The meandering Kobuk River winds through remote northwestern Alaska north of the Arctic Circle and is a primary means of travel for both wildlife and people of the region. The Inupiaq word "Kobuk" literally means "big river."
The river's headwaters begin in the Endicott Mountains within Gates of the Arctic National Park. The river then flows south and west through two scenic canyons before entering Kobuk Valley National Park where the largest Alaskan herd of caribou migrate across its waters twice a year.
July, August, and September are the best months to plan a float trip on the slow-moving river, as its waters are frozen for much of the year. Traveling from Ambler to Kiana is a popular route, and some guided raft tours are available.