Last updated: December 22, 2020
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
We’ll have a pre-trip meeting in Kotzebue the evening before our departure at 6:45 pm where we’ll check gear, and discuss the next day’s logistics.
Meet back at the pilot’s hangar and then we are off. After an hour-long flight up the Kobuk we land in right in the sand and then set-up camp next to a nearby creek. Welcome to paradise.
A full day to explore the dunes, search for wildlife, photograph the nearby surroundings, or day-dream with no one for miles around to disturb you.
Weather permitting, we’ll say a final goodbye to the Kobuk Dunes and then fly north into the Brooks Range and eventually land on a gravel bar with tundra all around. Welcome to Gates of the Arctic National Park. Camp is quickly re-assembled leaving us with the afternoon to take the first of many hikes.
Day 4- 6
Three full days enjoy the mountains and creeks of Gates of the Arctic. We can gain the ridge behind camp and hike deep into the peaks, or take a more leisurely stroll by the river. No matter where our feet take us, we’ll keep our eyes and ears trained for birds and wildlife. The endless daylight and broad landscape is inspiring.
The sound of the plane will break the silence of the mountains (weather permitting). Once we load our camp into the plane we fly west, across Noatak Preserve, stopping for lunch and a short walk if you want, and then we fly further west to the edge of the continent. We land on the beach in Cape Krusenstern between the lagoons and the Chukchi Sea with the pale limestone hills beckoning us inland.
Between the waves of the ocean and the peaks of the Igichuk Hills, there are lots hikes, strolls and wanders we can try. The lagoons and wetlands offer exceptional birding and with luck we will see some muskoxen within hiking distance of camp. We often do. Between the beach-combing, birding, and hiking in the hills, it will be a busy and fun day in Krusenstern.
Weather permitting, our pilot arrives mid-day for the flight south, past Kotzebue and down the Baldwin Peninsula, before heading west into Bering Land Bridge Preserve. After setting up camp a bath is in order! Then we can start exploring the tundra and mountains.
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.
There is more to explore and enjoy but when we hear the sound of the propeller we know that this adventure is nearly done. If the weather cooperates we should be in Kotzebue by mid-afternoon. Time to change your socks and take a shower!