Visitor Activities

two people in canoe

There are no roads or communities within the refuge's boundaries, and most of its habitats are essentially pristine, making Kanuti unique. Visitation is low due to its remote location and allows for outstanding opportunities for visitors to experience solitude.  It's a place where visitors can find a remote wilderness experience with few, if any, visible signs of human manipulation or a permanent human presence. (USFWS/Steve Hildebrand)

  • Hunting


    Public lands located within Kanuti Refuge are open for recreational and subsistence hunting. Many Alaskans rely on hunting as a main source for food. Moose and bears are most frequently sought by hunters, with furbearers also important in the local economy.

    Please be sensitive to the customs of local people who use the refuge for subsistence purposes. Hunting restrictions exist on a large portion of the refuge; contact the refuge office or consult hunting regulations before planning a hunting trip.  

  • Fishing


    Fishing is a part of the Alaskan tradition and serves as a crucial food source for most residents. Though seemingly endless fishing opportunities abound on Kanuti Refuge, due to the many rivers and streams found within its boundaries, the remote and inaccessible nature of the Refuge means very little recreational fishing occurs- when it does, grayling and northern pike are the most highly sought treasure. 

    For detailed fishing information, including licenses and permits, visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website. 

  • Rafting or Boating


    Boating the major rivers within the refuge provides some of the best opportunities to view wildlife. Four "floatable" waterways (the South Fork Koyukuk, Jim, and Kanuti Rivers, and Bonanza Creek) flow westward from the Dalton Highway onto the refuge. Most visitors travel these rivers by inflatable raft, canoe, or small motorized jet-drive power boats, but the streams can be very shallow at times. While motorized watercraft are permitted, travel by power boats can be challenging and should only be attempted with caution. 

    Visit the River Travel page for additional information.  

  • Camping


    Given the refuge's remote location, there are some pristine camping opportunities. Visitors who travel by canoe or raft have the opportunity to see wildlife. 

    Refer to Leave No Trace Ethics when on backcountry trips. 

    Remember, you are in bear country when visiting the Refuge. Learn how to prepare yourself by reviewing Bear Facts: The Essentials for Traveling in Bear Country 

  • Photography


    Many photographers travel to the refuge to take advantage of rare wildlife sightings and landscape. 

    (USFWS/Wild North Photography)

    Click here to view the Kanuti Refuge's current Mammal List and Bird List