Visitor Activities

Kids picking beries

In northwest Alaska, we are fortunate to have vast wild landscapes at our doorstep to enjoy throughout the year.  Whether you call it "connecting with nature" or simply "going to camp," the possibilities for outdoor activities on Selawik Refuge are many.  We do not offer regularly scheduled programs or presentations, but simply encourage people to explore and discover the refuge on their own and pursue their favorite activities independently.

  • Hunting

    Hunting thumbnail 150w

    In Alaska, hunting is a part of our traditions and an important source of food for most residents.  All of the public lands in the refuge are open to both recreational and subsistence hunting.  Caribou, moose and bears are the species most frequently sought by hunters, with furbearers also important in the local economy.

  • Fishing

    Gillnet Fishing

    Fishing opportunities on Selawik Refuge are many and varied.  With all the rivers, streams, ponds and sloughs found here, you can get fresh fish at almost any time of year.  Rod-and-reel fishing, seining, ice fishing, gillnetting...all are common activities!  

    Click on the "learn more" link below to view Fish That We Eat by Anore Jones.  This intriguing book honors traditional Iñupiaq knowledge about gathering, storing, and cooking fish. It briefly describes each fish in northwest Alaska and presents recipes for its preparation and use. Many photos, sketches, and personal stories enrich the text. Note: This is a large, 345-page pdf document. 

    Learn More
  • Interpretation & Education

    Fish Dissection lesson

    The focus of the outreach and environmental education program at Selawik Refuge is to promote greater public understanding of the refuge and its resources through culturally appropriate materials and methods.  Our preferred strategy is to combine modern biological science with traditional ecological knowledge.  We also use our online presence, written materials, and social media to build appreciation for Selawik Refuge among the many people in other parts of the world who haven't experienced this special place firsthand.

  • Wildlife Viewing & Photography

    Photographer on tundra

    Wildlife viewing opportunities vary with the time of day and with the seasons.  Spring and fall, during the peaks of migration, generally present the best chance for wildlife sightings, but there is never a guarantee.  Visitors who are camping or traveling in a non-motorized craft such as a canoe or raft, and thus making less noise, tend to see more wildlife.

    The changes in light, both during the day and throughout the seasons, can present interesting material for photographers.  In summer months, the bright clear light lasts most of the day and night, while in the winter months the low angle light and the snowy terrain offer wonderful pastel hues.

  • Gathering Plants

    Girls with blueberries

    Wild berries gathered from the tundra, along with other edible plants, add variety to the local diet.  Knowledgeable folks also gather medicinal plants when they are in season.