Colville River

Nuiqsut, Alaska

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The Colville is the largest river draining the Arctic Slope of the Brooks Range and is one of the most remote rivers in Alaska. It flows east out of the western end of the Brooks Range, then bends north to Harrison Bay on the Beaufort Sea 428 miles later, draining an area of 24,000 square miles. For about 300 miles, the river traverses treeless arctic foothills and ridges. The lower river meanders over the treeless arctic coastal plain, a vast expanse of wet tundra, winding streams, and thousands of lakes, imparting a stunning sense of wide-open space. High cliffs along the river provide excellent habitat for raptors, and the Colville is one of the most productive peregrine falcon areas in Alaska. The lower Colville (the delta) continues to be a traditional fishing area for residents of Nuiqsut and Umiat.

Colville River Professional Review and Guide

"The Colville is the largest river draining the Arctic Slope of the Brooks Range and is one of the most remote rivers in Alaska. It flows east out of the western end of the Brooks Range, then bends north to Harrison Bay on the Beaufort Sea 428 miles later, draining an area of 24,000 square miles. For about 300 miles, the river traverses treeless arctic foothills and ridges.

The lower river meanders over the treeless arctic coastal plain, a vast expanse of wet tundra, winding streams, and thousands of lakes, imparting a stunning sense of wide-open space. High cliffs along the river provide excellent habitat for raptors, and the Colville is one of the most productive peregrine falcon areas in Alaska. The lower Colville (the delta) continues to be a traditional fishing area for residents of Nuiqsut and Umiat."

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Nuiqsut
Distance: 375
Duration: 19-20 days
Class: Class I-II
Season: June through mid-August
Local Contacts: National Petroleum Reserve (Bureau of Land Management, Fairbanks); private; state.
Driving Directions: Directions to Colville River

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May 2018