Trailer Camping Near Gates of the Arctic National Park
November 23, 2011
Filed under National Parks
Trailer camping in Alaska is a great way to experience nature in its most primal state — and the Gates of the Arctic National Park is one of the most untouched parks around.
The remote Gates of the Arctic National Park first became a protected area in 1978, gaining status as a national park in 1980 with the passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. It is one of the few truly wild places left on Earth.
Most people use a bush plane, flying out from one of the local villages, to access the park. Others hike in from the Dalton Highway or the local village of Anaktuvuk. Once at the park, trailer campers get the chance to experience the truly wild nature of Alaska. There are no designated camping sites and great care must be taken to protect both the camper and the delicate ecosystem of Gates of the Arctic National Park.
The park is open year round. The average temperatures in winter can be as low as -40 degrees Farhenheit in December. November through January tend to be the coldest months, rarely getting over negative temps. The weather starts to warm up in March, reaching its highest points generally in June and July. However, weather is unpredictable in the park and even July can see snow and temperatures well below freezing. It takes a lot of preparation to visit the park.
Campers must be prepared for a couple of weeks of isolation, and of course be ready for any possible delays in leaving the park due to weather. Since the Gates of the Arctic National Park is so remote and wild, visitors need to be self reliant and flexible. Proper safety precautions need to be taken, including adhering to food storage regulations — including bear safe food storage. All visitors are expected to follow minimum impact techniques and to respect the private lands that do exist within the park. There are no fees to enter the park, but the requirement of rugged gear can price some visitors out.
There are many things to do within the park, including camping, hiking, wild life viewing, bird watching and hunting (with proper licenses). Trailer campers can walk atop glaciers, mountains, through valleys and over rivers. This park offers a rare chance at being truly submerged in the wilderness, isolated from the hustle and bustle of the modern world. It is a true Alaska camping experience.
To find an Alaska camping site near the park, visit Alaska Campgrounds!