Open for Public Comment: Coastal Plain Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

We're working with the Burueau of Land Management (BLM) on the Coastal Plain Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). The statement is open to public comment until October 23, 2023. Public meetings begin September 22, 2023. Access the meeting schedule at the BLM NEPA register.
More information, including Draft Statement and public meeting schedule (BLM).



Special Use Permit Application Periods

There has been a change to the spring open application period for commercial special use permits, including recreational guiding, filming, photography, and air service operations on refuge lands and waters. Businesses seeking to operate in the summer and fall should apply January 1 to March 15 (previously the application period was open until April 15). The fall open application period remains the same (open October 1 – November 30). Complete applications (which includes a filled-out permit application form, all required documentation, and fees paid) will be accepted if postmarked by the end-date of each application period. This change is effective for the 2024 permit year.   Additional information and instructions. 

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge sustains people, wildlife, and fish in the northeastern corner of Alaska, a vast landscape of rich cultural traditions and thriving ecological diversity. It is located on the traditional homelands of the Iñupiat and Gwichʼin peoples.

Approximately the size of South Carolina, the refuge has no roads or facilities. The lands and waters are a critical home to migratory and resident wildlife, have unique recreational values, and contain the largest designated Wilderness within the National Wildlife Refuge System. Many people may know of the refuge by an abbreviation: ANWR (pronounced an-whar). The full name reminds us that the refuge is part of our national heritage, designated for wildlife conservation.

Boat-based polar bear viewing on waters of Arctic Refuge around Kaktovik is currently unavailable.

Visit Us

Paddling a river in Arctic Refuge

Interactive map of Arctic Refuge.

A trip to Arctic National Wildlife Refuge can be an inspiring, life-changing experience. Whether you want to photograph, fish, hunt, challenge yourself with travel in the backcountry, or just spend quiet time in an immense and humbling landscape, this is a truly remarkable place.

All refuge lands are open to the public, and there are no visitor fees or specific entry points. Visitors plan and arrange their own transportation, trip locations, and itineraries; careful preparation, and self-reliance are a must. There are no roads, established trails, or facilities of any type within the refuge's 19 million acres. Most bring their own food and gear, and access the refuge by air taxi, flying in from nearby communities. First-time visitors may wish to participate in a guided trip. 

Location and Contact Information

      Our Species

      Muskox in Arctic Refuge

      Arctic Refuge is home to all three species of North American bears (black, brown, and polar), and to the Porcupine caribou herd, the Central Arctic caribou herd, Dall sheep, muskox, wolves, and wolverines. More than 200 species of birds from all 50 states and across the world flock to Arctic Refuge to nest, rear their young, and feed. Dolly Varden char thrive here, including a relatively small resident form and a large salmon-sized anadromous form (thanks to perennial springs that stay unfrozen year-round). 

      Our Library

      a line drawing of a sea otter holding her pup
      Download these digital coloring pages created by Alaskan artists to learn more about wildlife and conservation, while creating works of art.

      Projects and Research