Public Lands Information
If you are planning a trip to the back country (or "the bush,
as Alaskan's call it), or just interested in learning more about Alaska's great outdoors
you will want stop in at the Alaska Public Lands Information Center in Fairbanks.
A wonderful mini-museum in the middle of downtown, the center's specialty is
assisting visitors and residents in planning recreational activities throughout the state,
and as such, is a storehouse of valuable trip planning information for outdoor recreation
with maps, river trip logs, reference books, brochures and books for sale.
There are leaflets on campgrounds, fishing spots, hiking trails, and scenic
drives--all in addition
to the other informational features of the center.
This facility is the central distribution point for information on state and
national parks, refuges, forests and recreation areas for eight state and federal
agencies: the state's Division of Tourism, Department of Natural Resources, and Department
of Fish and Game; and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, National Park Service and U.S. Geological Survey.
The center also has current information about Denali National Park and Preserve. As
well, there are displays highlighting the six regions of Alaska, which can be viewed at
the press of a button. Each includes a series of photographs, several short videos and
captions for people with hearing disabilities.
There are exhibits on year-round travel safety, and photographic panels depicting
aspects of Alaska's history, weather, public lands, natural resources and fish and
wildlife. A 140-gallon freshwater aquarium features fish species from the Chena River.
Visitors can trace their travels across the state's varied terrain on a 6- by
12-foot relief map, and see how Alaska is situated in relation to Canada and Russia. A
variety of maps are offered for sale, including a limited selection of USGS topographic
maps. The center also provides updates on road conditions and fires.
Short films are shown at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the center's auditorium.
The films cover topics related to Alaska's natural history, wildlife and public lands. An
interpretive slide program is also offered: call the center for times. We list their films and times on our Activities
Calendar as soon as they update their listings, which (unfortunately) is usually half way through the month.
The Fairbanks center, which opened in 1985, is one of four in the state. Other
information centers are located in Tok, Anchorage and Ketchikan.
The center is in the lower level of Courthouse Square, at the corner of Third
Avenue and Cushman Street, suite 1A. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily starting Memorial
Day and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday in the winter. Free
movies are shown daily in their own theatre at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The
varied subjects include the northern lights, the pipeline, wildlife, and may
even have footage from old time silent movies of the gold rush era.
Here are some descriptions of a just few of the films they show:
of the Alaska Territory: An Oral History (25 min)
Pioneer Alaskan women remember the early days of the Territory
in their own words, highlighted by archival photographs of
of the Grey Wind (50 min)
Experience the magical world of the sandhill crane, from
bountiful wintering grounds on the Gulf of Mexico to far
northern breeding ranges in the Kuskokwim and Yukon deltas of
western Alaska. Along the way discover other inhabitants of
these panoramic landscapes, including emperor geese, trumpeter
swans, and the rare whooping crane.
of Life: The Aleutian Islands (30 min)
Explore the unique and varied wildlife resources of the Aleutian
Islands National Wildlife Refuge and share the work of biologists
dedicated to the survival of the rare Aleutian Canada goose.
the Avalanche Game (60 min)
Stunning photography and interviews with experts help
backcountry travelers understand avalanche terrain, snow
stability, route-finding, rescue, and more.
Quest: Challenge of the North (50 min)
The Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race between Fairbanks and
Whitehorse is a grueling challenge for dogs and mushers across 1,000
miles of remote winter wilderness. See why the Quest has earned the
title "toughest race in the world."
Alaska: Ice Fishing for Rainbow Trout
Travel by snowmachine to a stocked lake in Alaska’s Interior.
Discover different ice-fishing techniques to hook rainbow trout and
enjoy winter camping in scenic surroundings. Learn how rainbow trout
are reared and released from a state fish hatchery.
Passage (60 min)
Travel the longest river in Alaska with four adventurers who begin
their journey in Skagway and end in the Yukon Delta. Rafting through
the wilderness of Canada and Alaska, they complete their voyage in
winter with the aid of sled dog teams. (A National Geographic
Bear Stands Up (30 min)
This is a portrait of Tlingit elder Esther Shea of the Tongass Bear
Clan. She dedicated her life to teaching the language, songs, and
values of Tlingit traditional life in Southeast Alaska.
Whales (60 min)
Research on humpback whales and their annual migration from Hawaii
to Glacier Bay, Alaska, has revealed such surprises as the whales'
"bubble net" technique for concentrating the schools of
small crustaceans on which they feed.
For another list of films, see our events calendars, at the beginning of
any month. For specifics on what is showing, you will have to contact them
directly, as they stopped listing their schedule online.
WINTER HOURS start on Sunday, September 3:
CLOSED Sunday and Monday.
OPEN Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Films show at noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.
250 Cushman Street, Suite 1A, (907) 456-0527.
Here is what they say about their winter programs:
Alaska Public Lands Information Center) will be open during winter
(September through May) from 10:00amto 6:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday. For
scheduled film and special program information, call 1-907-456-0527. A
variety of educational programs are offered year round onsite and offsite
for community schools and youth groups. A lecture series is offered in the
off season, titled 'Explore Alaska Series' which offers programs on a
variety of topics such as adventuring in Alaska, public land area recreation
opportunities and other topics of special interest. Family programs are
offered on Saturdays in the off season titled, 'Discovery Days for Kids'.
These programs give children and adults the opportunity to explore Alaskan
themes through a variety of games, activities and learning adventures.
Native artists demonstrations are offered intermittently throughout the
year. ". . . Most activities are geared for children ages 5-10, however all
children are welcome. Parents or an associated adult must accompany children
through the activities at the center. Admission is
FREE! " Fall/Winter Schedule Hours for Discovery Days were
10am to 4pm and are probably the same this year.
The center is wheelchair-accessible through its Turner Street entrance. For more
information on the center, call (907) 456-0527 or (TTD) 456-0532 for the hearing impaired.
The Alaska Public Lands Center
has a website for more information.