• Image of sand dunes

    Kobuk Valley

    National Park Alaska

History & Culture

Kobuk Valley National Park is home to the famous Onion Portage archeological site (NHL) but more importantly the cradle of the Arctic Woodland Culture defined by pioneering archeologist J. Louis Giddings.

Recent archeological work conducted by NPS archeologists have found evidence of human usage of the Kobuk Sand Dunes Complex, settlements along the main course of the Kobuk River, and most recently a temporary camp high in a mountain pass between the Kobuk and Noatak valleys.

The Cultural Resources program at Kobuk Valley National Park documents people in the parks, now and in the past, and helps preserve places with special history. To learn more about cultural resources, visit our program page.

Did You Know?

Two rustic cabins surrounded by trees. The large one sits on the ground and the small one sits on stilts to protect stored food from animals

In 1940, archeologist J. Louis Giddings traveled down the Kobuk River on a homemade raft, with three young Native men as guides. They found many ancient house depressions, including one at Onion Portage in Kobuk Valley National Park. The site is now believed to be about 10,000 years old.