“As I walked for hours beneath the stupendous grandeur of the mountains, I felt humble and insignificant.”
Bob Marshall explored the Brooks Range in the 30s. It was his life-long goal to find true wilderness. Only natives and a few miners had ventured into the Brooks Range before that. He described his adventures in Arctic Travels. Between his matter of fact observations he sprinkled a few remarks like the one above.
I was able to hike a day here and there into this remote mountain range that comes as close to true wilderness as it gets. There are two native villages to speak of Anaktuvuk Pass and Arctic Village, and a few hamlets like Bettles, Coldfoot, and Wiseman. All in all less than 1000 folks living along the 700 mile long stretch of mountains that is crossed by just one road, the Dalton Highway.
The remoteness and ruggedness of these mountains has helped to maintain its wild character. Gates of the Arctic National Park covers the central part of the Brooks Range. In most years it is the least visited national park in the US. Isn’t that interesting?
The picture above was taken from the top of Sukakpak, with Mt. Dillon in the foreground.