The town of Barrow is the headquarters of ASRC, the North Slope Borough, and the North Slope Borough School District. Barrow is unique in that it is the northernmost community in the United States, and is the largest village on the arctic slope with around 4500 residents. Traditionally, the community is known as Utqiaġvik, which means "place to hunt snowy owls."

An important archaeological and anthropological site discovered in Barrow is the Birnick site, which contains dwelling mounds of a culture believed to have existed between 500-900 A.D. These scientific discoveries are evidence of the prehistoric culture that populated Alaska’s northernmost coast.

In 1825, the town was named after Sir John Barrow of the British Admiralty. Frederick William Beechey, a British Royal Navy Captain gave the village its English name. At the time, Beechey was plotting the Arctic coastline in search of the Northwest Passage.

During the commercial whaling era of the late 1800’s the Cape Smythe Whaling and Trading Station was built in 1893. In the 1940's and 1950's the military played an influential role in the area. Construction of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) line and exploration in the National Petroleum Reserve brought new people to the region. During this same time, the Naval Arctic Research Lab (NARL) was built near Barrow. That facility is now the home of Iļisaġvik College. Iļisaġvik means "place to learn" in the Iñupiaq language.

Visitors to Barrow will arrive at the Wiley Post-Will Rogers Memorial Airport. This airport was named to commemorate the famous pilot and American humorist who died in an airplane crash just 15 miles south of Barrow in 1935.

Although Barrow is a modern community, subsistence hunting, fishing and whaling are still very important to the local economy. Many residents continue to hunt and fish for their food.

During the summer months, tour operators offer package tours of Barrow and the surrounding area. To learn more about the region be sure to stop by the Iñupiat Heritage Museum where visitors might be interested in purchasing arts and crafts such as baleen boats, etched baleen, carved ivory, masks, parkas and fur mittens from local Native artists.



City of Barrow
P.O. Box 629
Barrow, AK 99723
Phone 907-852-5211

Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation
P.O. Box 890
Barrow, AK 99723,
Phone 907-852-4460

Iļisaġvik College
100 Stevenson Street
P.O. Box 749
Barrow, AK 99723

Native Village of Barrow
P.O. Box 1139
Barrow, AK 99723
Phone 907-852-4411

Barrow Arctic Science Consortium
P.O. Box 577
Barrow, Alaska 99723

KBRW Radio Station
P.O. Box 109
Barrow, Alaska 99723

PO BOX 129 BARROW AK 99723 (907) 852-8633