Brooks Range (Athabaskan Gwazhał) is a mountain range in far
North America stretching some 700 miles (1,100 km) from
west to east across northern
Alaska into Canada's Yukon Territory.
Reaching a peak elevation of 8,976 feet (2,736 m) on Mount Isto,
the range is believed to be approximately 126 million years old.
In the United States, these mountains are considered an extension of
the Rocky Mountains, whereas in
Canada they are considered separate,
the northern border of the
Rocky Mountains regarded as the Liard River
far to the south in the province of British Columbia.
While the range is mostly uninhabited, the
Dalton Highway and
Alaska Pipeline System run through the
Atigun Pass (1,415 m,
4,643 ft) on their way to the oil fields at
Prudhoe Bay on
Alaska's North Slope. The
Alaska Native villages of Anaktuvuk and
Arctic Village, as well as the very small communities of Coldfoot,
Wiseman, Bettles, and Chandalar, are the range's only settlements. In
the far west, near the
Wulik River in the De Long Mountains is the Red
Dog mine, the largest zinc mine in the world.
The range was named by the
United States Board on Geographic Names
United States Board on Geographic Names in
1925 after Alfred Hulse Brooks, chief USGS geologist for
1903 to 1924.
Various historical records also referred to the range as the Arctic
Mountains, Hooper Mountains, Meade Mountains and Meade River
Mountains. The Canadian portion of the range is officially called the
Ivvavik National Park
Ivvavik National Park is located in Canada's
6 See also
8 Further reading
Brooks Range Mountains
Limestack Mountain, in the central Brooks Range
Mount Isto 8,975.1 ft (2,735.6 m)
Mount Hubley 8,914 ft (2,717 m)
Mount Chamberlin 8,898.6 ft (2,712.3 m)
Mount Michelson at 8,855 ft (2,699 m)
The Gates of Kiev at 7,775 ft (2,370 m), the highest point in the
central part of the range, and
Black Mountain at 5,020 ft (1,530 m), the highest point in the
far western part of the range.
Mount Doonerak 7,457 ft (2,273 m)
Mount Igikpak 8,276 ft (2,523 m)
Frigid Crags West Gate 5,501 ft (1,677 m)
Boreal Mountain East Gate 6,654 ft (2,028 m)
Limestack Mountain 6,250 ft (1,900 m)
Cockedhat Mountain 7,410 ft (2,260 m)
Area of the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain, looking
south toward the Brooks Range
Brooks Range forms the northernmost drainage divide in North
America, separating streams flowing into the Arctic Ocean and the
North Pacific. The range roughly delineates the summer position of the
Arctic front. It represents the northern extent of the tree line, with
little beyond isolated balsam poplar stands occurring north of the
continental drainage divide. trembling aspen and white spruce also
occur north of the Brooks Range, though they are limited to sites that
have been disturbed by human activity. Southern slopes have some
cover of black spruce, Picea mariana, marking the northern limit of
those trees. As one of the most remote and least-disturbed
wildernesses of North America, the mountains are home to Dall sheep,
grizzly bears, black bear, gray wolf, moose and porcupine caribou.
In Alaska, the Western Arctic Caribou herd (490,000 strong in 2004)
Brooks Range in its annual migration. The smaller
Central Arctic herd (32,000 in 2002), as well as the 123,000 animal
Porcupine Caribou herd, likewise migrate through the Brooks range on
their annual journeys in and out of the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge. The migration path of the Porcupine Caribou herd is the
longest of any terrestrial mammal on earth.
Fossilized corals in the Brooks Range, near Limestack Mountain
Because the rocks of the range were formed in an ancient seabed, the
Brooks Range contains fossils of marine organisms. In addition to the
coral fossils shown at left, trilobites and brachiopods from the
Cambrian have been found in the sandy limestones of the Central
While other Alaskan ranges to the south and closer to the coast can
receive 250 inches (640 cm) to 500 inches (1,300 cm) of
snow, the average snow precipitation on the
Brooks Range is reported
at 30 inches (76 cm) to 51 inches (130 cm).
As measured at the Anaktuvuk Pass weather station (elevation 770
metres (2,530 ft)), the average summer temperatures are
3 °C (37 °F) as a low and 16 °C (61 °F) as a
high. During the winter the average low is −30 °C
(−22 °F) while the average high is −22 °C
2007 - Gates of the Arctic: Alaska's Brooks Range
2008 - Alone Across Alaska: 1,000 Miles of Wilderness
2011 - The Edge of the Earth (short film)
2014 - The World Beyond the World (short film)
^ The Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 23, page 618 (Grolier 2000).
^ Safire, William. The New York Times guide to essential knowledge: a
desk reference for the curious mind, page 623 (Macmillan 2007 ).
^ Ackerman, Daniel; Breen, Amy (2016-06-06). "Infrastructure
Development Accelerates Range Expansion of Trembling Aspen ( Populus
tremuloides , Salicaceae) into the Arctic". ARCTIC. 69 (2): 130–136.
doi:10.14430/arctic4560. ISSN 1923-1245.
^ Elsner, Wendy K.; Jorgenson, Janet C. (2009-09-11). "White Spruce
Picea glauca ) Discovered North of the
Brooks Range Along
Alaska's Dalton Highway". ARCTIC. 62 (3): 342–344.
doi:10.14430/arctic155. ISSN 1923-1245.
^ C. Michael Hogan, Black Spruce: Picea mariana, GlobalTwitcher.com,
ed. Nicklas Stromberg, November, 2008 Archived October 5, 2011, at the
^ J.T. Dutro et al, November 1984, "Middle
Cambrian Fossils from the
Doonerak Anticlinorium, Central Brooks Range, Alaska", Journal of
Paleontology Vol. 58 No. 6, pages 1364-1371
^ Shulski, Martha; Wendler, Gerd (2007-12-15). The Climate of Alaska.
Alaska Press. pp. 148–. ISBN 9781602230071.
Retrieved 16 December 2012.
^ a b Gallant, Alisa L. (1998-05-01). EcoRegions of Alaska. DIANE
Publishing. pp. 15–. ISBN 9780788148965. Retrieved 16
Allan, C. (2013). Arctic citadel : a history of exploration in
Brooks Range region of Northern Alaska. Washington, D.C,: U.S.
Department of the Interior, National Park Service.
Witmer, Dennis "Far to the North: Photographs from the Brooks Range"
Far to the North Press (2008) ISBN 0-9771028-0-7
Kauffmann, John M. "Alaska's Brooks Range: The Ultimate Mountains"
(Second Edition) Mountaineers Books (2005) ISBN 1-59485-008-9
Brown, William E. "History of the Central Brooks Range: Gaunt Beauty,
Tenuous Life" University of
Alaska Press (2007)
Cooper, David "
Brooks Range Passage" Mountaineers Books (1983)
Dover, J.H., I.L. Tailleur, and J.A. Dumoulin. (2004). Geologic and
fossil locality maps of the west-central part of the Howard Pass
quadrangle and part of the adjacent Misheguk Mountain quadrangle,
Western Brooks Range,
Alaska [Miscellaneous Field Studies; Map
MF-2413]. Reston, Va.: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S.
Krumhardt, A.P., A.G. Harris, and K.F. Watts. (1996).
Lithostratigraphy, microlithofacies, and conodont biostratigraphy and
biofacies of the Wahoo
Limestone (Carboniferous), eastern Sadlerochit
Mountains, northeast Brooks Range,
Alaska U.S. Geological Survey
Professional Paper 1568. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the
Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.
Marshall, R. (1970).
Alaska wilderness; exploring the Central Brooks
Range 2nd ed. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Mayfield, C.F. et al. (1984). Reconnaissance geologic map of
southeastern Misheguk Mountain quadrangle,
Investigations Series Map I-1503]. Reston, Va.: U.S. Department of the
Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.
Morin, R.L. (1997). Gravity and magnetic maps of part of the
Drenchwater Creek stratiform zinc-lead-silver deposit, Howard Pass
quadrangle, northwestern Brooks Range,
Alaska [Open-file report
97-705]. Menlo Park, CA: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S.
Morin, R.L. (1997). Gravity models of Abby Creek and Bion barite
deposits, Howard Pass quadrangle, northwestern Brooks Range, Alaska
[U.S. Geological Survey Open-file Report 97-704]. Menlo Park, CA: U.S.
Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.
Mull, C.G. et al. (1994). Geologic map of the Killik River quadrangle,
Alaska [U.S. Geological Survey Open-file Report 94-679].
Reston, Va: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.
Nelson, P.H. et al. (2006). Potential tight gas resources in a
frontier province, Jurassic through Tertiary strata beneath the Brooks
Range foothills, Arctic
Alaska U.S. Geological Survey Open-file Report
2006-1172. Reston, VA: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S.
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey. (2003). The
natural dispersal of metals to the environment in the Wulik
River-Ikalukrok Creek area, western Brooks Range,
Geological Survey Fact Sheet 107-03. Reston, VA: author.
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey. (1995).
Natural environmental effects of silver-lead-zinc deposits in the
Alaska U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 092-95. Reston,