Last updated: March 5, 2020
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Meet your guide for a pre-trip meeting at 4 pm in Fairbanks at Arctic Wild headquarters.
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.
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.
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.