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.
This unique trip is a full scale immersion into the world of wilderness photography. Over the course of this 5 day base camp we will explore with our cameras the incredible and wild landscape of the central Brooks Range in Gates of the Arctic National Park.
Led by Arctic Wild guide and professional photographer David Shaw, this trip is both a quality photo tour and a world-class wilderness experience. Participants will receive guidance in all aspects of photography from technique, to camera settings and creative composition.
After our flights from Fairbanks we will set up a comfortable base camp on the shore of Agiak Lake in the headwaters of the John River. We’ll be just spitting distance from the continental divide. The mountains surrounding Agiak are dramatically lined with with glacial cirques dotted with smaller alpine lakes. The tundra in the broad valleys should be filled with the orange and red of autumn foliage and the sweet light of morning and evening lasts for hours during late August. In short, we’ll be in a playground for photography.
Days will be spent hiking through the varied landscape, discussing photography methods and composition, and making lots of images. If we decide to put the cameras down for a while, or if the sweet arctic light fades, there is great fishing for Arctic Grayling and Lake Trout in Agiak Lake, archaeological sites to examine, and many nearby peaks to ascend. Designed for photographers and wilderness enthusiasts with a desire to explore some of the wildest country in North America with their cameras, this trip offers an unparalleled opportunity to practice photography where few have before.
You need not be a professional adventurer or photographer to enjoy this trip. We will teach you what you need to know to enjoy both pursuits. Our sturdy base camp and excellent cooking leave you free to enjoy the wilderness and your photography.
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
We’ll have a pre-trip meeting at Arctic Wild Headquarters the afternoon before our departure where we’ll meet our travel companions, check gear, and discuss the next day’s logistics.
You’ll be picked up early at your hotel in Fairbanks and shuttled to the airport where we’ll catch a charter flight to the bush village of Bettles in the southern foothills of the Brooks Range. From there we’ll load our gear into a small float plane for the hour-long flight across the mountains to Agiak Lake. Once there we’ll set up a comfortable camp on the tundra next to the lake before heading out to explore.
Each day in the backcountry brings something different. Some days we will take day hikes to explore the glacial cirques, nearby alpine lakes, or wander the high ridges. Other days we may stick closer to camp, allowing the opportunity to fish, search for wildlife, photograph the nearby surroundings, and work on personal photographic projects.
Weather permitting, we’ll say a final goodbye to Agiak Lake and the Brooks Range and make a few last images before boarding the float plane for the trip back to Bettles and on home to Fairbanks. If the weather cooperates and all goes as planned we’ll arrive back in Fairbanks in time for dinner and well-deserved showers.
Round-trip airfare from Fairbanks
Food while in the wilderness, stoves, cooking & eating utensils
Safety & repair gear
Professional guide service
Non-camp meals, personal clothing and gear, camera equipment
Fishing gear, and fishing license
Gratuity for guide(s)
Rental equipment is available through Arctic Wild. See full equipment list.
Temperatures vary from the 60’s to below freezing. Snow is possible; rain is likely. As summer turns to fall we can expect a wide variety of weather. With the warm weather behind us we don’t expect many bugs but bring a small bottle of DEET just in case.