Located near the Arctic Circle in Alaska are the least visited and most remote units in the National Park System. This unique trip is designed to get you to Northwest Alaska’s fascinating park units for a glimpse of the beauty and wildness that Bering Land Bridge and Cape Krusenstern have to offer.
Interested in seeing more National Parks? Check-out our Kobuk and Gates National Parks Trip.
Cape Krusenstern National Monument lies right on the shore of the Chukchi Sea, north of Kotzebue Alaska and in addition to its scenic beauty and stunning location, it is known for its archaeological resources. Inupiat people (Eskimo) have been using this stretch of coast for hunting and fishing continuously for the last 5,000 years. Layers of human occupation including current subsistence camps stretch along the coast.
Inland we regularly find Muskoxen. The hiking on headlands and in the limestone hills above the beaches is outstanding with views across the Arctic Ocean nearly to the Russian Coast in Chukotka. 150 species of birds come to Krusenstern each summer to breed in the wetlands and on the dry slopes making for excellent birding.
In addition to the rich tundra landscape, Krusenstern also offers opportunities for observing marine life from sea-birds to ice-seals. The beach combing is fantastic with driftwood from the Yukon river, glass fishing floats from Japan and all manner of bones and other mysteries from the Arctic Ocean.
Cape Krusenstern isn’t your typical beach vacation but this stretch of coast is beautiful, wild, and extremely interesting.
The Bering Land Bridge looms large in our imaginations as a place of human migration and, in days long past, habitat for mammoths and tigers. The area is still rich in wildlife and a wonderful area to explore. Join us for two nights where hot springs emerge from the tundra and ice age relics like musk oxen abound.
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve is a volcanic landscape on the Seward Peninsula, north of Nome, Alaska. Rocky spires jut from the green tundra, volcanic craters shelter musk oxen from the coastal winds and hot springs feed rivers teeming with fish. This is likely the first place where people stepped foot in North America and it is largely unchanged since. From our base at Serpentine Hot Springs we spend our time hiking and birding in this remnant of the Bering Land Bridge.
Serpentine Hot Springs is famed for the volcanically heated waters flowing through the bathhouse and for the many musk oxen that tend to use the area in the summer. But in our opinion, the best thing about the area is the incredible hiking among the long ridges and granite tors. The green tundra and the gray rocks make a somewhat surreal landscape.
With 24 hours of daylight we can hike and soak and hike again until we are worn-out from all the fun.
Last updated: January 11, 2021
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Meet your guide at our pilot’s hangar in Kotzebue for an orientation/ gear check at 6 pm.
Fly south down the Baldwin Peninsula, around Kotzebue Sound and down to Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. Arriving mid-morning we have time to set up camp before embarking on the first of several hikes on the tundra.
A full day in Bering Land Bridge. We will visit the hot springs, hike the volcanic landscape, explore the rock formations that dot the tundra, and watch the variety of birds and wildlife. With constant daylight, energy and imagination are the only limits to what we can do.
Take a last dip in the hot springs or take another hike in search of birds. By late morning our pilot returns to take us to Cape Krusenstern. After a 2 hour flight we land on the beach and set up camp within sight and sound of the Chukchi Sea. The coast offers a whole new suite of birdlife and vistas. We can hike the beach, explore the ancient beach ridges or trek inland into the rocky hills.
We get to spend the day exploring Cape Krusenstern. Perhaps we will watch musk ox calves cavorting in the willows or maybe spend the afternoon visiting with Inupiat fishermen.
We have the morning to enjoy the Arctic Coast. By late afternoon we reluctantly break camp and await our pilot. It is a quick flight back to Kotzebue and we arrive in time for the evening departure on Alaska Airlines to Anchorage. Or if you prefer you can spend another night in Kotzebue.
We wanted you to know what a wonderful trip we had with Cynthia. What a skilled guide and wonderful person she is. We can’t imagine having had a better guide. Besides taking such good care of all of the gear, shepherding us through wonderful hikes, and cooking fantastic meals, she shared our interest in nature of all kinds. We feel so fortunate to have had her as a guide and can’t speak highly enough of her. Thanks for giving her the assignment to be with us! The trip went flawlessly. Even with all of the different flights, we were able to stay on schedule. What an experience we had!
We also wanted to thank you for all of the care and thought Arctic Wild puts into the meals. We were so happy with the variety and quality of the foods available at all of the meals and the tremendous snack selection in between. We’ve never seen such a wide variety of energy bars to choose from! We were happily stoked, which you would know if you saw how little food came back to the office!
So, thanks again for all you did to organize a great itinerary for us. Each park was unique and we feel we tasted some of the best parts of each. We feel so grateful to have seen the vast beauty of northern Alaska.
Transportation starting and ending in Kotzebue
Food while in the wilderness
Stoves, cooking & eating utensils, water filter, base camp tent, safety & repair gear
Professional guide service
Temperatures vary dramatically in the Arctic. Temperatures will range from the 40s to 70s. Cold rains and snow are possible, but we get plenty of sunny weather this time of the year. Mosquitoes could be an issue in Bering Land Bridge so bring a small bottle of DEET repellent just in case.