Kobuk Valley Nationwide Park: Important Ideas & Extra

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Are you on the lookout for an genuine rustic tenting journey that’s so distant, the wildlife is untouched by expertise and folks? Then the Kobuk Valley Nationwide Park is simply what you’re on the lookout for!

Learn on to be taught all about this park and methods to put together to your go to!

Kobuk Valley National Park

The place Is Kobuk Valley Nationwide Park?

Kobuk Valley Nationwide Park is a 1.7 million acre (2736 miles) nationwide park in Arctic Alaska. It’s situated in a big valley across the center space the place the Kobuk River flows.

The Baird and Waring Mountain Ranges encompass the park, forming a type of semi-circle-shaped bowl during which the park sits. This distinctive location protects the geological options within the territory. It additionally provides safety to the migration route of the Western Arctic Caribou as they journey north and south.

The Kobuk Valley Nationwide Park is situated 75 miles east of Kotzebue. That is additionally the place the Customer’s Heart and Park Ranger Station for the park are primarily based.

The best way to Get to the Park

There are not any roads that result in this nationwide park. You will get to the park by solely two strategies of transportation.

The primary methodology is to catch a industrial flight into Kotzebue or Bettles, the 2 closest cities to the Kobuk Valley. From there, a bush pilot can then fly you in and drop you into the depths of the valley.

The one different choice for attending to the Kobuk Valley Nationwide Park is to take a ship alongside the Kobuk River and float to the realm you intend to camp.

Services and Tenting

There are not any designated campsites obtainable and completely no amenities for guests to make the most of.

The Kobuk Valley Nationwide Park is way from roads, trails, or any indicators of life, apart from wildlife. It’s extremely beneficial that you just go to the Northwest Arctic Heritage Heart in Kotzebue to talk with a park ranger earlier than journeying to the park.

Kobuk Valley Dunes

As soon as you’re inside the boundaries of the nationwide park, the preferred locations to camp are on the Nice Kobuk Sand Dunes. These are situated within the southeast part of the Kobuk River.

One other standard place to arrange camp is the Onion Portage. This part is situated on the northern financial institution of the Kobuk River. One of many attracts of tenting at this explicit spot is that it’s good for watching the caribou that migrate north of the valley within the springtime and south of the valley round Labor Day.

Onion Portage can also be a primary location for hikers to climb for a gorgeous view of the Jade Mountains. As well as, Giddings’ Cabin, in-built 1964 and an instance of conventional log constructing strategies, is situated right here.

Please think about abiding by the Depart No Hint ideas.

Issues to Do in Kobuk Valley Nationwide Park

There are not any formal climbing trails made, however guests are welcome to go the place they’re in a position. Mountain climbing, tenting, backpacking, floating on rivers, fishing, and viewing wildlife are all par for the course on the Kobuk Valley Nationwide Park.

One factor to maintain an eye fixed out for is the Kobuk locoweed. This plant is a small flowering herb that’s a part of the pea household and is barely discovered inside the Kobuk Valley Nationwide Park!

Reminder: The Park Ranger Station and Customer Heart are situated outdoors the park within the city of Kotzebue. Plan to go to there prior to creating the journey to your campsite.

When Is the Greatest Time to Go?

The Kobuk Valley Nationwide Park is open year-round.

Summer time is taken into account the favourite time to go amongst most guests. The ice breaks on the Kobuk River in Could and doesn’t start to reform once more till mid-October. From mid-June by July the wildflowers develop in abundance, making it a favourite time for guests to camp.

Kobuk Valley National Park

August brings a variety of rain, and by September the snow will return. Late August is when the aspens start turning colours and when the southern migration of the caribou begins.

The Northern Lights are lively all 12 months spherical however are greatest seen on the darkest nights of winter.

Observe: The solar by no means units between June third and July ninth.

All About Kobuk Valley Nationwide Park

Historical past

The Kobuk Valley Nationwide Park was proclaimed a nationwide monument in 1978. In 1980 the park went by boundary adjustments, altering its official standing to a nationwide park. 

The park was fashioned from glacial-outwash streams emptying into what was as soon as a big lake contained in the valley. These glacial-outwash stream deposits are how the sand dunes had been finally fashioned 1000’s of years in the past.

Archaeological websites round Orange Portage present proof of 12 thousand years of human occupation. This makes this spot one of many earliest documented locations of human inhabitants on the planet. This park has additionally been discovered to be the house to the wooly mammoth over the past ice age. 

As we speak, the Inupiaq Eskimos nonetheless hunt the caribou simply as their ancestors did 1000’s of years in the past.


The Kobuk Valley Nationwide Park is bordered to the north by the Noatak Nationwide Protect. To the south it’s fringed by the Selawik Nationwide Wildlife Refuge.

The park holds the Kobuk River Valley which incorporates the Kobuk River and Salmon Rivers. It’s additionally house to a area of the Boreal Forest and the Nice Kobuk Sand Dunes.

The Kobuk River is taken into account slow-moving and flows west. This river is 1500 ft at its widest level. Total, guests think about it to be huge and placid. It’s a nice river to journey by canoe, kayak, or by motorboat. 

The Kobuk Valley Nationwide Park sits in a valley with the Baird Mountains to the north and the Waring Mountains to the south. 

The Nice Kobuk Sand Dunes sit to the southeast of the Kobuk River. These dunes are well-known for having crests reaching heights of 100 ft! Close by to those are the Little Kobuk Sand Dunes and the Hunt River Sand Dunes.

The Boreal Forests are house to spruce, alder, and birch bushes. It sits north of the valley.

Local weather

The local weather is one thing guests will certainly need to consider earlier than planning a visit to the Kobuk Valley Nationwide Park.

Summer time temperatures common within the 60s, with 70s or 80s within the highs. Nonetheless, temperatures can attain 100 levels in summer time, so bear in mind!

Within the winter months, temperatures common -6 levels. However they will drop to beneath -50 levels! Plan rigorously and communicate with the Park Ranger previous to tenting presently of 12 months.

Winds common 5-10 mph all year long. They will attain as excessive as 30 mph with the method of a storm.

Warning: At any time of the 12 months, publicity and hypothermia are important threats to guests.


With such a distant location and lack of civilization close by, this space is teeming with every kind of wildlife!

Alaskan Bear

This explicit territory is taken into account bear nation! Remember to retailer your meals out of attain of all wild animals, not simply bears. Take into account investing in animal-resistant containers previous to your journey.

Along with grizzly bears and black bears, this a part of the nation has moose, wolverines, foxes, porcupines, small fur-bearing animals, wolves, and waterfowl. The rivers are additionally overflowing with fish. And these waters are house to the sheefish!

Kobuk Valley Nationwide Park can also be house to hundreds of thousands of birds. The Arctic tern flies in from the coast of Antarctica, making it the longest migration of any chicken on the planet. Different birds that decision the valley their house are geese, cranes, loons, geese, and swans.

As acknowledged earlier than, this valley is house to roughly 500,000 caribou! They start their migrations north within the springtime to achieve their calving floor. They then migrate south within the fall to seek out their rutting space.

The migration of the caribou is taken into account one of many nice migrations left on the planet. In whole, the caribou make a 600-mile trek throughout their migration.

What Ought to I Convey After I Go to?

As you’ve learn above, there will likely be entry to little or no when you arrive within the valley.

Try to be ready to know methods to orient your self and determine which path you want to head. Convey alongside maps, a compass, and a GPS.  Fundamental cell telephones won’t get service within the valley. Convey a satellite tv for pc cellphone if in case you have one!

Even in the summertime, it will probably get chilly within the Arctic. The climate can change shortly. Be ready for every kind of climate, irrespective of the season you go to.

Winter Camping

Any outerwear you deliver must be insulated with artificial supplies. Convey alongside a breathable rain jacket and rain pants.

To the perfect of your capacity, keep away from sporting cotton, because it absorbs moisture and may result in hypothermia. The very best choices for clothes are these made with polypropylene, fleece, wool, or fur.

Even when visiting in the summertime months, deliver loads of heat clothes, costume in layers, and have high-quality rain gear. Remember to have sturdy climbing boots. And convey alongside knee-high rubber or neoprene boots for moist terrain.

In the event you plan to go to throughout June or early July, deliver a face masks so you’ll be able to sleep even when it’s nonetheless mild outdoors.

Within the winter, the times are brief. The solar is barely above the horizon for 90 minutes on December 21. Once more, plan accordingly with this info in thoughts.

Go to Kobuk Valley Nationwide Park

And that wraps up all it’s good to know concerning the Kobuk Valley Nationwide Park. Go to a chunk of historical past and plan to make a journey to this nationwide park in your subsequent tenting journey! Taken with discovering different places to camp in Alaska? We’re able to reply all of your questions with 30 of the Greatest Locations to Go Tenting in Alaska!


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