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Kobuk Valley National Park

The park contains approximately 1,726,500 acres of federal lands and encompasses a nearly enclosed mountain basin in the middle section of the Kobuk River in the Northwest Alaska Areas. Trees approach their northern limit In the Kobuk Valley, where forest and tundra meet. Today's dry, cold climate of the Kobuk Valley still approximates that of late Pleistocene times, supporting a remnant flora once covering the vast Arctic steppe tundra bridging Alaska and Asia. Sand created by the grinding of glaciers has been carried to the Kobuk Valley by winds and water. The Great Kobuk Sand Dunes -- 25 square miles of shifting dunes where summer temperatures can exceed 90F -- is the largest active dune flat in the arctic latitudes.

Native people have lived In the Kobuk Valley for at least 12,500 years. This human use is best recorded at the extensive archeological sites at Onion Portage. The Kobuk Valley remains an important area for traditional subsistence harvest of caribou, moose, bears, fish, waterfowl, and many edible and medicinal plants. The slow-moving, gentle Kobuk River is popular for fishing and canoeing or kayaking. Backpacking and photography afford scenic, recreational use.

Access

Daily jet service is available from Anchorage and Fairbanks to Kotzebue. Scheduled air service is available to the parklands and nearby villages. During the summer, with advance arrangement, a boat charter is available.

Approximate Size

1.7 million acres.


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