Brooks Range

The Brooks Range (Gwich'in Athabaskan GwazhaƂ) is a mountain range in far northern North America. It stretches from west to east across northern Alaska and into Canada's Yukon Territory, a total distance of about 1100 km (700 mi). The mountains top out at over 2,700 m (9,000 ft). The range is believed to be approximately 126 million years old. In the USA, these mountains are considered part of (or an extension of) the Rockies, whereas in Canada they are considered separate, the northern border of the Rockies regarded as the Liard River far to the south in the province of British Columbia.

The range is mostly uninhabited, but the Dalton Highway and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System run through the Atigun Pass (1,415 m, 4,643 ft) on their way to the North Slope and the oil fields at Prudhoe Bay. The Alaska Native villages of Anaktuvuk and Arctic Village, as well as the very small communities of Coldfoot, Wiseman, Bettles, and Chandalar Lake are the only settlements in the 700-mile Brooks Range. In the far west, near the Wulik River in the De Long Mountains is the Red Dog mine, largest zinc mine in the world.

The range was named by the United States Board on Geographic Names in 1925 after Alfred Hulse Brooks, who was the chief USGS geologist for Alaska from 1903 to 1924.

Various historical records also referred to the range as the Arctic Mountains, Hooper Mountains, Meade Mountains and Meade River Mountains; the Canadian portion is still often referred to as the British Mountains. The British Mountains are part of Ivvavik National Park.

Read more about Brooks Range:  Peaks, Ecology, Wilderness Traverses

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