The Tangle Lakes area contains some of the earliest and most continuous evidence of human occupation in North America, extending back more than 10,000 years. At least four cultures occupied the area: the Denali Complex from 10,500 to 7,000 years ago; the Northern Archaic Tradition from 7,000 to 1,000 years ago; the Late Prehistoric Period from 1,000 years ago to 1770, and the current Athapaskan Tradition.
Over 400 archaeological sites dot the area. About 225,000 acres are officially designated as the BLM’s Tangle Lakes Archaeological District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The District is wide open to exploring and recreation. But remember the area is covered by the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, which prohibits collecting or damaging any artifacts or sites.