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* Tour Gates of the Arctic N.P. *
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NPS Website
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Gates of the Arctic
Arctic Wild
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Hiker Central

    Welcome to Gates of the Arctic Alaska

    Northernmost national park in the U.S. (the entirety of the park lies north of the Arctic Circle) and the second largest at over 13 thousand square miles, about the same size as Switzerland. The park consists primarily of portions of the Brooks Range of mountains.

    Backpacking in Gates of the Arctic Gates of the Arctic is one of the last truly wild places on earth. Here you can take a journey of adventure, discovery and solitude through vast valleys and gaunt mountains of rugged beauty and experience nature on it own terms. Visitors to the park must have the knowledge and skills to be truly self sufficient in the remote location and demanding climate of the Brooks Range. Those who come will find that opportunities for recreation and for natural quiet, solitude and wilderness enjoyment abound.

    Unusual for a U.S. national park, some 1,500 people reside in ten small communities in the park's "resident subsistence zone" where they rely on park resources for survival.

    There are no established roads, trails, visitor facilities, or campgrounds in the park. However, the Dalton Highway (SR-11) comes within five miles (8 km) of the park's eastern boundary. The National Park Service maintains a small visitor center in nearby Coldfoot on the highway.

    Bettles Ranger Station (Field Operations)
    P.O. Box 30, Bettles, AK 99726; 907-692-5494;

    Fairbanks Ranger Station (Headquarters)
    4175 Geist Road, Fairbanks, AK 99709; 907-457-5752;

    Climate
    The central Brooks Range has long, severe winters and relatively short summers. During the winter, long nights prevail, while the summer has thirty days of continuous sunlight. Visitors traveling in the park move through a variety of climatic zones and experience highly variable and unpredictable weather. Snow can fall during any month of the year.

    Recreational Activities

    Camping in Gates of the Arctic Camping: There are no designated campsites here. Camping usually takes place in conjunction with other recreational activities. Camping in the arctic requires planning, preparation and care in order to protect the visitor and the fragile arctic ecosystem.

    Birding: Because of its endless summer sunlight, this park is the summer destination of many migratory birds. Aquatic birds, raptors, song birds, and many others can be seen and heard. Bird watching is a common activity for hikers and boaters in the Park.

    Backpacking: Visit the most remote and least traveled areas of the Park and Preserve.

    Hunting: Sport hunting and trapping are permitted in Gates of the Arctic National Preserve, but not in Gates of the Arctic National Park.

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