Things To Do

Person standing next to a tent on a gravel bar watching a bear through binoculars.
Creek Bordering the Kobuk Sand Dunes

Melanie Flamme

There are no developed facilities in Kobuk Valley National Park, but 1,795,280 acres of remote backcountry provides a lot of room for outdoor adventures. In summer, boating/floating, backpacking/camping, flightseeing, and fishing opportunities abound. On these trips there are abundant opportunites for observing wildlife and seemingly endless landscapes to photograph. For people with Arctic winter survival skills and personal equipment, snow machining, skiing and dog mushing are also possible. Whether you start your trip in winter or summer, stop in at the Northwest Arctic Hertiage Center to tour the museum and talk with a ranger. Permits are not required for independent travelers. Organized recreational groups do need to get a permit from the Chief Ranger. Contact the park at (907) 442-3890 for more information.

Park Access
Travel to our parks usually take people through either Anchorage, Fairbanks, and/or Nome. If your itinerary allows, there are some park visitor centers you could visit. The Alaska Public Lands Information Center (APLIC) has centers in both Fairbanks and Achorage that offer quite a bit of information for visitors. If you are going through Fairbanks, you would be close to the many ranger stations and visitor centers. If you are stopping over in Nome, Bering Land Bridge National Preserve is a great place to visit.

Summer access is by plane, boat, or by foot. While it is possible to backpack from the Dalton Highway, through Gates of the Arctic National Park into Kobuk Valley National Park, it is logistically challenging and would take weeks. Most trips begin by taking a plane to your starting point.

Winter access is by plane, snowmachine or dogs. Plan to fly into the park, unless you have your own snowmachine or dogteam. Skiing, snowshoeing, dogsledding or skijoring through the mountains or on the frozen rivers are all possible adventures.

Commercial businesses provide flights when the weather is good, but plan extra days to wait in case of bad weather. Bring all your own equipment. Any winter trip requires advanced knowledge of cold weather survival. Even in the summer, hypothermia is possible, so plan ahead and be prepared.

Kotzebue, AK
Community programs are available throughout the year at the Northwest Arctic Heritage Center. Topics include natural and cultural history of the park, local research, workshops and children's activities. The schedule varies, so please call (907) 442-3890 before your arrival or check the events calendar to learn about upcoming programs.

Two visitors hold up a Kobuk Valley National Park sign
Visitors at Kobuk Valley National Park display their park flag during a visit to the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes.

NPS/Linda Jeschke

Remember to be respectful

Private land is common along the Kobuk River, so please detour around areas that show any signs of buildings, camps or residence. Subsistence is also common in the park, so be conscious of your actions and how they affect others who are enjoying the bounty that the park provides.

Last updated: January 23, 2023

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 1029
Kotzebue, AK 99752


907 442-3890

Contact Us