Congress created Noatak National Preserve in 1980 to protect the largest unaltered river basin and watershed in the United States. The preserve covering more than 6,569,904-acres is bordered on the east by Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve and Kobuk Valley National Park to the south. Unlike the other two areas, you can go sport and substance hunting at this location. Additionally, this roadless location is an excellent place for a floating trip on the Noatak River. While there are no roads, you can make your own here. Archeologists believe that people have been living on the land for more than 11,000 years.
RV Parks & Campgrounds Near Noatak National Preserve
Consider taking an RV from RVshare on a trip to Noatak National Preserve. Then, you can take a float trip or a plane ride to get to the preserve. Staying in an RV in this remote Alaskan area ensures that you will be self-sufficient. The best plan is to camp in Fairbanks, Alaska, and catch one of the flights to this roadless location.
Things To Do Near Noatak National Preserve
There are no roads into Noatak National Preserve. Many visitors choose to fly into Kotzebue, Alaska, and start a floating adventure from there to reach this preserve. Most people try to float between June and September because of the ice on the river at other times. This preserve is a fantastic place to go fishing for grayling and pike year-round, and it is a great place to catch shellfish in the fall. Noatak National Preserve has no trails, but you can make trails through this area, which is the fourth largest wilderness area in the United States. You can hunt on the preserve, but not in the national park, which may be a great way to put meat in your freezer.
Cache Mountain Loop Trail
This 22-mile trail starts at Windy Gap Cabin and follows Fossil Creek, where you will enjoy seeing the White Mountains' spectacular views. About halfway through its course, it turns to cross the Cache Mountain Divide. The last six miles of the trail crosses several creeks, so this hike should not be attempted in the spring when water is rushing off the mountain.
White Mountains National Recreation Area
This short hike near Galbraith Lake Campground takes you around a dry glacier lakebed. It offers beautiful views of the Brooks Mountain Range, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. Interpretative signage along the trail helps you understand the ecosystems, with some panels focusing on tundra butterflies and flowers that you may see on your hike. Near this location, which is easily accessed from the Dalton Highway, you can also find one of the tallest waterfalls in northern Alaska.
Near Marion Creek Campground
Northwest Arctic Heritage Center
The official headquarters of Noatak National Preserve, Cape Krusenstern National Monument, and Kobuk Valley National Park are in this building. Here, you can see documentary films highlighting the Arctic region and view exhibits on plants and animals that live in this area. You can also pick up park maps and get your questions answered by rangers.
171 Third Ave, Kotzebue, Alaska 99752
Sulianich Art Gallery
Find art created by residents at this facility. Often, artists hang out at this location, so do not be surprised if you meet some of them.
205 Third Ave, Kotzebue, AK 99752
Simon Paneak Memorial Museum
The North Slope Borough operates this museum, and it focuses on helping you understand more about the indigenous people who live in the Arctic. This small museum has informative panels on the Brooks Range formation. The Hans Van Der Laan Brooks Range Library Collection is also on-site, and it features a lot of scientific research on the area.
Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska 99721
Iñupiat Heritage Center
Watch local Iñupiat residents work on traditional crafts and tools at this facility. A separate room in this center allows you to see traditional whaling boats and learn how artisans repair them. At times, crafts made by residents of the area are for sale.
5421 North Star Street, Utqiagvik, Alaska 99723
Nearby Shops and Restaurants
Alaska Commercial Company
Since you will need to feed yourself while visiting Noatak National Preserve, you will want to stop at Alaska Commercial Company to pick up last-minute grocery supplies. Their deli is a fabulous place to get supplies for a picnic and trail snacks. You may also want to shop in their household department for over-the-counter medication and cleaning supplies.
395 Bison St. Kotzebue, Alaska 99752
If you need to make repairs to your equipment before heading to Noatak National Preserve, you may be able to find the supplies at this Ace Hardware store. You can find sporting goods, housewares, and many other things. This location also has gas.
373 A 2nd Avenue Kotzebue, Alaska 99752
Get your favorite pizza by the slice or pie at Little Louie’s. This restaurant also serves breakfast plates featuring delicious breakfast burritos. Stop by for lunch for a fantastic hamburger. A special menu is available throughout the day for seniors and kids.
388 Third Ave, Kotzebue, Alaska 99752
The Bison Store
Get fabulous meals at this restaurant that only closes for a few hours on Sundays and Mondays. Their hamburgers are delicious and made by hand. Selecting from their comprehensive drink menu can be challenging because all of their options look so good.
587 Bison St, Kotzebue, Alaska 99752
How To Get To Noatak National Preserve
There are no roads to or into Noatak National Preserve. Many choose to fly to this location from Fairbanks. The Fairbanks Airport is located at 6450 Airport Way, Fairbanks, Alaska 99709. You can reach it by following 1st Avenue near downtown Fairbanks. Then, turn left on Cowles Street. Finally, turn right onto Airport Way and go straight until you reach the airport. Consider catching a flight to Kotzebue and kayak down the river from there.
Noatak Nature Preserve, Kotzebue, Alaska 99752
Fee: Entry fee $0
In addition to all the great things to see in the 6,569,904-acre Noatak National Preserve, you will want to make a stop at the other two nearby national parks and preserves. Before visiting, however, keep in mind that you will need to have all your needs covered for your journey into the preserve. You can fly into the area or take a canoe from Kotzebue. Once you arrive, the fishing, hunting, and gathering are usually outstanding. You can make paths and camp in a tent wherever you desire. This preserve's headquarters is in Kotzebue, where you can find great places to shop and eat. The center is also an excellent place to get maps of the preserve and connect with park rangers who have first-hand knowledge of the entire area. Making this trip in an RV makes for a fun family experience.