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Kobuk Valley National Park

Pictures by QT Luong

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[Floating the Kobuk River]

Large format photos of Kobuk Valley National Park· Panoramic photos of Kobuk Valley National Park

Kobuk Valley National Park is located in Northwestern Artic Alaska, entirely above the Artic Circle, at the northern limit of the Boreal forest. Delimited by the Warring Mountains in the South and the Baird Mountains in the North, it is the centerpiece of a vast ecosystem, of which the most visible inhabitants are the caribou of the Western Artic herd. This herd, which includes more than 400000 caribou, migrate annually between their winter breeding grounds, south of the Warring Mountains, and their summer calving grounds, north of the Baird Mountains. It is an impressive sight to witness them swimming across the Kobuk River, a journey that has been for ages central to the lifestyle of the Inupiaq eskimos, who hunt for subsistence the caribou along the river. In this most isolated place, the least visited of the US National Parks, they are the only other humans you are likely to see. An unexpected feature of the park are its vast and actively moving sand dunes, where in summer the temperature can climb above the 100s F. A rarity in the Artic, they are a relic of the last ice age, when glaciers deposited sand there.

With no roads in the park or even within hundreds of miles of it, the prefered way of exploring it is by paddling the Kobuk River, wide and placid. Lanchi and I flew from Kotzebue, the largest eskimo community in Alaska, to the small eskimo village of Ambler with our inflatable canoe, and then took off from the eskimo village of Kiana, about a hundred miles downriver. See also the pictures of floating the Kobuk River.

[CLICK on any picture to see a larger image and details, to add to selection, to order, and to download wallpaper.]

Aerial view of the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) River, Warring Mountains, and fall colors at Onion Portage. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Forest floor and leaves in autumn color. Kobuk Valley National Park (Panoramic color) Shrubs and trees in fall foliage near Kavet Creek. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Edge of the Great Sand Dunes with tundra and taiga below. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Caribou tracks and ripples in the Great Sand Dunes. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Sand dunes with spruce trees. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Arctic sand dune landscape. Kobuk Valley National Park (Panoramic color) Pocket of Spruce trees in the Great Sand Dunes. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Kavet Creek, with the Great Sand Dunes in the background. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Pond near Kavet Creek. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Antlers and bend of the Kobuk River, evening. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Northern river scenery seen through spruce trees. Kobuk Valley National Park (Panoramic color) River and Baird mountains. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Sand bar shore, river and Baird mountains, evening. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Baird mountains with a fresh dusting of snow, morning. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Caribou antlers, tundra, and river. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Caribou crossing the Kobuk River during their fall migration. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Caribou swimming across the Kobuk River during their fall migration. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Dead caribou head on the river shore. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Dead caribou head discarded by hunters. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Aerial view of the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Aerial view of the Arctic dune field. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Sand bar on the Kobuk River. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Berry plants and trees in autumn colors near Kavet Creek. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Dune plants. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Dune field with boreal forest in the distance. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Caribou tracks and ripples in the Great Sand Dunes. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Great Sand Dunes and boreal spruce forest. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Sand ripples in Arctic dune field. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Ripples in the Great Sand Dunes. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Caribou footprints and ripples in the Great Sand Dunes. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Arctic dune field. Kobuk Valley National Park (Panoramic color) Sand dunes with spruce trees. Kobuk Valley National Park (Panoramic color) Sand dunes and boreal forest. Kobuk Valley National Park (Panoramic color) The edge of the Great Sand Dunes with the boreal taiga. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) The edge of the Great Sand Dunes with boreal forest below. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Kavet Creek and spruce trees. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Autumn colors on boreal forest, Kavet Creek. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Autumn colors on Kavet Creek near the Great Sand Dunes. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Berry plants and trees in fall colors at Onion Portage. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Red Berry leaves and yellow tree leaves in forest. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Bend of Kobuk River, dusk. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Dusk on the Kobuk River. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Boreal trees and bend of the Kobuk River, evening. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Bend of Kobuk River and sand bar, evening. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) River, Warring Mountains, and fall colors at Onion Portage. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Kobuk River, Warring Mountains, and autumn colors, Onion Portage. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) River scene with tree in fall foliage. Kobuk Valley National Park (Panoramic color) Grasses and rivershore. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Antlers and bend of the Kobuk River, mid-morning. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Kobuk river and sand bar seen through Spruce trees. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) River landscape with forested riverbank. Kobuk Valley National Park (Panoramic color) Sand bank in wide Kobuk River. Kobuk Valley National Park (Panoramic color) Bend of the Kobuk River, mid-morning. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Sand bar and bend of the Kobuk River, mid-morning. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Wide river bordered by grassy banks. Kobuk Valley National Park (Panoramic color) Tundra and river. Kobuk Valley National Park (Panoramic color) Kobuk River and Baird mountains with fresh dusting of snow, morning. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Low sandy shore of Kobuk River at dusk. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Sand bar shore, river, row of spruce trees,  and Baird mountains, evening. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Shore, river and Baird mountains, evening. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) River landscape with ripples on water at dusk. Kobuk Valley National Park (Panoramic color) Caribou tracks on  shore of Kobuk River, evening. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Kobuk River at dusk. Kobuk Valley National Park (Panoramic color) Sand bar shore with caribou tracks, evening. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Sand bar shore, bright river and Baird mountains, evening. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Caribou antlers, tundra in autumn color, and Kobuk River. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Spruce and lone caribou swimming across the river. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Young caribou on the shores of the river. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Caribou head discarded by hunters. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Dead caribou heads discarded by hunters. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Caribou carcasses on Kobuk River shore. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Dead caribou head on Kobuk River shore. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color) Dead caribou head discarded by hunters. Kobuk Valley National Park ( color)
All the 75 color pictures of Kobuk Valley National Park are on this page

Themes: Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, Kobuk Valley Fall Colors