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 before reaching the preserve geographically. Therefore, the majority of Noatak is covered by open tundra and windswept mountains. All plants that grow in the arctic must be specially adapted to survive fierce winds, biting cold, thin soils, and a short growing season. For a complete list of all the plants found in Noatak National Preserve, please contact the visitor center located in Kotzebue at (907)442-3890.