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.
For years clients on our river trips have been telling us that they would love to backpack in the Brooks Range. Unfortunately many are intimidated by the heavy packs and challenging terrain. The Kick back Backpack is the solution.
The trip is a brief six days, to help minimize the weight of our packs. The route is short, only seven miles down a river valley. This trip may lack rigor (to some) but there is no lack of adventure. Starting high in the glacially carved valley of the Hulahula River we will have time to explore upstream without the burden of our backpacks. Opportunities for day hiking are endless and the ridgelines offer vistas south into the forested drainages of the Chandalar River and north towards the Arctic Coast.
Dall sheep are abundant and we often see wolves and grizzly bears in the area.If you plan this trip in early June you can witness spring in the Brooks Range and see the land awakening from its nine month slumber. Migratory birds will be arriving and singing in the sunny midnight hours, soil will be warming and giving birth to the first spring flowers. Mosquitoes will still be, thankfully, just larva.
After a couple of nights in the upper valley we will shoulder our packs and head downstream. There are no trails here except the ones made by caribou and bears so we will follow gravel bars when we can, caribou trails when we can, and hike over the tundra when we must. The hiking might be a bit wet at times or a bit uneven but mostly the footing is good. After three or four miles of leisurely hiking it will be time to once again kick back and enjoy spring in the mountains.
After another layover day spent day hiking or lounging, we will again shoulder our packs for the final miles downriver to our pick-up point. Then it will again be time to kick back and feel proud that you are a Brooks Range Backpacker.
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Pre-trip meeting with your guide in Fairbanks at 4pm at Arctic Wild Headquarters.
Fly north from Fairbanks across the Yukon River, the Arctic Circle, and the Brooks Range, to the headwaters of the Hulahula River. We’ll make a comfortable camp, have a good dinner, kick back and watch the sun refuse to set! Welcome to the arctic! We can climb a small hill for a view of the valley ahead.
We’ll hike our way down the Hulahula River covering seven miles total with our packs on. This will allow for three layover days of hiking, lounging or exploring.
Kick back and wait for the plane to come and take us to points south. Or better yet, if you are joining us for the Hulahula Raft trip you can kickback and wait for the plane to bring rafts, more food and clean socks.
Transportation beyond Fairbanks, food while in the wilderness, stoves, cooking & eating utensils, waterfilter, 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.
Temperatures vary dramatically in the Arctic and can range from the 20s to 70s. When the wind comes from the north, the temperature can drop to below freezing. Cold rains and snow are possible, but we get lots of sunny weather this time of the year. This trip happens during mosquito season, though bugs are made more bearable by cool, coastal breezes as we near the coast. Bring along a mosquito head net and a small bottle of DEET repellent.