of Discovery digital Junior Ranger Missions:

  • Arctic Interagency Visitor Center Nature Trail : Site-specific. As you walk the Ron Dettmers Nature Trail in Coldfoot, AK, challenges will appear on your Mission Map. You need to complete all 8 challenges.
  • Welcome to the Arctic! : Play from home! A more advanced mission, with concepts and vocabulary more suitable to ages 12 and up.
  • Life in the Arctic : Play from home! For agents ages 8-12.

To play, you need to download the "Agents of Discovery" app onto a phone or other mobile device beforehand, using any app store. Once you have missions loaded into the "Agents of Discovery" app on your device, you do not need to be in range of wi-fi to complete the missions. If you are in Coldfoot, log in and search for missions nearby. The Nature Trail should be at the top of the list. To play the other missions, search for "Arctic".

Cartoon Woolly Mammoth Field Agent, wearing a brown BLM uniform
Woolly Mammoth BLM Field Agent, for Arctic Interagency Visitor Center Agents of Discovery missions

Visitors can participate in these additional educational activities:


Coldfoot is not a town in the conventional sense, but has a modest hotel, gas pumps, cafe/restaurant/bar, air-taxi service, public airstrip, and post office. It is a major rest stop for the long-haul truckers who ply the road year-round, delivering equipment and supplies to the Prudhoe Bay oilfields. The cafe is open 24 hours a day all year, providing warmth, coffee and restrooms. 

Wiseman, a small, historic village 15 road miles to the north, has a small store/gift shop, a lodge, bed-and-breakfast and a privately-owned museum. 

Upcoming Events

Throughout the summer, the Visitor Center welcomes guest speakers such as regional scientists and artists-in-residence. It also hosts opportunities for citizen science. Check back in for information on upcoming events.

May 2023

Saturday, 27 May: Open for the 2023 Season!

June 2023

Saturday, 10 June: Snowshoe hare surveys by Donna DiFolco, National Park Service, 8 p.m. evening program 

Wednesday, 21 June: Summer solstice!

July 2023

Monday, 10 July: Invasive Plants Found in Alaska by Summer Nay, Invasive Plant Program Coordinator for the Salcha-Delta Soil and Water Conservation District, 8 p.m. evening program 

Tuesday, 11 July and Wednesday, 12 July: Wolverines and Winter Fish Ecology on the North Slope by Kevin Fraley, Fisheries Ecologist, Arctic Beringia Program, Wildlife Conservation Society, 8 p.m. evening program 

Tuesday, 18 July: Life History of the Gyrfalcon by Tim Craig, former Bureau of Land Management Wildlife Biologist, 8 p.m. evening program 

Wednesday, 26 July: Removing Hazardous Waste from the Backcountry by Jessica Tighe, Physical Scientist, BLM Central Yukon Field Office, 8 p.m. evening program 

August 2023

Friday, 04 August: Birding Basics by Julie Johnson, Environmental Educator, BLM Campbell Creek Science Center, 8 p.m. evening program 

Sunday, 06 August: A Year in the Boreal Forest by Julie Johnson, Environmental Educator, BLM Campbell Creek Science Center, 8 p.m. evening program 

Monday, 07 August: Shrubification in the Arctic by Ruby An, Ph. D. Student at Princeton University and researcher at Toolik Field Station, 8 p.m. evening program 

Tuesday, 08 August: Burbot Telemetry by Lisa Stuby, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 8 p.m. evening program 

Friday, 18 August: Phenology of Tussock Cottongrass by Dr. Marcel Vaz, Wesley Mahler, and Derek Jolley, Wilkes University and Toolik Field Station, 4 p.m. special afternoon presentation

Tussock Cottongrass, cut in half to see components
Cross-section of tussock cottongrass
September 2023

Friday, 1 September: Shift to autumn hours, 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. daily, with evening program at 7 p.m.

Saturday, 16 September: FINAL DAY. See you again in late May 2024!

Saturday, 23 September: Opening of BLM Coldfoot Contact Station. Open Wednesdays - Sundays, 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. Located in the cabin just north of Coldfoot Camp, on Coldfoot Road, just east of Dalton Highway. See the tab on the Visitor Center webpage for more details.


Contact Us

Arctic Interagency Visitor Center
P.O. Box 9078
Coldfoot, AK 99709
Phone: 907-678-5209 or 907-678-2015
Fax: 907-678-2005

Bureau of Land Management
222 University Avenue
Fairbanks, AK 99701
Phone: 907-474-2200 or 
toll-free 1-800-437-7021

TTY/Relay System: 711

Photos and Videos

Explore pictures of our exhibits and trails in the BLM Flickr album for the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center.

Watch a video of the Dalton Highway Cleanup at Coldfoot on National Public Lands Day in 2013 -- a collaboration between the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center, the village of Wiseman, Coldfoot Camp, and ice road truckers from Carlile Transportation Systems  

Arctic Interagency Visitor Center building