Kobuk Valley National Park, Day 1

Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
Trip End Oct 14, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Friday, July 1, 2011

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Today was our last day in Gates of the Arctic National Park.  A plane was scheduled to arrive sometime today to take us to the sand dunes in Kobuk Valley National Park.  My guide, Moe, has a satellite phone and was able to leave a message for the pilot.  We disassembled the boat, packed everything up and waited. 

We didn't have too long of a wait until we heard the drone of a plane in the distance.  The plane is equipped with large tires for landing on rough surfaces, such as the gravel bar where it landed.  We loaded up the plane and headed for Kobuk Valley National Park.

The flight to Kobuk Valley gave us more great views of the Brooks Range.  Eventually, the sand dunes came into view.  They really look out of place in the middle of a sea of mixed taiga (boreal forest) and tundra. 

After landing on the dunes we carried everything a few hundred yards across the dunes and a stream to a nice spruce forest where we set up camp.  We then set out to start exploring the dunes.  They turned out to be very easy to walk on, as dunes go, and much larger than I initially thought after seeing them from the air.

After hiking around for a few hours we went back to camp, had dinner and went to bed.

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