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Situated near the tiny community of Bettles, Alaska, in the north-central portion of the state is where you will find the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. One very small town located nearby is Coldfoot, which is around 60 miles to the northeast. The much larger city of Fairbanks is close to 250 miles to the southwest, while the state's largest city, Anchorage, is over 200 miles to the south.
This is a very rural section of an already incredibly rural, not to mention very large state. There are a few supplies available at small stores in the local villages, though you should come to the park prepared, with a full stock of supplies. Visitors should also expect little to no cell phone service in this part of the state. Why do people visit such a remote place, you may ask? Because of the beauty of this wilderness area! Here you will find yourself surrounded by the rugged, snowcapped mountaintops of the Brooks Range, as well as other alpine lakes, meadows, and rivers.
Renting an RV near Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve will give you the chance to seek out all the opportunities it makes available. The park is a perfect place to see exotic wildlife. Caribou, moose, and grizzly bears are just some of the fascinating critters you are likely to see on your visit. Visitors should always use caution when encountering these creatures and keep plenty of space between themselves and these animals that can be dangerous.
There are numerous rivers that run throughout Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. These make great places for fishing, or to paddle a canoe or kayak. Backcountry camping spots are available if you want to spend multiple days exploring, or you can do shorter day trips. This is also a popular area for birdwatching, especially during the summer months, as many migratory birds make their summer homes here.
There are no real established trails or roads in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. While you are allowed to venture almost anywhere, it is recommended that only the most experienced hikers attempt this. For people with less experience, various guide services and tours are available. Air taxis in bush planes are one of the main options. They can assist you with fishing at a remote lake, observing wildlife, such as caribou or moose, or just enjoying the incredible countryside that surrounds you.
Camping with an RV is a great way to enjoy Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. There are no campgrounds at the park itself, but you will find some campsites dotting the local area, especially near the small communities.
The Marion Creek Campground is located near Coldfoot on the Dalton Highway. It offers campsites that can accommodate varying sizes of RVs. Due to the extreme remoteness of this locale, it is quite rustic, usually offering only vault toilets.
Coldfoot Camp is in Coldfoot and offers bathrooms and showers. There is also a restaurant on-site. As there are so many amazing things to see in the area, many people enjoy RV camping near the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, so you should be able to locate any essentials you may be needing.
When you book an RV near the Gates of the Arctic National Park, you will find activities that aren't always available in other parts of the country. The Arctic Interagency Visitor Center is located in Coldfoot. This is an important place to check out before exploring northern Alaska as it is chock full of helpful information. It also offers exhibits that discuss the animals and ecosystems found in the nearby region. National park RV camping makes it easy to explore incredible destinations like this park.
Should you enjoy scenic roads, check out the Dalton Highway. It follows Route 11 right through Coldfoot, and crosses the northern half of the state, from north to south. It runs for more than 400 miles from Fairbanks, in Alaska's interior, into Deadhorse, on the far northern coast where the land meets the Arctic Ocean. The road can accommodate all passenger vehicles, though it is mainly dirt. Travelers should use caution as large trucks frequent this route as it is the main supply line. The road is considered to be quite picturesque. If it sounds familiar to you, this is because it has been featured heavily in the show Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel.
During the winter months, when daylight is lacking, this area is known to be a prime place to view the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. As the park actually sits above the Arctic Circle, the Aurora is common here. This is also a great place for stargazing as light pollution is low in this remote region. These sights can only be seen during the winter months, as it is too bright during the summer months when this area features almost 24-hour daylight.
When you've been seeking an incredibly beautiful place to visit, consider camping near the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. Take a sightseeing tour and view some local wildlife, watch the Northern Lights as they dance across the night sky, or just sit and take in the solitude of one of the most remote places in the country. Camp in an RV near Bettles and enjoy exploring Alaska's interior.