For those who love vast wilderness landscapes, few places can match the Brooks Range, the "backbone of the Arctic Wilderness." Alaska's most northerly mountain chain, it stretches east–west across the state above the Arctic Circle. Fortunately, most of this ultimate wilderness is protected by national parklands and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. However, it is also a place of great controversy between environmentalists and proponents of oil drilling.
As it stands, you can still go days, and even weeks, without seeing another person. The Brooks is the homeland of grizzlies, wolves, Dall sheep, caribou, moose, musk oxen, and golden eagles. It is also the home to Athabascan Indians and Inupiaq and Nunamiut Eskimos, who have lived here for centuries, traveling the mountain pathways and paddling great rivers like the Noatak.