· · ·

Where caribou outnumber people

In Alaska’s Interior and Arctic, the caribou far outnumber the people. In fact, according to Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Bob Hunter, there are almost five caribou to every one human in Alaska’s Interior and Arctic. These two immense, far north regions of Alaska are home to just over 137,000 souls and over 645,000 majestic caribou. “A tally of those caribou herds residing primarily in the Interior and Arctic areas comes to 645,687 based on the most recent survey numbers available,” Hunter states. These numbers prove to be an impressive indicator of how untamed and sparsely populated Alaska’s Interior and Arctic remain. Heralding the lowest population density in the United States of America, here a modicum of social distancing has long been a way of life. In Alaska’s Interior and far north, the buffer between you and the next person was substantial prior to COVID-19, so adding a foot or two to get to six feet apart has been quite manageable. In Fairbanks, travelers can see how nature rules and people thrive in a small river city deep in the wilds of Alaska. Keep track of the State of Alaska’s travel requirements on the government site, sanitize your hands and don your mask. With careful planning and testing, responsible travelers may embark on a journey to the land of the midnight sun and the aurora borealis. Or sit tight and savor a virtual view of what Fairbanks has to offer via Explore Fairbanks’ online videos and 360-degree content and imagine yourself here until traveling becomes more amenable again. Fairbanks has many outdoor and/or spacious venues, activities, attractions, tours and eating and drinking establishments that have thoughtfully re-opened for business. Visit Explore Fairbanks’ website for a current “Open for Business” list, including their steps taken to help travelers have a safe experience. Visit a vibrant farmers market, get lucky panning for gold, relish all the art in and around Fairbanks or head a few miles out of town to hike one of many maintained trails through boreal forests and view spectacular landscapes. As the Summer progresses, the 24 hours of light will dissipate and under the veil of darkness the Aurora borealis, like magic, will become visible again. Fairbanks is a world-famous aurora viewing destination because of its location directly under the “Auroral Oval” where Northern Lights activity is concentrated. Spanning all four seasons and nine months of the year, aurora season in Fairbanks runs August 21 through April 21. Due to the fact that natural phenomena are unscathed by viruses, locals will soon be chasing the aurora and are currently developing ways to safely assist visitors in this pursuit. Whether chasing the northern lights is an unfilled dream, or something that you can’t get enough of, with careful precautions Fairbanks can make your aurora viewing wishes come true. Find out about the above and more at Explore Fairbanks.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

Did you enjoy this article?

Receive similar content direct to your inbox.


  1. Caribou outnumbering humans by 5 to 1? That’s some statistic.

    That’s the sort of stat that’s going to want to make people travel now. Throughout the world many of us have been penned in for far too long this year. Even when we finally got out we had to wear masks, keep our distance and sanitise our hands frequently.

    What people want now is to be in the great outdoors, gulping in great breaths of fresh air and not worrying about how far they are from the nearest human being. The great thing about Fairbanks is that you really don’t have to concentrate on your safety when there are so few people around. Finally you can relax.

    1. I’m lucky to have a little bit of distance between myself and my neighbors with where I’m currently living. But nothing compared to this. Sometimes I get a little timid about possibly living in a place where there’s nobody else around for miles. However I wouldn’t mind taking a trip there first to at least have that experience.

    1. I wasn’t really aware that you could see the Northern Lights from Alaska. But I guess that makes a lot of sense. With so few people around, there is less light pollution, right? I still think I’d pick somewhere in Iceland to see the Northern Lights, but that’s just me.

  2. I can see a real pattern running through so many of the recent posts on A Luxury Travel Blog and also conversations with my friends about their dream travel trips. Lots of them are now wanting to get away from it all. They’ve got a craving for remote spots, big horizons, wildlife and hardly any people in sight for miles around. A lot of them would be delighted to be surrounded by caribou.

  3. Five to one, wow, people really are outnumbered by their four legged, antlered friends there.I do find the idea of going somewhere like this more pleasant especially at the moment with the need for social distancing, and outdoors has surely got to be safer than taking a city trip somewhere and spending your time in enclosed bars and shops. Silly question, but is caribou a fancier word for reindeer? Are they the same, or is caribou a subtype of reindeer? I always thought they were one and the same. There’s always something magical about reindeer, and not just at Christmas time, and there’s definitely a lot of magic to the Northern Lights. Those are on my bucket list to see for myself one day.

    Good tip on the aurora season in Fairbanks. I know many will be hesitant to travel but I imagine if you get insurance and use a reliable provider, knowing that you’re backed should the government enforce more restrictions, then it’s a safer place to venture to than many at the moment.

    1. I think I’d rather visit here than most places in the U.S. right now. Or maybe somewhere like Montana or Wyoming. These outdoorsy places with low population density, I am figuring they would make the most sense to visit as things slowly get back to a sense of normalcy. It makes me think more about places like this, where there are more animals than people and what kind of life I could live there that’s different from what I’m used to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *