Plan your visit to
Kobuk Valley National Park
The Least Known, But Miles of Pristine Wilderness
The reason there is less of an attraction to this particular park is the fact that the entire park lies above the arctic circle. Kobuk Valley National Park is however a diamond among the national parks and deserves to have visitors enjoy the vast landscapes that make up the 1,750,716 acres of the park.
Great Kobuk Sand Dunes
It may be a peculiar site to see sand dunes rising out of the arctic, but the story behind the dunes shows off the awesome power of the natural world that we live in. Thousands of years ago the land that is known as Kobuk Valley National Park was completely covered with massive glaciers. As the glaciers moved across the land, the pressure grinded the rocks to the sand that we see today. It is the perfect example of how nature can take over and shape the land as it sees fit. The dunes are one of the most visited attractions within the park and are the only example of sand dunes to be found anywhere within the arctic.
Animals are amazing for their natural ability to know when to move from one area to another. We see migration with birds heading south to find warmer climates and many other migratory creatures that seem to move when the wind tells them to. This animal instinct to get to familiar territory is found in caribou as well. For thousands of years’ caribou have migrated directly through the Kobuk Valley National Park to get to their ancestral breeding grounds. The caribou migration is a wonderful sight to behold and one that you should not miss during your trip to the park. For the caribou, their migrations tend to occur during the spring between April 1 and May 31 and fall migration is between August 8 and October 7. The other times throughout the year you will find the herd scattered throughout the park.
Most people are accustomed to looking at stars through the haze of city lights. Although some of the brightest stars are visible through the lights, most stars are not visible for the glow of the artificial lights of the city. Those who live in the country get a better view of the stars, but no stargazing experience can match the clear sky that can be seen through the untouched atmosphere of the arctic circle. Kobuk Valley National Park offers the best star gazing that can be found anywhere in the world. It also offers visitors the chance to view one of the world’s largest celestial anomalies. The aurora borealis can be seen throughout Alaska during the winter months, but from Kobuk Valley National Forest you will feel as though you can touch the colors.
Things You Need to Know
If you choose to visit Kobuk Valley National Park you are going to want to be aware of a few things. The first is that there are no developed visitor’s centers or buildings of any kind within the park. The closest visitor’s information center is at The Northwest Arctic Heritage Center in Kotzebue, Alaska. Information about the park can be accessed from this area. Including information on how to get to the park.
The remote nature of Kobuk Valley National Park means that there are no roads in and out of the park. The only way to access the area is to hike, ski, dogsled, or fly into the park. The land options require you to be able to traverse the vast expanse of the Alaskan wilderness, but by far the easiest way to access the area is by plane. Planes fly in and out of Kobuk Valley National Park throughout the year and depending on the weather conditions. Choosing to fly in may seem like the best option because it requires the least amount of time, but you have to remember to account for the weight of all the gear as well as all persons traveling within your group.
A day trip to Kobuk Valley National Park is a viable option provided that the weather is appropriate for travel. If, however you are looking to camp within the park you will be pleased to know that there are no fees associated with camping. Before you decide to travel to Alaska and camp within the arctic circle you will want to be well versed in camping in very cold conditions. Even if your travels take you to Kobuk Valley National Park in the summer months’ temperatures can dip below freezing quite quickly, so leave your shorts at home. The wilderness of this area is a truly remarkable site to behold, but it is one that should be visited and treated with the utmost of respect.
[rating itemreviewed=”Kobuk Valley National Park” rating=”7″ reviewer=”Adventure Review – National Parks” dtreviewed=”27 December 2016″ best=”10″ worst=”0″]The reason there is less of an attraction to this particular park is the fact that the entire park lies above the arctic circle. Kobuk Valley National Park is however a diamond among the national parks and deserves to have visitors enjoy the vast landscapes that make up the 1,750,716 acres of the park.[/rating]
Download a Kobuk Valley National Park Map
Planning a trip to Kobuk Valley National Park? Be sure to download the official Kobuk Valley National Park map, below, or use our interactive maps to find restaurants, hotels, or activities along the route of your choosing in and around the park. Either way, don’t leave home without a map of Kobuk Valley National Park. This free Kobuk Valley National Park map shows park roads, attractions, and more.
Average High/Low Temperatures
Official Kobuk Valley National Park Map – Click on the Map to download