• 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 »

North Fork of the Koyukuk River

Loading the inflatable boat on the North Fork of the Koyukuk River.

Loading the boat, North Fork of the Koyukuk River

NPS Photograph Teri McMillan

The North Fork of the Koyukuk flows from the south flank on the Arctic Divide through broad, glacially carved valleys in the rugged Endicott Mountains of the Central Brooks Range. It passes between Boreal Mountain and Frigid Crags dubbed the "Gates to the Arctic" by Bob Marshall. The North Fork joins the Middle Fork and can be run all the way to Bettles Field.

 










Approximate Length





102 mi / 164 km





Scenic Quality





Beautiful Glacial valleys bordered by rugged peaks of Endicott Mountains in central Brooks Range.





Recreational Opportunities





The river can be accessed in the headwaters area. There are a few challenging rapids depending on water levels. The river is mostly class two or less. There is outstanding wilderness backpacking in the upper reaches of the drainage.





Geologic Features





South flank of the arctic Continental Divide; broad glacial valleys bordered by Endicott Mountains





Natural Resources





Variety of wildlife; major caribou migration route





Cultural Resources





This drainage contains one of the densest concentrations of archaeological and historical sites in the park. These sites include gold mining sites from the early 20th century and prehistoric sites dating to as old as 10,000 years.






 
Location map of the North Fork of the Koyukuk River
NPS Image

Did You Know?

An Inuksuk stands out against the sky.

Iñuksuit ("stone people") were used to drive caribou by Nunamiut Eskimos, and are found along caribou migratory routes in Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve. More...