Gates of the Arctic National Park
Gates of the Arctic, United States
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Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is a U.S. National Park in Alaska. It is the northernmost national park in the U.S. (the entirety of the park lies north of the Arctic Circle) and the second largest at 13,238 mi² (39,460 km²), about the same size as Switzerland. The park consists primarily of portions of the Brooks Range of mountains. It was first protected as a U.S. National Monument on December 1, 1978, before becoming a national park and preserve two years later in 1980 upon passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. A large part of the park is preserved as a wilderness area; some 11,321 mi² (29,322 km²) of wilderness which with the adjoining Noatak Wilderness Area forms the largest contiguous wilderness in the United States.
The park's name dates to 1929, when wilderness activist Bob Marshall, exploring the North Fork of the Koyukuk River, encountered a pair of mountains (Frigid Crags and Boreal Mountain), one on each side of the river. He christened this portal the "Gates of the Arctic."
Unusual for a U.S. national park, some 1,500 people reside in ten small communities in the park's "resident subsistence zone" where they rely on park resources for survival.
There are no established roads, trails, visitor facilities, or campgrounds in the park. However, the Dalton Highway (Alaska State Highway 11) comes within five miles (8 km) of the park's eastern boundary. The National Park Service maintains a small visitor center in nearby Coldfoot on the highway.
The geography contains the arête-peaked Brooks Range and rolling valleys of wild tundra. Fauna include moose, barren-ground grizzlies, Dall sheep, black bears, wolves, and caribou.
The park contains mountains such as the Arrigetch Peaks and Mount Igikpak. The park also features six Wild and Scenic Rivers:
Denali • Gates of the Arctic • Glacier Bay • Katmai • Kenai Fjords • Kobuk Valley • Lake Clark • Wrangell-St. Elias
Klondike Gold Rush • Sitka
Admiralty Island • Aniakchak • Cape Krusenstern • Misty Fjords • World War II Valor in the Pacific
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve • Noatak National Preserve • Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve
Alaska Maritime • Alaska Peninsula • Arctic • Becharof • Innoko • Izembek • Kanuti • Kenai • Kodiak • Koyukuk • Nowitna • Saint Lazaria • Selawik • Tetlin • Togiak • Yukon Delta • Yukon Flats
Chugach • Tongass
Aleutian Islands • Andreafsky • Becharof • Bering Sea • Bogoslof • Chamisso • Chuck River • Coronation Island • Denali • Endicott River • Forrester Island • Gates of the Artic • Glacier Bay • Hazy Islands • Innoko • Izembek • Karta River • Katmai • Kenai • Kobuk Valley • Kootznoowoo • Koyukuk • Kuiu • Lake Clark • Maurille Islands • Misty Fjords • Mollie Beattie • Noatak • Nunivak • Petersburg Creek-Duncan Salt Chuck • Pleasant/Lemusurier/Inian Islands • Russell Fjord • Saint Lazaria • Selawik • Semidi • Simeonof • South Baranof • South Etolin • South Prince of Wales • Stikine-LeConte • Tebenkof Bay • Togiak • Tracy Arm-Fords Terror • Tuxedni • Unimak • Warren Island • West Chichagof-Yakobi • Wrangell-Saint Elias
Afognak Island State Park • Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve • Baranof Castle Hill State Historic Site • Birch Lake State Recreation Site • Chena River State Recreation Area • Chena River State Recreation Site • Chugach State Park • Deep Creek State Recreation Area • Denali State Park • Kachemak Bay State Park • Wood-Tikchik State Park
Haines • Tanana Valley
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