GUIDED ALASKA Custom

close
VIEW AVAILABLE TRIPS A custom trip begins with a dream. Yours. Perhaps it is your 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, luxury lodges, 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.

Gates of the Arctic Packraft

Light and nimble packrafts allow us to start high on the Alatna, far upriver of where most travelers ever get to set foot.  Join our 8 day Gates of the Arctic  pack rafting adventure on the Alatna River, where the paddling is fast and fun, the hiking is superb, and the open tundra provides long vistas and wildlife encounters. With long arctic days and nearly limitless wilderness, this trip explores the very heart of Gates of the Arctic National Park.

calendar

DATES

TBD
region

REGION

Gates of the Arctic
price

TRIP COST

$$$

TRIP DETAILS

Starting high on the Arctic Divide, the Alatna River’s clear water flows through the dramatic peaks of the central Brooks Range. Tundra peaks beckon in all directions and we will have time to explore them.  After hiking to where the river is deep enough to paddle, we will lash our gear into the packrafts and paddle down this spunky and fun clear water river.  As we head down river we will be rewarded with tantalizing glimpses of the sheer granite spires of the Arrigetch Peaks emerging from the boreal forest.  Dall sheep, wolves, moose and caribou are commonly seen in the area and we are likely to encounter them.  Arctic grayling swim below the pristine water and, with luck, can be caught along the route.

Your guide will provide instruction on pack rafting and river safety and the Alatna is a good place to develop paddling skills. No previous packrafting experience is required but being comfortable on the water is a big help.

Packrafting was invented in Alaska and is a great way to enjoy the remote corners of Gates of the Arctic National Park. Packrafts are light, strong, and relatively easy to learn. Ask about discounts for bringing your own packraft.

ITINERARY

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 the town of Bettles (population 15). Here we board a smaller plane and continue on into the Gates of the Arctic National Park.  Our skilled pilot lands us at the very headwaters of the Alatna River, right on the Arctic divide….and then the plane leaves and we are alone in the grandeur of the wilderness.

Day 2:

The Alatna River is too shallow to paddle as it leaves the headwater lakes. We spend our first full day of the trip shouldering our packs and walking down river. Packs will be heavy and all will be glad when side creeks join the Alatna and make it navigable.

Day 3 - 7:

Paddle and day hike in turn. The upper valley offers outstanding hiking and we will have time each day to explore. We have 5 full days to cover a little more than 50 river miles, which leaves some time for climbing mountains, watching wildlife or simply relaxing by the river.

Day 8:

Await the arrival of our bush plane at Takahula Lake.  The busy world awaits. Weather permitting we fly to Bettles and then back to Fairbanks in time for a late dinner. Shower.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Round-trip airfare from Fairbanks

Food while in the wilderness, stoves, cooking & eating utensils

Packrafts, paddles, life jackets, safety & repair gear

Professional guide service

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Non-camp lodging

Non-camp meals

Personal clothing and gear, waterproof river bag, wading pants/ chest waders

Fishing gear, and fishing license

Gratuity for guide(s)

Rental equipment is available through Arctic Wild. See full equipment list.

WEATHER & BUGS

A variety of weather should be expected including rainy periods and bright sunny conditions. Temperatures can range from in the 70’s down into the 30’s or lower. Snow is possible but unlikely to remain on the ground. Bug season is over, but there may still be mosquitoes and gnats around. You should carry a head net and one bottle of insect repellent.

RECOMMENDED READING

Our Arctic Year by Vivian & Gill Staender; Alaska Wilderness by Robert Marshall; Make Prayers to the Raven, Richard Nelson;Alaska’s Brooks Range by John Kauffmann; Packrafting!, Roman Dial. More Alaska reading is available at our bookstore.