Things To Know Before You Come
Visitors should be prepared to enjoy a non-traditional National Park Service experience. There are no roads, trails, campgrounds or regularly attended ranger stations in Noatak National Preserve. This is truly a wild area. Access is typically by small aircraft, which can cost several hundred dollars per flight hour. Licensed air transporters are available in Kotzebue and Bettles.
The number of National Park Service staff in Kotzebue is small and the acreage of the preserve is large. Visitors may not be able to contact a ranger if they have an emergency. Backcountry experience and self-sufficiency are vital. Your safety is your responsibility. Along with this come tremendous opportunities for peace and solitude on a vast landscape.
Visitors are not required to check in with staff at the headquarters office in Kotzebue or get a permit before starting a trip in the preserve. However, rangers are happy to document itineraries if travelers wish to provide that information.
Cell phones often do not work in the backcountry. Satellite phones do work, however, and some travelers choose to carry them for added safety.
Noatak National Preserve is bear country. It is important to keep human food and scented items away from bears or any wild animals. Animal - resistant food containers are available for loan from the rangers in Kotzebue. Please practice Leave No Trace skills to maintain the pristine and wild nature of this area.
Hunting is allowed in Noatak National Preserve. All hunters are required to follow state and federal regulations. State regulations are available at www.adfg.state.ak.us. Federal regulations are available at http://alaska.fws.gov/. Please respect all local subsistence hunting and gathering and give people a wide berth so they may finish their work without interruption.
Visitors who plan to fish need to have an Alaska state fishing license. Licenses are available in Kotzebue or online at www.adfg.state.ak.us.
Did You Know?
The Western Arctic caribou herd is comprised of about 370,000 caribou, making it North America’s largest. These “nomads of the north” travel through Noatak National Preserve twice a year during their long trek between southern wintering areas and northern calving grounds.