The Noatak River
As one of North America's largest mountain-ringed river basins, the Noatak River supports an intact, unaltered ecosystem. Adventurous travelers can float this wild and scenic river from its headwaters in Gates of the Arctic National Park to its outlet at Kotzebue Sound. It is also possible to arrange for an aircraft pick-up at various locations inbetween. Although largely characterized by gentle, slow-moving waters, boaters should be prepared to deal with challenges, particularly in the headwaters area.
The terrain along much of the Noatak River is vast and open, providing ample opportunities for viewing wildlife and exploring the flora of the arctic tundra.
Some local residents have private inholdings within the preserve boundary, many of which are located along the banks of the Noatak River. Be respectful of private property and avoid trespassing.
Local access to camps is often by motorized boat. Throughout the summer and fall, visitors may encounter individuals engaged in subsistence activities such as hunting, fishing and berry picking. It is customary to be courteous and exchange greetings.
Did You Know?
As of 2006, scientists have documented 447 species of vascular plants in Noatak National Preserve. The majority of the preserve is dominated by various types of tundra.