Point Barrow

Point Barrow

Point Barrow, northernmost point of Alaska, on the Arctic Ocean, at lat. 71°23'N and long. 156°30'W. Visited in 1826 by Frederick W. Beechey, a British explorer, and named by him for the British geographer Sir John Barrow, it has since been the object of many expeditions and has figured prominently in arctic aviation. Navigation is open for only two or three months a year. To the southwest is the village of Barrow. Farther south is a monument to Will Rogers and Wiley Post, who lost their lives there in an airplane crash in 1935.

Point Barrow or Nuvuk is a headland on the Arctic coast of the U.S. state of Alaska, northeast of Barrow. It is the northernmost point of the United States, at . The distance to the North Pole is .

Point Barrow is also an important geographical landmark, marking the limit between two marginal seas of the Arctic, the Chukchi Sea on its western side and the Beaufort Sea on the eastern.

The first European to see it was English geographer Frederick William Beechey, in 1825. It is named for Sir John Barrow, a statesman and geographer of the British Admiralty. The water around it is normally ice-free for only two or three months a year.

It has been a jumping-off point for many Arctic expeditions, including the Wilkins-Detroit Arctic Expeditions and the April 15, 1928 Eielson-Wilkins flight across the Arctic Ocean to Spitsbergen.

It is close to Rogers-Post Site, the scene of the airplane crash on August 15, 1935 that killed aviator Wiley Post and his passenger, the entertainer Will Rogers.

Between 1965 and 1972 it was used as a launch site for Nike Cajun and Nike Apache sounding rockets. It is the site of a Global Atmosphere Watch atmospheric monitoring station.

The headland is also an important archaeological site, yielding burials and artifacts associated with the Thule culture.

A horse named Point Barrow took part in the 2008 Grand National but failed to complete the course.


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