Noatak National Preserve is very remote. There are no roads to provide access, so planes take care of most transportation needs.
Commercial airlines provide service from Anchorage to Kotzebue, or from Fairbanks to Bettles. Once in Kotzebue or Bettles, you must fly to the park with authorized air taxis. From Kotzebue, commercial airlines provide regularly scheduled flights to villages near the park.
Summer access may include motorized/non-motorized watercraft, aircraft, or by foot. Some visitors bring their own packable boats and have pilots drop them off to start a float through the park. Study a topographic map, then talk with a pilot to decide on a feasible backcountry landing spot. Hiking into the park from Kotzebue or Bettles may be possible, but it's a wilderness trek over rough terrain and wild rivers that requires many weeks to complete.
Winter access may include aircraft, snowmobiles or by foot. Small commercial planes fly to the local villages year round, weather permitting. Chartered aircraft may be able to land at backcountry sites on skis when the weather is clear. There are no local equipment rental services in Kotzebue. With advance planning, visitors can bring their own skis, snowshoes, dogteam or snowmobiles to travel into the park. Any winter trip requires advanced knowledge of cold weather survival.
Last updated: July 13, 2022