Gates of the Arctic National Park

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Gates of the Arctic National Park

Bettles Ranger Station

PO Box 26030

Bettles, AK 99726


Situated above the Arctic Circle, Gates of the Arctic National Park in northern Alaska is an immense wilderness sanctuary, home to hearty mammals like black bears, grizzly bears, and moose. Some people believe the park is a perfect example of true American wilderness. It is a place so pure and lovely that it is the same today as it was long before people ever set foot there. Encompassing 8.5 million acres, Gates of the Arctic features six rivers, the Arrigetch Peaks, and part of the inspiring Brooks Range.

Entrance fees: Admission is free.

Visitor centers: Bettles Ranger Station/Visitor Center is open year-round, but hours vary depending on the season.

Other services: Three ranger stations

Accommodations: There are no established campgrounds. Backcountry camping is available.

Visiting Gates of the Arctic National Park

The Dalton Highway connects Fairbanks, Alaska, with the Arctic Ocean to the north. Only five miles west of this road is Gates of the Arctic National Park, an immense wilderness sanctuary. Yet for the foreseeable future, this road is as close as you can get by car to this national park.

For the most part, travel into the spectacular park is limited to light aircraft launched from such remote bush villages as Coldfoot, Bettles, or Prospect Creek. Popular wilderness entry points include beautiful Anaktuvuk Pass, remote Wild Lake, and the headwaters of various wild rivers (Alatna, John, Kobuk, Noatak, North Fork Koyukuk, and Tinayguk).

It takes a true adventurer to brave the arctic tundras of the Gates of the Arctic National Park. But the solitude and untouched beauty of the mountainous landscape make the journey worthwhile. For more details on visiting the park, go to the next page.