in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area
- Area Type
- Place of Interest
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 Department of Labor Estimate
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- Census Designated Place (CDP)
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- Place FIPS
Fisheries Participation and Earnings
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
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- Recording District
Facilities and Amenities
Geography and Climate
- Wiseman is located on the middle fork of the Koyukuk River, at the junction of Wiseman Creek in the Brooks Range. It is about 260 miles northwest of Fairbanks off the Dalton Highway, 13 miles north of Coldfoot, and 75 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Wiseman is located in a valley, at 1,180' elevation.
- Community Map Available
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- Wiseman lies in the continental climate zone, characterized by about 20 inches of average annual precipitation and an average temperature of about 22 °F. Temperature extremes are greater in the Continental zone than in the other climatic zones. The coldest month in 2013 was December, with a mean minimum temperature of -21.8 °F. The warmest month was June, with a mean maximum temperature of 73.4 °F. There is a total loss of sunlight between December 5 and January 9. High temperatures in summer occasionally reach 90 °F. The Aurora Borealis is especially vivid over this portion of the Brooks Range and is visible from September through March.
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- Min. Daily Temperature (°F)
History and Culture
- In response to increased mining on the Nolan Creek and the Hammond River in the early 1900s, locals began to abandon Coldfoot, 13 miles to the south. Supplies were brought up the Koyukuk River to Wiseman Creek by horse-drawn barge, where a new town developed in 1907. It was first called Wrights, then Nolan, and finally Wiseman in 1923. A log post office operated from about 1909 to 1956, with mail and supplies freighted or flown in. A territorial school operated from 1934 to 1941. By 1974, the 414-mile pipeline "haul road" was constructed, which passes near Wiseman. Travel was restricted for the general public until December 1994. The road is now known as the Dalton Highway, named for James William Dalton, an arctic engineer. In 1979 Florence Jonas (or Kalhabuk), the last full Eskimo resident, passed away in Wiseman at the age of 82. A nearby mountain and the chapel were named in her honor. The school, operated in the community center, was closed in November 2002, because it was unable to meet the state's minimum enrollment. Children are home schooled.
- Subsistence hunting, fishing, and trapping sustain year-round residents.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- The partially-paved Dalton Highway connects Wiseman to Alaska's road system. A state-owned gravel airstrip is available but is not consistently maintained.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection