Gates of the Arctic-Alaska

Gates of the Arctic- Alaska or the popular Gates of National Park and Preserve- Alaska takes you to a thrilling journey, where you get to explore the remote wilderness in the northern Alaska. Located above Arctic Circle, the Gates of the Arctic National Park serves home to black bears, moose and a host of other mammals.

Walking in the Gates of the Arctic-Alaska can bring you a life-time opportunity to discover a land which has been virtually untouched. If you are seeking a close encounter with the nature, then this national park offers you 8.5 million acres with varied natural treasures to make the most out of it.


The Athabascan and Inupiaq people and their ancestors were the first people who had traveled the long distances throughout this Central Brooks Range. These people survive on animals and plants found during every season. Their descendents today reside in the close by communities and still persist on hunting and gathering food from the preserve and park.

The other visitors who had visited the place include scientists, gold miners, and explorers. Their artifacts and broken-down cabins are reminders of the rich history of this land. The entire area was later proclaimed as a national monument in the year 1978 and founded as a national park and preserve on December 2, 1980.


The Gates of the Arctic National Park and the Preserve is the United States National Park situated in Alaska. This is a popular national park that lies north of Arctic Circle. And it is also the second biggest at 13, 000 square miles more or less same size as that of Switzerland. It’s the most remote and biggest units in offering park service.

Situated in the middle of the rough fastnesses of Brooks Range in Northern Alaska, the Gates of the Artic-Alaska do not have roads, no official trails and no visitor services. This is the most adventurous park which can only be entered by the bush plane or on foot. Be sure to have an encounter with the wolverines, grizzly bears, wolves, caribou, and other animals which roam freely in its river valleys, tundra and highlands.

Permits/ Fees:

No Admission or entrance fees are charged.

How to reach?

You have two ways to reach the place either to fly or walk into this remote national park of the United States. Most people prefer getting there in the scheduled flights. From the Fairbanks, there are scheduled flights which run in Bettles, Ambler and Anaktuvuk Pass. On reaching any of these points and Coldfoot, you may hire an air taxi.

People looking to hike into the park, can even park along the John River and then hike in. Most visitors can even select to drive from the Fairbanks following the route along the Dalton Highway and trek into the park from the Wiseman Point.

Time to visit:

The weather stands quite unpredictable here. You can expect rain or snow in any time of the year. Hence, summer months can be the best bets. Though summer months are short, the days are long and the temperature remains typically mild.


Kayaking, canoeing, hiking, rafting, bird watching, mountain climbing, hunting with license and fishing are the most popular activities.


The Gates of the Arctic-Alaska occupies a vast stretch of land. Visitors coming here should plan enough of time to discover the wilderness. An ideal way to visit this place is to plan out a river-hiking tour. You can contact the Bettles Ranger Station on the areas you can visit and what all things you may need during the trip.

The lakes and rivers serve to the main route to travel. The Alatna River is perfect for the first-timers. A float trip will typically take more than 4 to 7 days traveling through the stunning Tundra to the wooded Koyukuk River.

Kobuk River

Kobuk River starts at the Walter Lake and it runs south through the foot lands, canyons and the mountains. Located about 140 miles from the Walter Lake is the beautiful Kobuk village. It’s an ideal place where you may stop or you can go on exploring downriver to the Ambler and to the Kobuk Valley National Park.

The Noatak

It flows about 450 miles from the Gates of the Arctic, Alaska into Chukchi Sea. It creates one of the biggest wilderness basins on this continent.

The North Fort Koyukuk

It begins at the Summit Lake and then travels through the Frigid Crags and Boreal Mountain, stretching to the Bettles.

Things to reflect on:

Camping is perfect on the gravel bars. However, you must also remember that rainstorms during summer can also raise the water levels. Most rivers are found to be on its highest in the months of May and June.

Hiking provides the unique exposure to the remote wilderness. You should plan your trip wisely and use a compass and a map.

For your protection, you can carry licensed light firearms.

You must be well-skilled in outdoor adventures.

Never attempt to go close to the black grizzly bears. They are unpredictable and can even be dangerous as well.

Respect Eskimos and their property as they use this park for carrying out fishing activities.

Crossing river can be complicated as with the freezing waters and rapid currents.