Trying to Get a Package in Tok

Trying to get something to Tok, especially by FEDEX, is an ongoing struggle. Without a number on our house, it’s hard to get a package and most computer systems don’t want to accept our P.O. Box number. Most people I speak with can’t even believe our addresses are P.O. Boxes unless they live or have lived in a rural area.

Yes, we walk or drive to the Post Office every day to get our mail except Sunday.

I even had a hard time getting a credit card because the bank didn’t believe I was a U.S. Citizen because what American doesn’t have a number on their house!

Right now, I’m trying to have an empty box delivered from Apple for my broken Time Capsule so I can ship it back to get it repaired. I provided my fake address because Apple uses FEDEX and FEDEX won’t take P.O. Box numbers (using the mileage from the Alaska Highway along with the P.O. Box number as part of the address).

The box went to someone in Tok but they called Apple to say they didn’t ask for it and then returned it. I need to find out who the folks are who deliver FEDEX packages – they aren’t in FEDEX trucks or uniforms. It is usually a woman in a little hatchback. Anyone know how I can reach her?

I know getting things from sites like Amazon isn’t a problem because they ship UPS. It’s FEDEX that seems to be an issue in Tok. Once I have the package ready to go back to Apple via FEDEX, I think I actually have to go to the Post Office to send it, but I need to check on that.

Any other suggestions on how to get packages when systems spit out P.O. Box numbers?

Leave a comment


  1. deborah

     /  October 11, 2010

    Hi Aliza,
    I just spoke to Fed Ex (800) 463-3339 and she said if you have the tracking number she can figure out where it is…. What are the chances Apple gave you any Fed Ex info?
    Good luck!

  2. maryruth

     /  October 11, 2010

    I live in north Idaho. We have the same issue with addresses and deliveries. Most of the people in our mountain valley only have a PO box. If someone looks at the addresses here in our town, they get the Post Office building. Nothing else registers.

    We get UPS and FEDEX packages all the time. THEY know where we are, the computers don’t. It is very irritating when I try to sign up for something and they my address is wrong.

    We do have numbers on our houses but it does no good as they are not registered with several computer systems. Only the Post Office is registered as an address.

  3. Dave T.

     /  October 12, 2010

    FedEx packages from Outside go to Anchorage where they are handed off to the U.S. Postal Service. Once in Anchorage I think they are used for doorstops for a week or so before finally showing up in the mail – at least that’s how my FedEx packages come to our HC address on the mail truck out of Delta Junction (we live a few miles west of Tok and have a Delta address). The same truck that brings the mail to the Tok PO from Fairbanks every day delivers our mail on the way down. It’s actually pretty reliable despite the week it usually takes to get from Anchorage to here. I used to have an office in Tok too, and all my FedEx packages ended up at the Post Office.

    UPS in Tok is delivered by Lisa R., who I believe is a contractor for UPS (you can contact me privately for her number Aliza…).

  4. Bill

     /  October 12, 2010

    Even though the USPS does not deliver to our doors, maybe we should start a campaign to force them to provide numbers to us? Maybe contact Lisa Murkowski before she leaves office?


  5. sheila

     /  October 18, 2010

    i get all my fedex packages they just come through the post office. i use my box number and street name as my address.

  6. Lisa R.

     /  November 3, 2010

    Hi Aliza, great blog! As your local UPS carrier, maybe I can help with the address issue. My territory is from Dot Lake to the Canadian Border, and Chicken to Gulkana. Many people who live along the highway use the mileage marker as a box number. If the vendor won’t accept box numbers, a physical description may be accepted: for example, “Moose Lane, 3rd house on the left”. Homeowners sometimes use their lot number: “Caribou Street, Lot 5”. If you live on a corner, try “Hollywood & Vine”. You can use your P.O. box number as if it were a street number: “123 Wolverine Road”. Some folks put the mileage from the main highway to their driveway, “2.1 Grizzly Way”. Of course if your street has no name, (and lots of them don’t), you need to get more creative. Try using the mileage point where your street meets the highway: “1414.1 AK Highway”. Some people put a totally fictional address on the package, relying on their name to get it through, or put the address of the post office! This only works if your carrier knows you. You can also have your package shipped to your work or to a friends house. I occasionally get a box labelled only “Tok,” no name, no address. (How it gets shipped like that, I do not know, but somehow we manage to figure it out and get it delivered.) The best advice I can give you is, make yourself known to your mailman/carrier, and ask the vendor to put your phone number on the box when they ship it. Hope this helps!

    • Wow – thank you! Very helpful. Right now, I’m finding it hard to get an order to go through on Amazon that is shipping from one of their vendors. They just won’t ship up here no matter how I input the address. 😦

    • Luke Grabill

       /  June 5, 2012

      I am travelling by motorcycle from Ohio to Alaska at the end of June. We are staying in Alaska for about 2 1/2 week. To travel lighter I would like to ship some items to my motel in Tok and then back home when we leave. My question is how would I get a UPS pickup when we leave to come back. Thanks, Luke

    • The new Sean Burke

       /  July 23, 2015

      Hi Lisa! I’m the second Sean Burke living in Tok. Susan Russells oldest son. I live with Larry on Pringle. I use UPS A Lot! I’ve already had the Post Office foul up a delivery that went to the “other” Sean Burke.
      I’m using #3 Pringle and according to Larry you know where that is. Looking forward to meeting you.


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