Noatak River to Kiana via Salmon and Tutukuk Rivers

The Grand Canyon of the Noatak is neither, but nearby is Sapun Creek which is a day’s walk from Kobuk drainages. Brad Meiklejohn and I walked over the divide and by noon the next day were paddling the headwaters of the Salmon River in Kobuk Valley National Park. The river got bigger and bigger abd is super easy and pretty, if you like Interior Alaska scenery.

We then walked over to Tutukuk River near at its biggest eastern (unnamed) tributary where we Brad (a keen birder) spotted the rare Gray-Headed Chickadee. The “Tut” was more fun and scenic than the Salmon in my opinion, but the brush getting over to hit horific: the Western Arctic Caribou Herd apparently never walk east-west in this part of the Baird Mountains.

We then walked along the Kobuk (great walking—could’ve ridden a fat bike along it) to Kavet Creek where we checked out the Kobuk Sand Dunes (very cool). We then headed down the Kobuk to Kiana and flew out to Kotze. Thankfully we had a down river wind and could sail some of the slow, slow Kobuk.

Another really good Baird Mountain trip of Class I-II water I’d do again.

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