Port of Kotzebue
Cruising and Travel

Within the Port of Kotzebue, visitors will want to see the NANA Museum of the Arctic and North Tent City. The NANA Museum of the Arctic highlights Inupiat culture with storytelling and slide shows, a wildlife diorama, and collections of Inupiat cultural artifacts. In the summer, this Port of Kotzebue museum features Eskimo dancing and a blanket toss. Every summer, the locals set up the North Tent City fish camp where they dry and smoke the season's catch.

The Port of Kotzebue has a subarctic climate with long cold snowy winters and short mild summers. Ice remains in the sound from early October until early July. Temperatures range from an average low of -20°C (-3.5°F) in February to an average high of 12°C (55°F) in July. Temperatures exceed 21°C (70°F) only five days per year in the summer. Rain is more plentiful during the summer, with an average of 10 inches falling each year, and snowfalls average about 40 inches per year.

To the southwest of the Port of Kotzebue, the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve memorializes the passage of human beings into the Americas. Today, the preserve is open to paleontologists and archeologists who are researching our distant past. Native Inupiat also use the land as they have for many thousands of years. Open throughout the year, most visitors come to the preserve in June and July. Most popular with visitors is flying to Serpentine Hot Springs where there is a Bunkhouse at the park available on a first-come, first-served basis.

About 142 kilometers (88 miles) east of the Port of Kotzebue is the Kobuk Valley National Park, where for nine thousand years, people have come to gather some of the half-million caribou as they cross the Kobuk River. Open year-round (with longer hours from June through September), visitors will marvel at the sand dunes, the caribou, the Kobuk River, and Onion Portage (the caribou river-crossing point and site of an archaeological dig).

Cape Krusenstern National Monument is located about 75 kilometers (46 miles) northwest of the Port of Kotzebue. Here, archaeological evidence of human activity can be found along beach ridges. The Inupiat people still use the natural resources that include wetlands rich with migratory birds, tundra wildflowers, and wildlife that includes musk oxen, caribou, and moose.

Some 85 kilometers (53 miles) northeast of the Port of Kotzebue is the Noatak National Preserve, established to protect one of North America's biggest river basins, surrounded by mountains, with an intact native ecosystem. The Noatak River is a recognized national wild and scenic river, and outdoor adventurers will enjoy taking wilderness float trips from the Brooks Range to the tidewaters of the Chukchi Sea. Open year round (longer hours and weekends from June through September), recreational opportunities abound. Visitors enjoy camping, backpacking, hiking, rafting, photography, and fishing and hunting. During the more rugged arctic winters, adventurers will practice their survival skills, ski, dog sled, and ride snow machines. Noatak National Preserve has no developed facilities, and access is by plane or boat (snow machine in the winter).

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