Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is an American treasure. Situated in Alaska, the national park is known all over the world for its exuberant wildlife and the appealing sights. The northernmost national park in the United States, this park has become a staple example all around the world for environmental preservation. The park has over the years become an escape spot for many Americans and tourists alike, from the hassle and busy life of cities into something soothing and stress relieving.
About Gates Of The Arctic National Park
Gates of the Arctic National Park was initially recognized as a monument, before being sanctioned as a national park in 1980. Since then, it has become a safe haven for many species of animals as well as flora and fauna. The visitors should keep a Gates of the Arctic National Park map at hand to navigate through the enormous preserve.
With a gorgeous landscape surrounding the place with glaciers, high mountains, dense forests, and much more. Gates of the Arctic National Park tours are the best gift you can give yourself if you want to experience nature in its full divinity.
Since the park is situated in the Arctic circle, the atmosphere here is cold all around the year, varying from mildly cold, to bone-chilling cold. One is therefore advised to carry at least two sets of warm clothes even if you visit the place during the summer. The visitors should be prepared for all kinds of weather when they come here.
The visitors who visit, go back with an unforgettable experience from here. This park also separates itself from the normal clichés of others. The park requires no permits to visit and doesn’t take a single penny from anyone coming here. The only costs that its visitors have to care about are the traveling and the amenities they’re packing. With no tracks or apparent trails inside the park, it is easy to get confused as to which part of the park to visit.
To help you with that and other things, you should contact Anaktuvuk Park Ranger Station before coming to the park. They will tell you the best nearby spots to hit according to your mode of transportation here. It is the only station inside the park and provides many other services too like air taxis, animal rescue and much more. It is open all year long. Other Ranger stations you may contact for more information are Bettles Ranger Station and Arctic Interagency Visitor Centre which can also offer you some good suggestions for the most amazing spots inside the park.
Best Time To Visit Gates Of The Arctic National Park
Although the park is open all year long, it is advised to visit it during the spring and summer. It totally depends on the type of weather the traveler visiting the park likes though. But the park sees most visitors during the months of April to July. The weather is still unexpected though and can change at any time.
Things To Do In Gates Of The Arctic National Park
With its massive lands, beautiful landscapes, and an intriguing cultural presence, Gates of the Arctic National Park offers its visitors a wholesome experience. For backpackers especially, this is one of the best places to visit because of its sheer unpredictability and breathtaking views.
1. Go hiking
There are no tracks or trails inside the park. But the amazing locations here for hiking offers one a chance to be one with nature, and get lost in the beauty and the surroundings here. Take a map, and hike through the Alaskan landscape of gorgeous mountains. The paths will lead you to stunning views and the experience would be totally memorable. If you are an adventure seeker, then this park is just the place you should head to, with of course a map!
2 Enjoy Camping
This is perhaps what most people who come here look forward to the most. The camping experience in this National Park is like nowhere else. With cool weather and an awe-inspiring setting, the place also serves as a perfect spot to leave behind the technical devices and work for some solidarity and a good time in nature. The park allows camping anywhere except the Native Corporation Lands.
3. Mingle with the natives
Since the park is open all year long, 24 hours, respecting the natives and their lands is very important. If you’re coming to the park through an air taxi, the village you land to has some of the best experiences lined up in your trip here. The native villagers are very welcoming and love interacting with the visitors if you treat them with respect. It gives you an amazing chance to know about a new culture and their ways of life.
4. Watch fauna and flora
Situated in the Arctic Circle, the park is spread over a massive 30,000 square kilometers and houses many rare species of animals and plants. While hiking, look out for sightings of some very rare flora and fauna. The national park has been known famously for housing Lichens, which take as long as 150 years to fully grow and can be found here easily. The park also houses many rare species of animals like black bears, great horned owls, bald eagles, golden eagles, snowshoe hares, and many more.
How To Reach Gates Of The Arctic National Park?
There are two ways by which you can enter the Gates of the Arctic National Park.
By Road: If you are looking for a road trip and don’t mind walking for long distances, you can take your car and drive on the Dalton Highway, which passes by almost 5 miles close to the east side of the national park. You can park your car there and take a long hike to enter the parkland. This is something that is done by very few people because it only gives you access to one side of this enormous park.
By Air: This is what most people choose to visit the park. There are air taxis running from Fairbanks and Coldfoot that run regularly. The park has many Native American villages, which have small airstrips for this very purpose. The largest airstrip here is in the Anaktuvuk Pass which is where most people go to. The villages here are welcoming to the visitors.
For the people looking to explore the wild side of the park, the air taxis also drop you off at specific locations on the rivers and lakes here and return back to a rendezvous point after the number of days or weeks you like. These are boat planes and usually, drop you off at either Summit Lake or the Circle Lake. Circle Lake is the most opted site as it has one of the most marvelous mountain structures in the world.
Where To Stay?
There are no places to stay here. The park doesn’t offer any accommodations within itself. The only option here is camping. But if you are coming to the national park via airstrips and mingle with the locals here, they might offer you a stay at their homes if they like you. For people looking to stay outside the park, there are some options like Westmark Baranof Hotel, Super 8, Driftwood Hotel, the Alaskan Hotel and Bar, Best Western Country Lane Inn and Juneau Hotel. All these places are a bit far though, with a minimum of 30 minutes commute from the park and are also quite expensive. There are no cheap options available nearby.
Gates of the Arctic National park might not be visited by as many people as other national parks, but it is certainly one of the best out of them. With its breathtaking scenic landscapes and an amazing and thriving native culture, the park should be on your must visit places if you like backpacking or getting lost in nature. Book your trip soon with TravelTriangle!
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