White Mountains National Recreation Area
Viewing Information

White Mountains lichen.
Northern hawk owl chicks.

This remote, rugged area offers outstanding opportunities for canoeing, hiking, and cross-country skiing. Special geographic features include subarctic caves and disappearing streams in the Limestone Jags area; and rocky pinnacles, terraces, and solifluction lobes (unusual permafrost features) on Mt. Prindle. In the summer, visitors may float Beaver Creek, a nationally designated wild river.

Wildlife Viewing and Safety Tips

Wildlife within the area is dispersed. Dall sheep travel in bands around Mt. Prindle and the White Mountains; black bears linger in blueberry thickets in late summer; caribou meander across the tundra and along high ridges, subsisting on lichens and other low-lying plants. Brown bears, moose, wolves, and wolverines also inhabit this largely untouched expanse.

Look for marmots on rock outcroppings above 3,500 feet and for pikas on scree and rock slopes. Rafters on Beaver Creek may see gyrfalcons near the Limestone Jags, peregrine falcons along bluffs, and bald eagles in treetops at the river’s edge. Also keep an eye out for merlins, kestrels, rough-legged hawks, and red-tailed hawks. During the winter, listen for the hoots and cries of hawk owls, great-horned owls, and great gray owls. Watch for caribou when hiking near Mt. Prindle. Trails used primarily in the winter by dog mushers, snowmobilers, and skiers connect nine public use cabins.

Accessible Facilities

Contact the BLM for information about accessible facilities in the White Mountains Recreation Area.


The million-acre White Mountains National Recreation Area, between the Steese and Elliot Highways, is accessible from the Steese Highway via U.S. Creek Road at mile 57. U.S. Creek Road leads to the Nome Creek Road. Mount Prindle campground is located at the east end of the road and Ophir Creek campground is toward the west end. Nome Creek Road is also an access to a number of trails and is the put-in point for floating Beaver Creek, a National Wild and Scenic River.

Other Resources

ADF&G (Fairbanks office): (907) 459-7200

BLM (Eastern Interior Field Office): (907) 474-2200 or (800) 437-7021