The United States Congress designated the Kobuk Valley Wilderness (map
) in 1980 and it now has a total of 174,545 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Alaska
and is managed by the National Park Service.
The Kobuk Valley Wilderness is bordered by
the Selawik Wilderness
to the south.
Here in Kobuk Valley National Park, 26 miles north of the Arctic Circle and enclosed by the Baird and Waring Mountains, the climate has changed little (or not at all) since the late Pleistocene era. Remnant flora grow as reminders of the vast Arctic steppe tundra that once bridged present-day Alaska and Asia. At the western end of the Brooks Range, where the mountains descend gently toward the Chukchi Sea, the park contains a transition zone between boreal forestland and open tundra. Strangely out of place, 25 square miles of the crescent-shaped Great Kobuk Sand Dunes shift in Arctic winds. Summer temperatures may rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Large mammals include wolves, red foxes, caribou, Alaskan moose, black bears, brown bears, beavers, river otters, Canadian lynxes, and Dall's sheep. Smaller mammals include wolverines, martens, minks, porcupines, muskrats, snowshoe hares and a variety of voles. Fish species include chinook, chum, pink and sockeye salmon, Dolly Varden, Arctic char, lake trout and Arctic grayling. Other species include burbot, Arctic lamprey, round, broad and humpback whitefish, and pond and rainbow smelt.