Lying entirely north of the Arctic Circle, the ground is permanently frozen below much of the park. This impermeable "permafrost" layer prevents drainage and causes many surface areas to remain wet during the summer. Trees approach their northern limit in Kobuk Valley, where boreal forest and tundra meet. All plants that grow in the arctic must be specially adapted to survive fierce winds, biting cold, thin soils, and a short growing season. The northern tree line zigzags through the valleys of the Brooks Range and along the Kobuk River. Spruce, willow, and birch trees are found along rivers and streams, on many south-facing hills, and where drainage is good and permafrost is lacking.

The park was established to maintain the environmental integrity of the valley's natural features in an undeveloped state and, in cooperation with local Natives, to protect and interpret archeological sites associated with Native cultures. As such, natural and archeological objects are protected. Leaving them where you find them preserves these special resources for the good of residents and visitors alike.

Last updated: October 23, 2015

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 1029
Kotzebue, AK 99752


907 442-3890

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