A Fascinating Three Part Look at Barrow, Alaska, the Most Northern Town in the United States

Real Life Lore, Wendover Productions and Second Thought traveled together to the incredible town of Barrow, Alaska and shared their impressions and thoughts. Barrow is the northernmost town in the United States, sitting above the Arctic Circle and has eternal sunlight in certain months, is only accessible by plane or boat depending on the weather and groceries are superficially expensive. Despite all of this, people live there and have for many years. Wendover sought to answer why.

So why do people live in Barrow? Why have 5,000 people chosen to live their lives as close to the North Pole as to their own state capital? Well, for many residents, it’s been their home for thousands of years. Barrow is the cultural center of the Iñupiat tribe—one of the dozens of native Alaskan tribes. There’s evidence that the Iñupiat people have lived in the same spot as Barrow for more than 1,500 years making it one of the oldest permanently inhabited settlements in North America.

Real Life Lore shared his thoughts on the town itself.

Despite this incredible isolation, Barrow really is a true town. Inside the city you can find a post office, a high school, a bank, a police department, a fire department restaurants, a grocery store and hundreds of houses. When the ice in the ocean melts during the summer you can take a boat into town.

Second Thought spoke about his first impression of Barrow.

Barrow is a town utterly without pretense. It makes no excuses for its rugged appearance, nor would you expect it to, as everyone in town has more important things to do. So, while it is true that the town is unapologetically Spartan, for it to be any other way would seem disingenuous.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.