California & the West
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5. Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Gates of the Arctic is above the Arctic Circle, away from any roads or supplies. Backpackers and explorers are dropped by float planes or bush planes into the park’s wilderness. They can also hike in from Dalton Highway or Anaktuvuk Pass. Visitors can expect dense vegetation, boggy ground and frequent stream and river crossings. Visitors in 2009 (through August): 9,257 More info: http://www.nps.gov/gaar Pictured: Two wilderness travelers on the tundra enjoying Alaska's midnight sun Don Pendergrast / National Park Service
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