Destination List > Kobuk Valley National Park
Kobuk Valley National Park
Photo by Western Arctic National Parklands
Kobuk Valley National Park is in the Arctic region of northwestern Alaska, located about 25 miles (40 km) north of the Arctic Circle. The park was designated in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act to preserve the 100 ft (30 m) high Great Kobuk Sand Dunes and the surrounding area which includes caribou migration routes.
Park visitors must bring all their own gear for backcountry camping, hiking, backpacking, boating, and dog sledding. No designated trails or roads exist in the park, which at 1,750,716 acres, is slightly larger than the state of Delaware. Kobuk Valley is one of eight national parks in Alaska, the state with the second most national parks, surpassed only by California which has nine. The park is managed by the National Park Service.
Since no roads lead into the park, visitors arrive via chartered air taxi from Nome, Bettles, or Kotzebue. Flights are available year-round, but are weather dependent. The park is one of the least-visited American national parks, along with others inaccessible by road, including the neighboring Gates of the Arctic, Isle Royale in the middle of Lake Superior, the Dry Tortugas at the end of the Florida Keys, as well as Katmai and Lake Clark in southern Alaska.