Kobuk Valley National Park

Noatak National Preserve

Set to the north of Kobuk National Park proper, Noatak National Preserve is part of the Kobuk complex.

As one of North America's largest mountain ringed river basins with an intact, unaltered ecosystem, the Noatak River environs feature some of the Arctic's finest arrays of plants and animals. The river offers equally superlative wilderness float-trip opportunities—from deep in the Brooks Range to tidewater of the Chukchi Sea, Noatak National Preserve lies almost completely enclosed by the Baird and De Long mountains of the Brooks Range. In this transition zone, the northern coniferous forest thins out and gradually gives way to the tundra that stretches northward to the Beaufort Sea. The Noatak basin is internationally recognized as a Biosphere Reserve. Under this United Nations scientific program the area's ecological and genetic components are monitored to establish baseline data for measuring changes in other ecosystems worldwide. Information can also be gathered here on sustainable uses of natural resources by humans, as exemplified by the Inupiat and other native peoples who have lived off the land of northwest Alaska for many thousands of years. The Noatak River is classified as a national wild and scenic river from its headwaters to the Kelly River.

Activities on the Noatak National Preserve
Gentle and slow moving except in its distant headwaters, the Noatak offers fine canoeing, kayaking and rafting. Aircraft landing on gravel bars or rivers and lakes provide access for fishing, hiking, backpacking, hunting, and other recreational pursuits.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 11 May 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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