Gates of the Arctic National Park Photo Gallery

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Sitting in the northernmost park in the United States, Gates of the Arctic National Park spans 8.2 million acres, most of which is preserved as wilderness area. No established roads, visitor facilities, or campgrounds exist within the park. Visitors access the park by bush plane or hike in—and both require careful planning.  
Credit: Rich Reid/National Geographic/Getty 
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A total of 145 bird species have been seen in the park over the past 30 years. Nearly half of those recorded are normally associated with aquatic habitats. Raptors inhabiting the park include species of eagles, hawks, falcons, and owls. Arctic peregrine falcons, a threatened species recently removed from the endangered list, also nest in the area. Other species to spot include three species of parasitic jaegers (one of which is pictured here) and the northern shrike, a predatory songbird.  
Credit: National Park Service 
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The park's dramatic name was coined by legendary wilderness advocate and early far-north explorer Robert Marshall, who described two peaks, Frigid Crags and Boreal Mountain, as massive gates opening into a region of mystery from Alaska's central Brooks Range into the arctic regions of the far north. The Arrigetch Peaks (pictured here), a cluster of granite spires in the Brooks Range, rise 6,000 feet and are popular with serious rock climbers.  
Credit: National Park Service 
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Wildflowers are at their best during the short summer. One of the many plants that grows in abundance here is arctic bell-heather, a dwarf shrub that inhabits the ridges and bears bell-shaped, solitary flowers.  
Credit: Tracie Pendergrast/National Park Service 
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Allowing that space is critical to a wilderness—space for animals to roam and for people to wander—Gates of the Arctic offers visitors an unparalleled wilderness experience. With only 10,000 recreational visits per year and with no established trails to speak of, backpackers enter the park with the feeling of being the first humans ever to set foot there. Make sure to bring the proper gear for hiking in a remote wilderness—temperatures can fall below freezing in the middle of July.  
Credit: Teri McMillan/National Park Service 
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A total of 36 species of mammals live within the park, ranging in size from voles and lemmings to brown bears and moose. The Dall sheep that live here tend to stay on open, alpine ridges in hopes that their predators—wolves, coyotes, black and grizzly bears—can't traverse the terrain as quickly.  
Credit: Christy Splechter/National Park Service 
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The park itself was established in 1980—but its expansive, unfettered wilderness echoes back to a time before the National Park Service existed. As such, Gates of the Arctic National Park offers access to some of the most pristine wilderness in North America.  
Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
 
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