Sleeping Eating

King Eider Inn (§ 852 4700;; 1752 Ahkovak St; s/d USS175/195; The newest and nicest hotel in Barrow has bright, comfortable rooms with fairly standard Alaskan décor. The place is so immaculately kept that you must take your shoes off at the door.

Top of the World Hotel ( § 852 3900; www.topof; 1200 AgvikSt; d US$175) Outpost for the package tourists, this place can get block-booked during the short summer months. The rooms are decked out in wooden furniture and understated floral patterns, and are pretty spacious.

Barrow Airport Inn ( § 852 2525; 1815 Momegana St; d US$125) The rooms at this place are fairly functional but include fridges, microwaves and kitchenettes, so you could offset some of your costs by self-catering.

UIC-HARL Hostel ( § 852 7800; s US$75) The former Naval Arctic Research Lab (NARL) east valley. The most dramatic dunes are accessible on foot along Kavet Creek, about 5km south of the Kobuk River.

The sand was created by the grinding action of ancient glaciers and has been carried to the Kobuk Valley by wind and water. Sand river bluffs, standing as high as 45m (150ft), hold permafrost ice wedges and the fossils of Ice Age mammals.

The placid Kobuk River, which reaches widths of up to 500m (1640ft), slides along at a negligible gradient of about 6cm per kilometre. An excellent lazy float trip will take you between the villages of Ambler and Kiana. At the Onion Portage archaeological site (where there's a seasonal ranger station), you'll find evidence of the Inupiat cultures that have occupied this area for at least 12,000 years. Caribou migrations pass through between August and October.

Digital Cameras For Beginners

Digital Cameras For Beginners

Although we usually tend to think of the digital camera as the best thing since sliced bread, there are both pros and cons with its use. Nothing is available on the market that does not have both a good and a bad side, but the key is to weigh the good against the bad in order to come up with the best of both worlds.

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