Apatite fission track data are used to evaluate the thermal and tectonic history of the central Brooks Range and the North Slope foreland basin in northern Alaska along the northern leg of the Trans-Alaska Crustal Transect (TACT). Fission track analyses of the detrital apatite grains in most sedimentary units resolve the timing of structures and denudation within the Brooks Range, ranging in scale from the entire mountain range to relatively small-scale folds and faults. Interpretation of the results indicates that rocks exposed within the central Brooks Range cooled rapidly from paleotemperatures 110?? to 50??C during discrete episodes at ???100??5 Ma, ???60??4 Ma, and ???24??3 Ma, probably in response to kilometer-scale denudation. North of the mountain front, rocks in the southern half of the foreland basin were exposed to maximum paleotemperatures 110??C in the Late Cretaceous to early Paleocene as a result of burial by Upper Jurassic and Cretaceous sedimentary rocks. Rapid cooling from these elevated paleotemperatures also occurred due to distinct episodes of kilometer-scale denudation at ???60??4 Ma, 46??3 Ma, 35??2 Ma, and ???24??3 Ma. Combined, the apatite analyses indicate that rocks exposed along the TACT line through the central Brooks Range and foreland basin experienced episodic rapid cooling throughout the Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic in response to at least three distinct kilometer-scale denudation events. Future models explaining orogenic events in northern Alaska must consider these new constraints from fission track thermochronology. Copyright 1997 by the American Geophysical Union.