Alaska Nature June 26, 2017
Get Up Close To The Tundra At This Picturesque Spot in Alaska
Finger Mountain is on the Dalton Highway in the far north of Alaska. The landscape here is otherworldly. There are no trees because the ground is permanently frozen, running cold with veins of ice just below the surface. The plants that flourish here are tiny and low lying due to the winds that constantly rush across the endless hills and the frozen ground that won’t let roots get very far. Come see the unique beauty of the Alaska tundra at Finger Mountain.
Finger Mountain Wayside is at 97.5 Mile Dalton Highway. Find an interactive map
Finger Mountain is not actually a mountain, but rather a wide broad hill with an altitude of around 1312 ft. Here you can inspect the arctic tundra up close and feel how cold it is just below the surface.
The Dalton Highway is a 414-mile road heading north the the oil fields at Prudhoe Bay from the Interior. It is Alaska's only road to the Arctic. Finger Mountain is along this highway a 5 hour drive north of Fairbanks.
Finger Mountain Wayside is a partially maintained pullout along the Dalton Highway at mile 97.5. To see the tundra, travel between May and early August.
The Finger Mountain Wayside Area features informational signs and two outhouses for travelers. This is a great spot to stretch your legs on the long drive.
Finger Mountain is named for Finger Rock, an unusually shaped granite tor that protrudes in the middle of clear ground.
Finger Rock, 40-foot high, used to be a navigation landmark for Bush pilots before GPS. It pointed the way to Fairbanks for those coming south from the North Slope.
Take the 1/2 mile interpretive trail to the summit of Finger Mountain for an up close view of the alpine tundra. The trail is not very strenuous.
Granite tors, like Finger Rock, are jutting rock formations made thousands of years ago, caused to jut out of the ground by the freezing and thawing of the tundra. This and other facts about the tundra are displays on the guided walk.
The tundra becomes a patchwork of color in the fall. It starts in late July and it's only a few weeks before the snow flies. Check out Finger Mountain on the Dalton Highway this summer for beautiful vistas and tundra exploration.
Read more about Finger Mountain
Have you been to Finger Mountain? Let us know in the comments below.
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