Kobuk Valley National Park   1 comment

Where Is It: The Park is very remote. You can’t drive there; you must take a plane. Commercial airlines provide service from Anchorage to Kotzebue, or from Fairbanks to Bettles. Once in Kotzebue or Bettles, you must fly to the park with authorized air taxis.

The Birth: This park was one of 15 new properties established by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) of 1980. President Jimmy Carter first declared it a national monument in 1978 using the Antiquities Act.  Congress eventually passed the ANILCA bill in 1980, and Carter then re-designated the Monument as Kobuk Valley National Park on December 2, 1980.

It Happened Here: Over 30 prospectors’ camps were established during a short gold rush in 1899–1900. Surveys have not yet located the sites, though fragments of the miners’ boats have been found.

Size: 1,750,000 acres.

# Visitors: A record of 29,550 visitors came to the Park in 2012. September was the peak month.

Plants: From the Park’s website:

The southern boundary of the park is 35 miles above the Arctic Circle. The boreal forest reaches its northern limit here, resulting in an open woodland of small trees in a mat of thick tundra. The Kobuk River winds its way slowly through the park for 61 miles.

Animals: The largest caribou herd in Alaska – about 490,000 animals – travels through this area during its migration.

Choices: From NationalGeographic.com:

Summer is the best time to visit. Days are long (from about June 3 to July 9 the sun doesn’t set), and temperatures in many places can reach into the 80s or higher. Ice breaks up on the Kobuk River in May and begins to reform by mid-October. Mid-June to late July is best for wildflowers. August can bring rain and September snow. In late August, the aspens begin to turn yellow and the tundra red, and the caribou migration begins.

Fees: There is no entrance fee.

Staying There: There are no campsites or developed lodging areas in the Park. Primitive camps are made on the tundra or near the river, where a rapid rise in water flow can make those campsites hazardous.

Current Issues: From the National Parks Conservation Association:

Kobuk Valley National Park is home to the only active sand dunes within the Arctic Circle. The Great Kobuk, Little Kobuk, and Hunt River Sand Dunes have shrunk to 25 square miles. At one time, they covered twelve times as much area.


National Park Service: Kobuk Valley National Park

Posted December 3, 2013 by henrymowry in National Parks

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One response to “Kobuk Valley National Park

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  1. gorgeous!!!!!!

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