From 9,000 ft peaks to the frozen Arctic Ocean, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has all the adventure and wild beauty of your dreams.
About the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in the Northeast corner of Alaska, is a 19 million acre wilderness refuge stretching from the Beaufort Sea nearly to the Yukon River. Its vastness, diversity and its wildlife, coupled with dramatic scenery make it Alaska’s most celebrated wilderness. Designated as wilderness in 1960, ANWR encompasses arctic tundra, boreal forests, wild rivers, the Brooks Range mountains, the coastal plain and awe- inspiring Alaska glaciers. Inupiat Eskimo and Athabascan Indians call this undisturbed Alaska wilderness home. Birds migrate from all over the world to breed in the refuge. Nearly 180 bird species call ANWR home at least part of the year. There are 45 mammal species living in ANWR including polar bears, grizzly bears, porcupine, caribou, musk ox, wolves, and Dall sheep.
Geography of the Arctic Refuge
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is split by the continental divide. North of the divide in the arctic watershed the land is vast treeless tundra. Rivers like the Kongakut and the Canning form in glacier carved peaks and flow from the Romanzof Mountains, through the foothills and across the beautiful coastal plain. Where the rivers join the arctic ocean is a rich wetland home to shorebirds and waterfowl. And along the arctic coast are the barrier islands rich with birdlife, sea-ice and human history. The endless summer daylight and the expansive wilderness combine to create a sense of limitless possibility. On the south-side of the Arctic Refuge, rich greens of the boreal forest fill the valleys and limestone peaks of the Brooks Range tower above the clear waters of the Sheenjek, Coleen, and Wind rivers.
Wildlife in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
The Porcupine Caribou Herd migration has become iconic for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Nearly 200,000 caribou migrate annually through the refuge. In late winter they cross the Brooks Range to calve on the famed coastal plain at the very end of May and then migrate across the mountain front, typically crossing the Kongakut River in late June. Grizzly bears, Alaska polar bears, musk ox, Dall sheep, Alaska moose, Porcupine caribou and even wolverine roam the refuge. ANWR is a magnificent Alaska birding destination. Some ANWR bird species include: Gyrfalcons and peregrine falcons, grey-headed chickadees, arctic warblers, snow geese, snowy owls and northern wheatears.
Guided Trips Available in ANWR
Arctic Wild offers guided wilderness trips throughout the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We offer rafting trips on most of the rivers in the refuge, backpacking adventures in the Brooks Range and base camp trips to watch caribou migrations, photograph coastal birds or just to revel in the scenery and excellent hiking. In addition to our scheduled trips listed below we also offer custom trips to better suit your interests and schedule.