Fort Wainwright, AK Local Information

    Fairbanks, Alaska, is the closest major city to Fort Wainwright, and is immediately outside of base. Fairbanks has about 32,000 people, and is in Fairbanks North Star Borough (County), which has a population of about 99,000 people. Other nearby small communities include North Pole (about 2,200) and College (about 13,000).

    It is about 3 miles from downtown Fairbanks to Wainwright; this takes about 9 minutes to commute in fair weather, but the city is spread out and can be subject to severe weather and slow roads, and travel times vary a lot.

    Local Housing Rental Prices: The average apartment rent in the area ranges from $800 to $1,200 per month.

    Local Housing Purchase Prices: The average price for a house in the Fairbanks area is about $198,000, compared to $233,000 for Alaska.The average price for a house in Fairbanks North Star Borough is about $200,000.

    Short Description of the Area: Fairbanks is a small city for the US, but is the second largest city in Alaska. The Tanana Valley is surrounded by mountains, but is a lowland with a lot of permafrost and frozen wetland. This area is in central Alaska, the northernmost metropolitan area in the USA.

    Climate and Weather: The area has a subarctic climate, with average winter temperatures of 0 to -16 and average summer temperatures in the low 70s to low 50s range. Summers short and mild, with Midnight Sun near the summer solstice, giving over 21 hours of daylight at peak. Winters are long and very cold, and at winter solstice a day is only a bit over 3 hours. The Northern Lights are visible more nights than not. Local weather also features temperature inversions, trapping air pollution, and in very cold temperatures (-40) ice fog, where the air is cold enough that is water saturated and ice crystals are suspended in air. The weather is not always freezing; Chinook Winds can come in from the south and warm the area up quite a lot, even up to the 40s, but in general, dress warmly and in layers.