• 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 »

Noatak River

Noatak river winding through a broad valley on a cloudy day.

NPS Photograph

This river drains the largest mountain ringed river basin in America that is still virtually unaffected by human activities. However, this high-use area is a designated wilderness concern. Vegetation around lakes at the various put-in and take-out points is being destroyed and the impact is detracting from the area's wild character. After arriving, move directly to the river to camp on gravel bars. Use existing trails between lakes and the river. Do not build fires on the tundra.

 










Approximate Length




65 mi / 104 km — *The Noatak River continues for another 265 mi / 426 km through Noatak National Preserve




Scenic Quality




Glacial valley with snowcapped peaks




Recreational Opportunities




One of the longest designated wild rivers in Alaska; good floating, sightseeing, and wildlife viewing opportunities.




Geologic Features




Mount Igikpak and Schwatka Mountains of west-central Brooks Range; narrow glacial valley




Natural Resources




Plentiful caribou, Dall sheep, grizzly bear, and several species of raptors




Cultural Resources




Transportation route by natives for thousands of years


 
Noatak River location map.
NPS Image

Did You Know?

Person paddling down the Noatak River.

The Noatak drainage that begins in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve and continues through the Noatak Preserve is an internationally recognized biosphere reserve.