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This spot along the Kobuk River is one of the most significant archaeological sites in the Arctic, and also an important cultural site to Native Alaskans.
It’s a place where the caribou herds predictably cross the river on their migrations, becoming vulnerable targets in the water.
It’s therefore been a crucial hunting ground for thousands of years. Because Onion Portage is still used for hunting by Kobuk Valley residents, access may sometimes be restricted.
Otherwise, it makes an interesting stop on a river trip or flightseeing excursion, especially in the fall when caribou might be spotted.
At the portage site, a gravel beach and a wooded slope lead to a historic log cabin maintained by the Park Service.
It’s occasionally manned as a ranger station but is normally closed to the public.
The track mapped here is a short walk in the vicinity of the cabin.
Longer hikes along the river or across the peninsula are possible. Sources: https://www.nps.gov/kova/learn/historyculture/onion-portage.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onion_Portage_Archeological_District