North Fork Koyukuk River

Bettles, Alaska

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The North Fork offers an excellent family float for experienced wilderness travelers. From its headwaters on the Continental Divide in the Endicott Mountains, the North Fork flows south for 102 miles through broad, glacially carved valleys beside the Endicott Mountains in the Central Brooks Range. A clearwater river, the North Fork begins as a trickle and flows south through dramatic peaks, picking up water from small creeks and tributaries. Mount Doonerak, which Robert Marshall described as the "Matterhorn of the Koyukuk," towers precipitously above. Below Doonerak, there is usually sufficient water to launch a boat. From Bombardment Creek, the river flows west a few miles, where it is joined by Ernie Creek, then continues south through the "Gates of the Arctic," named by Marshall in 1929. Boreal Mountain and Frigid Crags form stupendous walls on either side of the valley.

North Fork Koyukuk River Professional Review and Guide

"The North Fork offers an excellent family float for experienced wilderness travelers. From its headwaters on the Continental Divide in the Endicott Mountains, the North Fork flows south for 102 miles through broad, glacially carved valleys beside the Endicott Mountains in the Central Brooks Range. A clearwater river, the North Fork begins as a trickle and flows south through dramatic peaks, picking up water from small creeks and tributaries.

Mount Doonerak, which Robert Marshall described as the "Matterhorn of the Koyukuk," towers precipitously above. Below Doonerak, there is usually sufficient water to launch a boat. From Bombardment Creek, the river flows west a few miles, where it is joined by Ernie Creek, then continues south through the "Gates of the Arctic," named by Marshall in 1929. Boreal Mountain and Frigid Crags form stupendous walls on either side of the valley."

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Bettles
Distance: 82
Duration: 6 days
Class: Class I-II
Season: June through September
Local Contacts: Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. The North Fork Koyukuk is a National Wild River.
Driving Directions: Directions to North Fork Koyukuk River

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May 2018