• Image of mountains and river

    Gates Of The Arctic

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

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  • Emergency Sheep Hunting Closure in Units 23 & 26(A)

    All sheep seasons in Game Management Units 23 and 26(A) for all resident and nonresident hunters are closed due to severe decline in sheep numbers in the contiguous populations of the De Long and Schwatka Mountains. More »

Kobuk River

Kobuk River location map.
NPS Image
Sun setting over the Kobuk River.

NPS Photograph Teri McMillan

The Kobuk River flows from its headwaters in the Endicott Mountains and Walker Lake, through a broad valley. Located on the southernmost reaches of the Brooks Range, it passes through one of the largest continuous forested areas in the Park and Preserve.


Approximate Length

110 mi / 177 km

Scenic Quality

Wide valleys with sweeping vistas of nearby hills and low mountains; Walker Lake; two canyons

Recreational Opportunities

Exceptional float river; a few short stretches of extremely rugged rapids (up to class V); good opportunities for sport hunting ( in Preserve only), wildlife observation and backpacking

Geologic Features

Endicott Mountains of central Brooks Range; upper and lower Kobuk canyons

Natural Resources

Variety of fish and wildlife; one of largest concentrations of sheefish; wintering grounds for Western Arctic caribou herd; one of the largest continuous spruce forest areas in the Brooks Range

Cultural Resources

Highly significant potential for archeology because of continuous occupation and links between inland Eskimo people. The Kobuk River was the site of a minor gold rush at the turn of the century.

Did You Know?

A July snow dusting tents in the Itkillik valley.

It can get below freezing and snow in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve any month, even in July.