Located entirely north of the Arctic Circle, Kobuk Valley National Park is the least visited park in the nation. Though nearly completely unknown, the park is full of natural beauty and fascinating human history.
The Great Kobuk Sand Dunes are a sea of sand in the Arctic wilderness formed during the last ice age as winds tore through the region depositing glacial sands in the broad Kobuk Valley. We will spend the better part of the week exploring these seldom visited sand dunes from our comfortable base camp.
Last updated: January 24, 2020
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Meet your guide in Kotzebue for a pre-trip meeting in the afternoon.
Fly from Kotzebue straight to the Kobuk Sand Dunes. Once on the ground we will make camp and settle into our home for the week.
We have three full days to explore the dunes. Each day we can head in a new direction. There are deep ponds and springs contrasting with the tawny sand, broad flats covered in wolf tracks and wind blown dunes which are fun to climb and offer great vistas. After a day of exploration we return to our camp for a delicious dinner. With luck and a late-August time frame, our nights may even include the aurora dancing above the dunes.
Weather permitting, our bush plane will arrive to fly us back to “civilization”. We plan to arrive back in Kotzebue by early evening. Take a shower!
Such a joy to spend days where time was meaningless. A wonderful adventure and I would like to return next year for a longer, more challenging trip.
You mentioned to me in an email that you have terrific guides - you do indeed. Dave is a superb guide. He is personable, knowledgeable about the Arctic, and has excellent group management skills. I appreciated the time he spent teaching me to read the map, which is not easy without trails. He allowed Adrian and me to hike at our own pace and he encouraged all of us to explore the area surrounding our campsites. I know the others would concur in my praise.
Transportation beyond Kotzebue
Food while in the wilderness
Stoves, cooking & eating utensils
Water filter, safety & repair gear
Professional guide service
Temperatures vary dramatically in the Arctic. It could be warm, but it could be cold and rainy. Temperatures will range from the 20s to 70s. Cold rains and snow are possible, but we do get sunny weather this time of the year too. Mosquitoes should be minimal or totally nonexistent this late in the season. Bring a mosquito head net and a small bottle of DEET repellent just in case.