Description - Lying entirely north of the Arctic Circle, the park and preserve includes a portion of the Central Brooks Range, the northernmost extension of the Rocky Mountains. It is often referred to as the greatest remaining wilderness in North America. This second largest unit of the National Park System is characterized by jagged peaks, gentle arctic valleys, wild rivers and numerous lakes. The forested southern slopes contrast to the barren northern reaches of the site at the edge of Alaska's "north slope." Adding adjacent Kobuk Valley National Park and Noatak National Preserve, it is one of the largest park areas in the world.
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
- Three Ranger stations within the park provide varying degrees of interpretive materials. The Anaktuvuk Pass Ranger Station, Bettles Ranger Station and Coldfoot Visitor Center have backcountry orientation displays. Bettles Ranger Station has an interactive CD-ROM program on site. The Coldfoot Visitor Center has scheduled evening programs during the summer. While in Coldfoot check out the ruins and cemetery of "Old Coldfoot" or visit the historic village of Wiseman just 13 miles up the road.
There is no commercial lodging in the park. Commercial facilities exist in Anaktuvuk Pass, Bettles, Coldfoot and Wiseman. There is also a campground managed by BLM at Dalton Highway Milepost 180 (five miles north of Coldfoot). The campground is open from June through mid-September. It is the responsibility of the visitor to obtain all of the necessary information and avoid private property. Supplies are generally not available within the Park. Visitors must plan to be self-sufficient.
Climate - The central Brooks Range has long severe winters and relatively short cool summers. The entire region receives continuous sunlight during the summer for at least 30 days
The south side of the Brooks Range below 2500 feet is generally a sub-arctic climate zone. Precipitation is low, averaging 12-18 inches in the west and 8-12 inches in the east. The average maximum and minimum July temperatures are 70F and 46F, respectively. Thunderstorm activity is common during June and July.
Generally June through September is the wettest time of year. Prevailing winds are out of the north. Freezing temperatures may occur at any time of the year, but particularly from mid-August on. July may be the only month that snow does not fall.
Winter is extreme, long and cold. Snow falls 8 or 9 months of the year, averaging 60-80 inches. Average minimum and maximum January temperatures are -10F and -30F.
Lying entirely north of the Arctic Circle, the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve includes a portion of the Central Brooks Range, the northernmost extension of the Rocky Mountains. It also contains the Alatna, John, Kobuk, part of the Noatak, the North Fork of the Koyukuk and the Tinayguk Wild Rivers.
There are no roads in the park, although the Dalton Highway comes within about five miles of the park's eastern boundary. Other than hiking in from the Dalton Highway, between approximately milepost 190 to milepost 276, access is generally by air. Scheduled air taxis from Fairbanks serve Anaktuvuk Pass, Bettles, and Coldfoot. Charter flights may be
arranged. Contact Bettles Ranger Station for the list of licensed air taxi operators.