The Wind River is a stunning example of a south side Brooks Mountain Range river. It begins high in the mountains where vegetation is sparse, creating unrestricted views in all directions. It then winds its way through an open river valley scattered with various large and small lakes and wetlands. Spruce tree forests gradually become thicker as the river flows downriver. The Wind River is approximately 85 miles long from its origin in the Philip Smith Mountains to its confluence with the East Fork of the Chandalar River. Over much of its length, the river is flanked by steep-sided mountains often rising over 3,000 feet above the wide, flat valley floor. The mountains provide habitat for Dall sheep, while the lowlands provide habitat for moose. Caribou and grizzly bears regularly roam through this gorgeous river valley. With its untamed, stark beauty and abundant wildlife, the Wind River valley exemplifies what it means to be wild.
December 2, 1980. The segment from its source, including all headwaters and one unnamed tributary in T13S, within the boundaries of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is currently working to identify the "outstandingly remarkable values" of the river. Preliminarily, through Comprehensive Conservation Plans and additional agency reviews, the USFWS has found the following draft ORVs to be present on the river: scenery and recreation. A process is underway to include public involvement in formally identifying and describing ORVs for this river. Ongoing planning efforts may further identify or clarify outstandingly remarkable values on this river.