Kobuk Valley National Park Facts

Kobuk Valley National Park Facts
Kobuk Valley National Park is a 1,750,716 acre park located in Alaska in the United States. The first inhabitants of the area, Paleo-Arctic people, date back as many as 12,500 years. Today the Inupiat People inhabit Kobuk Valley. A gold rush in the area in 1899-1900 brought prospectors to the region, and it wasn't until 1980 that the land was designated a national park, following the passing of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. Unlike many national parks in the U.S., Kobuk Valley National Park cannot be reached by road. Because of this visitor numbers remain below 12,000 a year, while those who di visit arrive by air taxi, dogsled, or snowmobile.
Interesting Kobuk Valley National Park Facts:
Kobuk Valley National Park was originally designated as a national monument, in 1978, by President Jimmy Carter.
Two years after becoming a national monument, Kobuk Valley was designated a national park, again by President Jimmy Carter.
The only people allowed to hunt in Kobuk Valley National Park are the local residents.
Kobuk Valley National Park is named after Kobuk River valley. In the Inupiat language 'Kobuk' means 'big river'.
Kobuk River Valley has been an important caribou migration crossing for as long as 10,000 years. The caribou that pass through have been hunted to provide food, clothing, and other items important for survival of the people in the area for thousands of years.
There are as many as 490,000 caribou in the herd that migrates back and forth between the Baird Mountains and the Waring Mountains. This herd is called the Western Arctic herd.
Animals that live in Kobuk Valley National Park include the Alaskan moose, black bears, brown bears, Canadian Lynxes, red foxes, wolves, wolverines, minks, martens, Dall's sheep, caribou, beavers, river otters, hares, porcupines, and muskrats.
Fish that can be found in the waters of Kobuk Valley National Park include Arctic grayling, lake trout, Arctic char, sockeye salmon, pink salmon, chum, Chinook, Dolly Varden, rainbow smelt, pond smelt, humpback whitefish, Arctic lamprey, and burbot.
Due to the temperatures in Kobuk Valley there are almost no amphibians and reptiles found in the park.
Weather in Kobuk Valley National Park is very extreme because of its northern location. In the winter the temperature at night averages minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit. During the day in the winter it averages minus 8 degrees Fahrenheit.
Between July 3rd and July 9th the sun does not set at Kobuk Valley National Park. During winter solstice the sun is only visible for an hour and a half.
Kobuk Valley National Park has sand dunes, which is very unique for the park's location. North America's largest arctic dunefield is located in Kobuk Valley National Park. The dunefield is called Great Kobuk Sand Dunes.
Visitors to the park can enjoy backpacking, fishing, hiking, boating, dog sled trips, and taking an air taxi to their destination.
Although the number of visitors to Kobuk Valley National Park are low, they did spike to 29,550 in 2012, a big jump from only 11,485 in 2011.

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