Arctic Refuge Autumn Base Camp

GUIDED ALASKA Base Camp

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Arctic Refuge Autumn Base Camp

DATES

August 30, 2024 - September 5, 2024

REGION

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

TRIP COST

$7,700

calendar

DATES

August 30, 2024 - September 5, 2024
region

REGION

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
price

TRIP COST

$7,700

Enjoy the wild landscape of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge this fall as the tundra turns crimson and gold with fall colors. From our comfortable camp on the tundra you have ample time to hike, watch for arctic wildlife, and enjoy the change of seasons.

TRIP DETAILS

At the end of summer – at the ends of the earth, we like to settle into the land and relish the change of seasons, making a patch of tundra deep in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge our home for a week so that we can savor the the solitude and wildness of this exceptional landscape. With no constructed trails, no campgrounds, and no cell service, the Brooks Range is the perfect place for wilderness exploration and solitude. One of our favorite places in the Refuge is along the Continental Divide surrounded by mountains and tundra as far as the eye can see.

Camping in the Arctic is sublime. Views across the valley into the peaks of the Brooks Range change hour by hour with the light and the weather. Days will be spent hiking through the varied landscape. There are peaks to climb, glacial cirques to explore, and broad valleys to wander. Adventures abound.

One of our favorite routes crosses the river and then heads up a side creek to the north of camp. As we climb, the valley narrows into a canyon, often full of animal sign. Caribou trails lead to a low pass above several small caves with long views to the west, giving us a vista of endless ridges leading ever higher.  From the high point of the hike, we can make our way back along a gradual ridge basking in the beauty of the Arctic.

Arctic grayling are abundant in the river and we are happy to help you learn to fish and to cook them for dinner. Dolly Varden are abundant some years and not in others, but are prized eating fish. Both spinning gear and fly rods are appropriate.

We never know exactly what wildlife we may encounter on a trip, but caribou frequent the area in August and September, feeding on the autumn tundra in small bands. It is also a great place to watch bears grazing the flats or eating berries on the slopes. We may also see wolves, red fox, moose and a great variety of other furred and feathered creatures during our time in the mountains. The serendipity is part of what makes encountering wildlife so rewarding. A keen interest and keen eyes are certain to spot a great variety of wildlife.

You need not be a seasoned adventurer to enjoy this trip. Our sturdy base camp complete with a warming stove in the “cook tent” and excellent food leave you free to enjoy the wilderness and our seasoned guides are on hand to teach you the skills of living in the remote and sometimes challenging Arctic. We expect a little of everything in terms of weather, but with good equipment and a great attitude this will be an adventure never to be forgotten.

Last updated: January 16, 2023

Itinerary

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

August 29

Meet your guide(s) for a pre-trip meeting at Arctic Wild headquarters in Fairbanks.

August 30

North we go! Our initial flight will go as far as Arctic Village. From there, in a smaller plane, we will fly over the mountains landing on a gravel bar. If the weather permits we will be on the north-side of the Brooks Range by mid-day. Once there we’ll set up a comfortable camp on the tundra next to the creek before heading out to explore.

Aug 31 - Sept 4

Each day in the backcountry brings something different. Some days we will take day hikes to explore the high rocky ridges, nearby limestone crags, or wander the canyons. Other days we may stick closer to camp, allowing the opportunity to fish, search for wildlife, or simply enjoy the solitude and quiet.

September 5

Weather permitting, we’ll say a final goodbye to the Arctic and the Brooks Range before boarding the plane for the trip back south. If the weather cooperates and all goes as planned we’ll arrive back in Fairbanks in time for dinner and well-deserved showers.

The guides were uncommonly knowledgeable, competent, hardworking, and they consistently took care of the group before taking care of their own stuff. They kept our safety in mind while staying open to suggestions, and allowing folks a lot of freedom for personal wanderings.

- Jim, Alaska, USA

DETAILS

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Transportation beyond Fairbanks

Food while in the wilderness

Stoves, cooking & eating utensils

Safety & repair gear

Professional guide service

Select Camping Equipment is available through Arctic Wild

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Lodging

Non-camp meals

Personal clothing and gear. See full equipment list

Fishing gear, and fishing license

Gratuity for guide(s)

WEATHER & BUGS

Temperatures vary from the 60’s to below freezing. Snow is likely as is rain. But we can also get some awesome clear weather in the fall with days in the 50’s and nights in the upper 20’s. 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.

RECOMMENDED READING

 Ordinary Wolves, Seth Kantner

Being Caribou by Karsten Heuer

Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez

Fifty Years Below Zero by Charles Brown

More Alaska reading is available from our Bookstore

"The wilderness was spectacular, the leadership perfect."
"I am just finishing my tenth trip with you guys. As always, the trip was more than I expected and I had a great time. See you next year!"
"Of all outfitters with whom we have worked (and that is quite a number), you were by far the most organized and responsive."
"That feeling of wide open wonder, the possibilities for nearly limitless wandering, and the image of those proud caribou...that will stay with me a long time"
"Our guide was an encyclopedia on legs. He was always willing and ready to teach, to talk, to listen, to do another hike, or to lie low in camp if we were beat. He truly gave us the trip we wanted!"
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Eileen - Canning River