GUIDED ALASKA Custom

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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.

Beluga Adventure at Kasegaluk Lagoon

Alaska’s Arctic Coast is a storied and rich region and Kasegaluk Lagoon in the Chukchi Sea hosts an astounding wealth of wildlife during our brief summer. It is one of the largest and least disturbed coastal lagoons in the world. Seals, whales and waterfowl migrate to the lagoon each summer. Join our Arctic Coast Canoe trip to discover why.

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DATES

TBD - Late June or Early July
region

REGION

Western Brooks Range
price

TRIP COST

$$$

TRIP DETAILS

An austere landscape at first glance, time spent on the Arctic Coast reveals it to be a region of stunning beauty and richness. Kasegaluk Lagoon is where the coastal tundra melts into the Chukchi Sea. Fed by five major rivers, the land and water mix in an infinite variety of lakes, bays and inlets. The diversity of wildlife and habitats is astounding.

Fresh water lagoons and river mouths wind far inland with ideal nesting habitat for both waterfowl and upland species. Kasegaluk Lagoon itself is brackish and in addition to pods of beluga whales, hosts ringed, spotted, and bearded seals along with the resident and migratory fish and birds.  Numerous lakes and ponds provide habitat for nesting loons, swans, and more.   Scores of waterfowl, including Black Brant, King, Common and Spectacled Eider, collect in the lagoons and river deltas to breed and molt.  Tens of thousands of sea ducks migrate along this coast in July.   The coastal tundra is thick with shorebirds and other nesting birds from the world over.

Between the lagoon and the Chukchi Sea are a series of barrier islands. These long gravelly spits are full of driftwood, whale bones, duck nests, and all manner of gifts from the sea. We will split our time among these many habitats, paddling far inland to experience the tundra for a few days, then heading seaward to beach comb on the barrier islands the next.  In many years, the Western Arctic caribou herd stampedes to the coast to avoid insects further inland, and foxes search the driftwood for eider nests while the sun refuses to set over the northern ocean. It is a magical landscape, suddenly vibrant and teeming with life during the short summer.

This arctic canoe trip will explore this rich and interesting area for a week in July. This stretch of the coast is protected by barrier islands and the nearby sea ice, making the canoeing relatively safe and easy. The area is known for high-winds which might make preclude paddling some days, but with ample time and endless daylight, we can roam the tundra and coast watching wildlife, gaze for hours at the changing light, and learn about the resilient creatures that make their homes on this rugged coast. This is an ideal trip for birders, photographers or anyone wanting to see this enchanting area.

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 in Kotzebue at 6:45 pm.

Day 1:

Fly from Kotzebue north into one of the most remote and untraveled parts of Alaska. On the flight, we cross the Brooks Range and may see thousands upon thousands of caribou migrating west.

Day 2 - Day 6:

The days and nights are ours to explore and marvel at this unique destination. We will plan to paddle about 40 miles of  lagoons bays and coastal rivers. With plenty of time to cover the distance, we will travel when conditions are favorable and explore on foot when the wind picks-up. When not paddling we can hike in search of wildlife and birds, explore the old village sites, beach comb for whale and walrus bones, maybe observe arctic foxes at their dens, photograph sea ducks, or just sit by a driftwood fire and enjoy the sight of the sea and sky. No matter how we spend our time, each day will be full of adventure and surprises.

Day 7:

On our last day we await our pilot and the spectacular flight back south across the tundra. Weather permitting, we will be back to Kotzebue in time for a hot shower and a late dinner.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Round-trip airfare from Kotzebue

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

Boats, 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

Fishing gear, and fishing license

Gratuity for guide(s)

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

WEATHER & BUGS

Expect a variety of weather. July tends to be mild by arctic standards, but cold fog and winds are common along the coast. Expect temperatures to range from in the 60’s down to freezing. Snow is always possible. Bugs could be an issue on hikes inland so DEET and a head net are recommended.

RECOMMENDED READING

Being Caribou by Karsten Heuer; Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez; Caribou & the Barren-Lands by George Calef; Fifty Years Below Zero by Charles Brown; Arctic Wings by Stephen Brown. More Alaska reading available at our bookstore.