Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve

Welcome to Gates of the Arctic

Standing as a testament for the untamed beauty of the American wilderness, Gates of the Arctic National Park is a land of dramatic contrasts, characterized by rugged mountains, sweeping valleys, vast tundra, and pristine rivers. The park is devoid of any roads or trails, allowing nature to remain truly undisturbed.

It is the northernmost national park in the United States and second largest after Wrangell–St. Elias National Park. The National Park portion of the Gates of the Arctic encompass a largely untouched wilderness within the Brooks Range.

The Brooks Range is a majestic mountain range that stretches across the park. It serves as a breathtaking backdrop to the rugged beauty of Gates of the Arctic. Here, towering peaks rise to dizzying heights, reaching over 8,000 feet and showcasing dramatic glaciers that have sculpted the landscape for millennia.

Gates of the Arctic National Park is dominated by the tundra ecosystem, characterized by low-growing vegetation such as mosses, lichens, and grasses. Other common plant species in the park include willow, birch, and alder trees, as well as a variety of wildflowers that bloom during the short summer season.

Due to its remote location, Gates of the Arctic is the least visited national park in the United States, with just about 10,000 visitors in 2016. Since there are no roads or trails that connect the park to the outside world, a visit requires extensive knowledge of the area, as well as advanced outdoor skills.

How to Visit Gates of the Arctic

If the spirit of adventure has grabbed you and you want to visit the park, you must first go to one of the visitor centers and receive a mandatory briefing from one of the park rangers.

Visiting the park itself is completely free of charge – but requires you to bring suitable hiking equipment that can support you in surviving the deep cold.

The nearest road to the park is the Dalton Highway, which ends within 5 miles of the park – the remaining distance has to be covered on foot. Let the adventure begin!

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