Circle Travel Guide

Discover the natural beauty of Circle, Alaska with our comprehensive travel guide. From hiking and biking routes to delicious local cuisine, this guide covers everything you need to know to plan your next Alaskan adventure.

Introduction to Circle

Located in Interior Alaska, Circle is a small community that offers a unique and adventurous travel experience. Surrounded by wilderness, you can explore the town’s natural beauty, engage in outdoor activities, and connect with local culture and customs. This comprehensive travel guide covers everything you need to know to plan a memorable visit to Circle.

List of Places to Visit in Circle

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Yukon River Intertribal Fish Commission: Learn about the art, culture, and traditions of the Indigenous people who have lived in the region for thousands of years. The commission also sells local crafts and artwork.
  • Fort Yukon: Explore this historic site, which was an important trading post in the 1840s. You can learn about the town’s past through views of the old barracks, trading post, and church.

Natural Attractions of Circle: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Arctic Circle Hot Springs: Soak in the natural hot springs, surrounded by breathtaking scenery. You can also paddle around in a canoe or kayak on the nearby lake.
  • Eagle Summit: Take a scenic drive up the Dalton Highway to Eagle Summit, where you can enjoy views of the surrounding mountains and wilderness areas.
  • Hiking Trails: There are numerous hiking trails in Circle. Check out the Circle to Circle and Steese Highway trails for breathtaking scenic views.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Circle

Circle offers several hiking and biking options for those wanting to take in the beautiful scenery. The Circle to Circle Trail is a 58-mile trek that connects Beaver Creek, Canada to Circle, Alaska. Additionally, the Steese Highway trail takes you through the historic town of Central and features stunning vistas of Alaska’s interior.

Best Things to Do in Circle: Activities and Tours

  • Sightseeing Tours: Take a guided tour to learn about the area’s history and culture. You can also arrange for a wildlife tour to see moose, caribou, and other local wildlife.
  • Fishing: Enjoy a day of fishing for trout, Arctic grayling, and salmon on the nearby rivers and lakes.
  • Northern Lights Viewing: Circle is the perfect place to view the northern lights. Many tours offer guided trips to see this stunning natural phenomenon.
  • Dog Sledding: Circle is known for its dog sledding activities. You can participate in a guided tour, or go independent with a rented sled.

Week-Long Itinerary for Circle

Day 1: Arrive in Circle and check-in to your hotel. Spend the day relaxing and exploring the town. Day 2: Take a wildlife tour and see the local fauna up close. Visit the Yukon River Intertribal Fish Commission to learn about the local culture. Day 3: Take a guided tour of Circle, Fort Yukon, and other historical sites. End the day with a soak in the Arctic Circle Hot Springs. Day 4: Go fishing on the nearby rivers and lakes for Arctic grayling and salmon. Day 5: Enjoy a dog sled tour and learn about the history and culture of dog sled racing in Alaska. Day 6: Take a scenic drive up the Dalton Highway to Eagle Summit and hike the surrounding trails. Day 7: Experience the beauty of the northern lights on a guided tour.

Food and Drink Scene of Circle

Must-Try Dishes

  • Alaskan King Crab: Fresh and delicious, you can enjoy locally caught Alaskan king crab in many of Circle’s restaurants.
  • Reindeer Sausage: Made from locally raised reindeer meat, this sausage is a local delicacy.
  • Smoked Salmon: Smoked salmon is a staple in Alaska, and a must-try when visiting Circle.

Local Beverages

  • Alaskan Brewing Co. Beer: Try some of the locally-brewed beer available at Circle’s bars and restaurants.
  • Birch Syrup: Unique to Alaska, Birch Syrup is a sweet and flavorful syrup that can be found in many local shops.

Where to Stay in Circle: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Circle Hotel: A local landmark, the Circle Hotel offers comfortable rooms, friendly service, and a great location.
  • Circle River Inn: Situated on the banks of the Yukon River, the Circle River Inn offers scenic views and cozy accommodations.
  • Alaska’s Circle View Cabins: Experience the true Alaskan lifestyle with a stay in a cozy cabin in the wilderness.

What to Buy in Circle: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Local Artwork: Circle is home to many talented artists, and local artwork is available in many shops and galleries.
  • Fur and Leather Products: Alaska is known for its fur and leather products, including hats, gloves, and jackets.
  • Birch Syrup Products: Bring home a taste of Alaska with locally made Birch Syrup products like syrup, candies, and more.

Local Culture and Customs of Circle

The residents of Circle include Indigenous people, descendants of homesteaders, and adventurers who love the Alaskan wilderness. Respect for the environment and wildlife is paramount, and the town’s culture is heavily influenced by Indigenous peoples. Visitors should keep in mind the town’s history and diverse population when exploring the area.

Best Time to Visit Circle

The best time to visit Circle is from May to September when the weather is warmer and most outdoor activities are available. Circle is a great place to experience the northern lights, which are visible from August to April.

Do’s and Don’ts of Circle


  • Respect the environment and wildlife
  • Learn about the local culture and customs
  • Enjoy the natural beauty of Circle


  • Disturb the wildlife or their habitats
  • Engage in activities that may harm the environment or Indigenous culture
  • Ignore local advice on outdoor activities or safety tips

Safety and Health

Safety in Circle

Circle is a small town with low crime rates, but visitors should still take standard safety precautions. When hiking or engaging in outdoor activities, inform someone else of your plans and bring appropriate gear for the weather conditions. Be bear aware when hiking and always carry bear spray.

Health in Circle

Circle does not have any hospitals or medical clinics but has a medical clinic with limited availability and service. Visitors should come prepared with necessary medications and first-aid supplies.

Getting to Circle: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Circle

The closest major airport to Circle is the Fairbanks International Airport, about a five-hour drive away.

Bus Stations Near Circle

There are no bus stations in Circle, but visitors can take a bus to Fairbanks and then arrange for transportation to Circle.

Other Options

Driving is the best way to reach Circle. The town is located on the Alaska Highway, 127 miles east of Fairbanks.

How to Get Around in Circle

Walking or driving is the best way to get around Circle. Visitors can also rent bicycles and kayaks to explore the area.

Where to Go Next from Circle: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Fairbanks: Visit the city of Fairbanks for a range of attractions including Pioneer Park, the University of Alaska, and a variety of restaurants and bars.
  • Denali National Park: Explore the towering peaks and vast wilderness of Denali National Park, home to the highest peak in North America, Mount Denali.
  • Chicken: Check out the historic town of Chicken, known for its gold rush history and annual music festival.


Circle offers a wealth of natural beauty and adventure, combined with unique cultural experiences and cuisine. Plan your next trip to Circle and experience the beauty of Alaska’s interior.