Jade Mountains

mountains tower in the background with green trees in the foreground
The Jade Mountains create an impressive vista in Kobuk Valley National Park.

NPS/Emily Mesner

Quick Facts
Kobuk Valley National Park
Natural History

Scenic View/Photo Spot

The Jade Mountains run along the eastern border of Kobuk Valley National Park, half inside and half out. They stand between Onion Portage within the park and the village of Ambler, located outside park boundaries. 

Many visitors marvel at these mountains, which can be seen from other popular areas within the park, including the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes and Onion Portage. The Jade Mountains are a small offshoot of the larger Baird Mountain range. The Jade Mountains stand surrounded by forests of coniferous trees and a smattering of colorful tundra plants. Rivers and creeks flow through its valleys, supplying fresh water to the plants surrounding it.

The Jade Mountains have historically been an important source of minerals to the Iñupiaq people. Pre-contact, jade was one of the strongest materials available and was used in the making of a number of necessary items. This list includes anything from tools, such as weaponry and knives, to more adorning objects, such as beads. Jade is actually considered stronger than most metals, rating as high as a 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. 


Kobuk Valley National Park

Last updated: January 15, 2021