Kobuk Valley National Park


Visitors can see everything from bears and murres to sand dunes and salmon.

[by David Shaw]

It’s Denali National Park’s fault I live in Alaska. Fourteen years ago, I accepted a position as a field biologist, banding birds at the far end of the park’s only road. For two months I awoke every clear morning to a view of Denali itself, the Great One rising 20,320 feet into thin air. I was hooked, and have been here ever since.

Take a roll in the dirt. Kobuk Valley National Park allows visitors to explore a sand dune amusement park, one that’s frequently traversed by migrating caribou. With almost 1.8 million acres of remote backcountry, you won’t run out of outdoor adventures or run into many tourists. Like other parks in the Brooks Range, this region lacks trails and facilities, but that’s part of its allure. Photography, flight-seeing, backpacking, snowmachining, dog mushing and just about anything else you can think of are possibilities here. Fly from Anchorage to Kotzebue and charter a flight to the park. Just come prepared for all types of weather, even snow in summer. Canoeing Sixty-one exceptional miles of the 350-mile Kobuk River flow through the park. Paddlers are expected to fly their own gear into the park (as there are no developed facilities here), but we recommend hiring an outfitter and enjoying their boats, PFDs and expertise…