A custom trip begins with a dream. Yours. A desire to camp amongst the great herds of caribou in the Arctic. To climb high into the Arrigetch Peaks, to photograph bears in Katmai National Park…the options in Alaska are exquisite and limitless. For the wilderness traveler there is no better destination.

We take designing your custom wilderness trip seriously. With decades of experience, exhaustive knowledge of the landscape and wildlife, and an extensive network of pilots, boat captains and guides, each itinerary is tailored exactly to your specific dreams.

The process starts with your desires, the size of your group or family, your expectations, your budget and your abilities. Our role is to advise, inspire, listen, and finally to transform your dreams into reality. We can share with you what is possible and help you craft the ultimate Alaska adventure.

All of our trips are "off the beaten path", true wilderness expeditions. A custom trip can be one of our scheduled trips on dates of your choosing and exclusive to your group, or an entirely new and unique itinerary just for you. We work with groups from 1 person to 10 people but 4 to 6 is often the best. Browse through the list of custom trips we have done in the past or give us a call and tell us about your big Alaska dreams. We can help make them happen. From a family friendly base camp to true exploration in the farthest reaches of Alaska.

Wildlife trips: Our experienced guides can help you find wildlife whether it be caribou, polar bears, blue-throats, grey-headed chickadees, or musk oxen.

Photography trips: Wildlife photography, landscape photography, film or art. We have worked with professional and amateur photographers from around the world. Let us help you get the shot.

Film or Science Support: In addition to "fun trips" we also provided guide services and logistical support for field projects big and small.

Skills training: Need to improve your wilderness skills? We can provide field courses, skill specific classes in Fairbanks or a combination of the two. Rafting or canoeing workshops, navigation seminars, wilderness safety.... the list goes on. We have the experience to teach you.

Family and youth trips: We love seeing young people enjoying the wilderness. Though we haven't had any clients under the age of 7, we take our own toddlers to the Brooks Range regularly. We can plan a trip that will be safe and fun for people of any age.

Arrigetch Peaks Backpacking

Want stunning scenery, arctic wildlife, and a good workout? Head up into the Arrigetch Peaks for a week of backpacking and day hiking and see the best of Gates of the Arctic National Park.

As we fly into Gates of the Arctic, we will get tantalizing glimpses of the Arrigetch Peaks. Once we land near Arrigetch Creek, we will don backpacks and head up the valley towards the granite spires.  Arrigetch is Inupiat for “fingers on the outstretched hand.”  This trip will put this National Natural Landmark in your reach.



Custom Dates


Gates of the Arctic




In the Arrigetch, razor-sharp ridges surround rugged and inviting headwater basins.  Sheer granite walls shoot 2,000 – 3,000 feet high.  Spires pierce glaciers on their way to the sky.  All this is amid a landscape of gentle meadows, rushing streams and alpine tarns. We will backpack 30 miles through the Arrigetch peaks, immersing ourselves in the most dramatic scenery in the Brooks Range.

Our backpack follows the shortest route to the peaks.  At times we are on a small animal trail, but mostly the route is cross-country over tussocks, boulders, and streams.  Three layover days are planned for side explorations.  Previous backpacking experience is recommended.  Participants must be in good shape and able to carry a 50-pound pack (including 15 – 25 lbs. of food, fuel, and community gear).


What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.

Day 0:

Meet your guide for a pre-trip meeting at 4 pm in Fairbanks at Arctic Wild headquarters.

Day 1:

Fly north from Fairbanks across the Yukon River to Coldfoot, a little “Outpost of Progress” in the Brooks Range.  Here, we board a smaller plane and continue on into the Gates of the Arctic National Park.  Our skilled pilot lands us on a gravel bar . . . and then the plane leaves and we are alone in the grandeur of the wilderness.

Day 2 - 7:

The trip is less than 30 miles, but some of the terrain is difficult. There are no constructed trails and a 6 mile-day with packs is enough to make you feel you have earned your dinner. It usually takes a couple days of hiking to get into the high alpine basins. Once in the high country, we have a day or two to explore the spires, tarns and high passes. The descent back to the Alatna Valley is easier than the ascent, as we will have lighter packs and trail-hardened legs. If we want more mileage and challenge, we may elect to cross a pass into hot springs creek and walk back to the Alatna a bit further south.

Day 8:

Await the arrival of our bush plane.  The busy world awaits. Weather permitting we fly to Coldfoot and from Coldfoot we go back to Fairbanks. Shower.


Transportation beyond Fairbanks, food while in the wilderness, stoves, cooking & eating utensils, water filter, safety & repair gear and professional guide service.


Lodging, non-camp meals, personal clothing and gear, backpack, tent, fishing gear, and fishing license. Gratuity for guide(s). An equipment list is provided upon registration. Rental equipment is available through Arctic Wild.


A variety of weather should be expected including rainy periods and bright sunny conditions. Temperatures can range from in the 70’s or higher down into the 30’s or lower. Generally at this time of the year we get some sunny and some rainy weather. Snow is also possible. Bugs shouldn’t be bad at all, but carry a head net and one bottle of DEET insect repellent, just in case.


Being Caribou Karsten Heuer; People of the Noatak Clair Fejes; Caribou and the Barren Lands George Calef; Ordinary Wolves Seth Kantner; Alaska Wilderness Robert Marshall; Last Light Breaking Nick Jans; Arctic Wild Lois Crisler. More Alaska reading is available from our Bookstore.