Coldfoot Camp Truck Stop

mile 175 Dalton Highway

Coldfoot, Alaska, although a large dot on the roadmap along the Dalton Highway, is more a truck stop than a town. It’s about the halfway point between Fairbanks and the Arctic Ocean at mile 175 on the Dalton Highway, and it’s a welcome spot for many travelers needing to refuel their vehicle and enjoy a hot meal at the café. Be advised, however, that fuel is much more expensive this far along the highway. The next place to get gas is 250 miles to the north, in Prudhoe Bay. Coldfoot also has a limited-service contract post office, open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons. Mail your postcards here to get a Coldfoot stamp!

Rainbow over the Brooks Range mountains viewed from the coldfoot truck stop parking lot, Arctic, Alaska.

Aurora streams over Semi tractor trailer trucks at the Coldfoot truckstop in Coldfoot, Alaska.

Coldfoot Camp

Iditarod dog musher Dick Mackey started the truck stop many years ago. Still, the actual historic town of Coldfoot was originally a mining camp with the name of Slate Creek (closer to the Koyukuk River). Supposedly, its current name was secured about 1900 when gold-seeking prospectors navigating the Koyukuk River got the proverbial “cold feet” and would turn around. Besides the restaurant and gas station, Coldfoot also is constructed from leftover modular pipeline construction camps.

Coldfoot truck stop, Arctic, Alaska.

Coldfoot airport

Across the highway to the west is the Coldfoot airport. Coyote Air, owned by Dirk Nickisch and Danielle Tirrell (907.678.5995), offers many adventure seekers bush plane access to the remote regions of Alaska’s arctic. Flightseeing is also an option.

Coldfoot, Alaska.

Arctic Interagency Visitor Center

The Arctic Interagency Visitor Center in Coldfoot is run cooperatively by the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service. The visitor center has informative displays about the Arctic region’s flora/fauna and human history, a short walking trail with interpretative signs. It offers backcountry orientation for hikers, current weather reports and road conditions, a nightly talk/slideshow/movie. It is only open in summer, and we recommended stopping by for a visit. Check their website for hours of operation.

22021892Interagency Visitor’s Center in Coldfoot

22021889Slate Creek Inn at Coldfoot