Gates of the Arctic National Park

Gates of the Arctic National Park by Danita Delimont via Shutterstock.

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, in Alaska, is a remote arctic wilderness, devoid of roads or trails. With its vast landscapes, wild rivers, and the Brooks Range mountains, it offers pure solitude.

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Fast Facts

State(s): Alaska
Area: 8,472,506 acres (34,287.02 sq km) – 2nd largest national park of 63
Highest Elevation: Mount Igikpak – 8,510 ft (2,593.85 m)
Lowest Elevation: Kobuk River – 280 ft (85.34 m)
Date Established: December 2, 1980
Annual Visitors: 9,457 visitors in 2022
Nearest Town: Bettles, Alaska

Recommended Day Hikes

Park Tracker considers a “day hike” to be a hike under 10 miles. Below we provide our top five recommendations inside the park, along with AllTrails links to the hikes.

  1. Arrigetch Peaks (Expedition, Difficult) – For experienced backpackers, offering incredible Arctic and mountain views.
  2. Alatna River Valley (Expedition, Moderate to Difficult) – A journey through stunning landscapes suitable for rafting and hiking.
  3. Noatak River Journey (Expedition, Variable) – Explore the diverse landscapes along the Noatak River, suitable for kayaking and canoeing.
  4. Kobuk River Valley (Expedition, Moderate) – Features caribou migration routes and sand dunes.
  5. Brooks Range Traverse (Expedition, Difficult) – A challenging traverse through the Brooks Range offering solitude and wilderness.

🧗🏻‍♂️ Popular Activities in Gates of the Arctic National Park

Gates of the Arctic is about more than just hiking. See below for some of the best non-hiking activities to do in Gates of the Arctic National Park.

  1. Flightseeing over the park’s vast wilderness
  2. River trips on the park’s six wild and scenic rivers
  3. Wildlife viewing (e.g., caribou, wolves, bears)
  4. Winter activities like dog sledding and skiing
  5. Experiencing the Northern Lights

🛎️ Where to Stay Near Gates of the Arctic National Park

While there are ample camping and vacation rental options near most US national parks, I personally highly prefer staying at Hilton-branded properties when traveling to national parks. As such, below are the five closest Hilton properties to Gates of the Arctic National Park.

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🍔 What to Eat Near Gates of the Arctic National Park

After hiking and exploring Gates of the Arctic National Park, odds are high you’re going to be hungry. Here are five of the best restaurant options within and near the park.

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