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A half day’s drive from Fairbanks, Alaska, the Steese National Conservation Area (NCA) offers stunning scenery, peaceful solitude, and outstanding opportunities for year-round recreation. The NCA was designated by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in 1980 to protect the area’s special values, particularly Birch Creek Wild and Scenic River, and caribou habitat.
The NCA plays a major role in the annual life of cycle of the Fortymile and White Mountains caribou herds, offering migration corridors, summer crucial calving grounds in high alpine tundra, and winter ranges among black spruce boreal forests. A few areas provide year-round habitat for Dall sheep, an uncommon species in Interior Alaska.
Summer visitors to the NCA backpack, hike, camp, fish, pick berries, and hunt under Alaska's 'midnight sun.' Located in two units straddling the remote Steese Highway, the NCA offers primitive, remote recreation opportunities with few encounters with others. Wildlife viewing opportunities abound – raptors, upland birds, moose, fox, caribou, and bears are just a few of the mammals that may be spotted while recreating along Birch Creek Wild and Scenic River, the Pinnell Mountain National Recreation Trail, or one of the many travel routes that access the NCA.