Arctic Packrafting – Garapedian/ Loiselle Custom

Arctic Packrafting – Garapedian/ Loiselle Custom


July 30, 2019 - August 8, 2019


Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)


$7,800/ person



July 30, 2019 - August 8, 2019


Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)


$7,800/ person

Start with a base camp in a forgotten corner of the Arctic Refuge. Then a several days backpacking in the most spectacular mountain country in arctic Alaska. Add in more day-hiking and then paddle your own packraft to the edge of the Coastal Plain for views to the edge of the earth.


Last updated: August 17, 2019


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

July 29

Meet your guide for a pre-trip meeting at 4 p.m. at the Arctic Wild headquarters in Fairbanks.

July 30

Fly 350 miles north from Fairbanks, across the Yukon River and the Arctic Circle to the Gwich’in Athabaskan village of Arctic Village. In Arctic Village we will meet our pilot for the beautiful flight over the Continental Divide past countless peaks and glaciers into the wilderness. After hiking to a suitable campsite, we will make camp and eat dinner and then take a hike under the midnight sun.

July 31 - August 1

Day hike to your heart’s content! With 19 million acres in the Arctic Refuge we won’t run out of room to roam.

August 2 - 4

Deeper into the high country we go. Packs will be heavy but the footing is decent and the views unbeatable. There are several routes we could take. We’ll find a good balance between challenge and punishment. We’ll likely have time to do some day-hiking here too, but will keep everything flexible and spontaneous to suit your desires and the demands of the landscape and weather. Eventually we hike down the creek until it gains enough water to be navigable.

August 5 and 6

Before launching into the river, your guide will train you in the art of packrafting and river safety. Once you are feeling confident and packs are secured to the deck of the packrafts, you begin your descent towards the ocean. The river is small and rocky and you may need to get out occasionally to nudge your boat between rocks or over shallows. The scenery alone is worth the effort and there will be time to lean back in your raft and watch the tundra go by.

As the river exits the mountains the sky broadens and the river braids into multiple channels. Once you get the knack of following your guide through the deepest water, you will make good time and can scan the banks for bear, wolf, and caribou.

August 7

A day to enjoy the edge of the mountains and the panorama of the Coastal Plain. The tundra where the two ecosystems meet is etched in caribou tracks and the cliffs are hope to nesting eagles. Its a lovely place to take a long day-hike and if the weather cooperates we’ll be able to see the Arctic Ocean to the north.

August 8

Pack-up early and begin listening for our airplane. When it arrives (weather permitting) we reluctantly load our gear and ourselves for the flight back through Arctic Village and on to Fairbanks, arriving in time for a late dinner. A shower is in order.

Such a joy to spend days where time was meaningless.  A wonderful adventure and I would like to return next year for a longer, more challenging trip.

You mentioned to me in an email that you have terrific guides - you do indeed.  Dave is a superb guide. He is personable, knowledgeable about the Arctic, and has excellent group management skills. I appreciated the time he spent teaching me to read the map, which is not easy without trails.   He allowed Adrian and me to hike at our own pace and he encouraged all of us to explore the area surrounding our campsites. I know the others would concur in my praise.

- Sandra, California, USA



Round-trip airfare from Fairbanks

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

Packraft, life jacket and paddle (though you are welcome to bring your own if you prefer)

Safety & repair gear

Professional guide service.

Select Rental equipment is available through Arctic Wild and is included in the trip price


Non-camp lodging

Non-camp meals

Personal clothing and gear per our Packrafting Equipment List

Gratuity for guide



Weather this time of year is typically dry and sunny, though we can get some powerful storms that can either rain or snow on us.  Precipitation is generally light, and it’s fairly easy to keep comfortably dry. You can expect temperatures to range from the 30s to the 80s.  Mosquitoes could be bothersome. DEET and a head net are essential.


Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska Geographic; Midnight Wilderness, Debbie Miller; Being Caribou, Karsten Heuer; Information on Brooks Range Glaciers by Dr. Matt Nolan; Packrafting!, Roman Dial. 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!"
client client client client client
Eileen - Canning River