A visit to the University of Alaska Museum of the North is included in many Fairbanks sightseeing tours along with other top area attractions—including the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and Morris Thompson Cultural Center. The museum is huge and you can easily spend an entire day exploring. Highlights include Alaska’s largest public gold display, ancient ivory carvings, and Blue Babe—a 36,000-year-old mummified steppe bison now extinct.
Things to know before you go
- A free museum audio guide and app is available on the museum website.
- The museum store features a huge selection of Native Alaskan art, books, and crafts.
- An admission fee is required to visit the museum and there is an additional fee for the museum films.
- The University of Alaska Museum of the North is wheelchair-accessible.
How to get there
The Museum of the North is located on the western end of the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. Paid parking is available at the museum or you can take the red, blue or yellow line bus from downtown Fairbanks. You can also arrive by taxi, rideshare, or shuttle service.
When to get there
The museum is open year-round with longer opening hours during the summer (from June through August). Museum films are offered at multiple times during the day and you can view all the day’s films with the purchase of a museum film pass. If you’re visiting during the summer, look out for the free behind-the-scenes museum tours.
The Place Where You Go to Listen
One of the museum’s more unique exhibits, The Place Where You Go to Listen is a sound and light installation that changes based on the position of the moon and sun and the vibrations of the Earth measured at seismic stations across Alaska. The brainchild of Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams, this ever-changing colorful musical display is not to be missed.