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COVID-19 STATUS: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

PARK PHASED REOPENING

Face Masks or Coverings Required in Certain Areas Social Distancing Required Visitors Centers, Stores and/or Other Facilities Closed
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If you believe this information is incorrect or needs updating, please let us know by using the link after clicking this box.

COVID-19 STATUS: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

PARK PHASED REOPENING

If you believe this information is incorrect or needs updating, please let us know here.
So what does "Park Phased Reopening" mean?

According to the U.S. National Park Service, Kobuk Valley National Park is currently working on reopening. This can mean that certain areas are closed. It can include trails, campgrounds, facilities, visitor centers, etc. Visit the source link below for more detailed information regarding this park's status.

What we know:

The below source link has very little information about the status of the park. The National Park Service requires everyone at this park, regardless of vaccination status, to continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces, such as narrow/busy trails, overlooks, visitor center patios, & other congested areas.

Face Masks or Coverings Required in Certain Areas

Kobuk Valley National Park is currently requiring masks or face coverings in certain or all areas. Depending on your vaccination status, if you are not fully vaccinated (meaning two weeks after your final vaccination), and according to CDC guidelines, which currently depends on the COVID-19 transmissibility rate in the community in and around the park. Most parks requiring masks indoors have put an alert out (found below in the Alerts section). Please refer to the U.S. National Park Service, the state of Alaska and the local community for more detailed information.

Social Distancing Required

Kobuk Valley National Park is currently requiring everyone to social distance, 6 feet or more, from others. This usually means outside of your immediate group. Some parks may also have size restrictions on gatherings to help assist in social distancing. Please refer to the U.S. National Park Service, the state of Alaska and the local community for more detailed information.

Visitors Centers, Stores and/or Other Facilities Closed

Kobuk Valley National Park currently has visitors centers, stores, or other facilities closed due to Covid-19. It is highly suggested that you bring all the supplies you may need in case a store is closed or shopping is limited due to local communities or the park. Please refer to the U.S. National Park Service, the state of Alaska and the local community for more detailed information.

Last Updated: September 16, 2021
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Park Alerts (1)

***Discover Our Parks, LLC takes no responsability in the accuracy of these alerts, which are taken directly from NPS.gov, and we provide them for informational purposes only. Please refer to NPS.gov for more information.

About Kobuk Valley National Park

Kobuk Valley National Park was established on December 2, 1980, under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) to maintain the environmental integrity of the natural features of the Kobuk River Valley, including the Kobuk, Salmon, and other rivers, the boreal forest, and the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, in an undeveloped state, to protect and interpret, in cooperation with Alaskan Natives, archaeological sites associated with Native cultures; to protect migration routes for the Arctic caribou herd; to protect habitat for, and population of, fish and wildlife including but not limited to caribou, moose, black and grizzly bears, wolves and waterfowl and to protect the viability of subsistence resources.

Kobuk Valley National Park is approximately 1.7 million acres and encompasses a nearly enclosed mountain basin on the middle section of the Kobuk River in northwest Alaska. Trees approach their northern limit in the park, where forest and tundra meet, creating a mosaic of forest and open tundra. Thousands of caribou funnel through mountain passes and cross the Kobuk River on their spring and fall migrations. Salmon and arctic char migrate to spawning grounds within the park. These and other seasonally abundant plant and animal resources have made the middle section of the Kobuk River favorable for human habitation and use. Native people have hunted, fished, and lived along the Kobuk River for at least 12,500 years, and the subsistence use of resources of the Kobuk Valley continues into the present. This vast natural landscape is home to the Inupiat Eskimo people who currently live along the Kobuk, upstream and downstream from Kobuk Valley National Park.

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, camping, hiking, backpacking, flightseeing, wildlife watching, photography and fishing opportunities abound. For people with Arctic winter survival skills and personal equipment, snow machining, skiing and dog mushing are also possible.

Permits are not required for independent travelers. 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. Popular activities include backpacking in the Baird Mountains, floating the Kobuk River, and hiking and camping in the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes.

Caribou, sand dunes, the Kobuk River, and Onion Portage are just some of the facets of Kobuk Valley National Park. Half a million caribou migrate through, their tracks crisscrossing sculpted dunes. The Kobuk River is an ancient and current path for people and wildlife. For 9000 years, people came to Onion Portage to harvest caribou as they swam the river. Even today, that rich tradition continues. Kobuk Valley National Park 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.

Source: Foundation Document Overview – Kobak Valley National Park

| Caribou, sand dunes, the Kobuk River, Onion Portage – just some of the facets of Kobuk Valley National Park. Half a million caribou migrate through, their tracks crisscrossing sculpted dunes. The Kobuk River is an ancient and current path for people and wildlife. For 9000 years, people came to Onion Portage to harvest caribou as they swam the river. Even today, that rich tradition continues. | Kobuk Valley National Park | Alaska | https://www.nps.gov/kova/index.htm

Fast Facts:

Date the Park was Established:December 2, 1980
Park Area (as of 2019):1,750,716.16 acres (7,084.9 km2)
Recreational Visitors (2018 Total):14,937 visitors

Park Weather

Snow, rain, and freezing temperatures can occur any time of the year. Always travel with good quality rain gear and warm layers. Be especially careful to stay dry. Hypothermia can set in on a windy, wet day, even when it doesn't feel that cold.