Spring in the Arctic is sublime. The vastness of the arctic landscape and unending daylight create a euphoric sense of possibility as the land comes to life after a long winter’s slumber. From our sturdy base camp we can explore the wilderness on foot, searching for wildlife, and the most inspiring vistas. Explorations of glacier-carved peaks, sprawling lakes, endless tundra ridges, and views to the Arctic Ocean are just the start of the adventures we will have.
Last updated: April 2, 2018
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Meet your guide at the Arctic Wild World Headquarters at 4 pm in Fairbanks.
We fly north from Fairbanks in our chartered plane, passing the Yukon River and then the peaks of the Brooks Range. We land on an improvised landing strip next to the river with towering peaks all around.
Your interests help govern our activities. We ascend the nearest peak and watch Dall sheep grazing, or plan a big loop hike, up one drainage and down the other. Driftwood fires, overnight (or longer) backpacking trips, bird watching, you name it. With 24 hours of daylight and more wilderness than we could explore in a lifetime, our energy and imagination are the only limits to what our days in the wilderness will hold. The only thing we can’t do is star-gaze!
Pack-up and await our pilot’s return. Weather permitting the plane arrives mid-day to shuttle us further north to an area where we expect to find caribou and good hiking.
New hikes, new vistas, new adventures. We spend our time exploring the area looking for caribou and other wildlife. More hikes in hopes of placing ourselves in a hidden location in the path of the caribou. There will certainly be times when no caribou are present, but there is no end to the beauty of the arctic.
If the caribou have failed to appear or have traveled beyond our camp, we can elect to have the pilot return and shuttle us to a new location. If the current camp is perfect, then we enjoy another day of wilderness solitude and with luck, more caribou.
A final hike and a final night in camp. Perhaps we hike to the Arctic Coast this day. Perhaps 10 thousand caribou stroll through camp. One never knows.
One last walk along the river and one last breakfast under the enormous sky. Weather permitting our pilot returns to fly us back south through the Brooks Range and across the breadth of northern Alaska arriving back in Fairbanks in time for a late dinner.
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.
Transportation beyond Fairbanks, food while in the wilderness, stoves, cooking & eating utensils, water filter, safety & repair gear and professional guide service. An equipment list is provided upon registration. Select rental equipment is available through Arctic Wild and is included in the trip price.
Lodging in Fairbanks or Anchorage, non-camp meals, personal clothing and gear, fishing gear, and fishing license. Gratuity for guide(s).
Arctic Refuge: Temperatures vary from the 70’s to below freezing. Snow is possible; rain is likely. However, this time of the year we generally have lots of sunny weather. There could be bugs, so bring a mosquito head net and a small bottle of DEET repellent just in case.
Seasons of Life and Land, Shubanker Banjeeri; Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska Geographic; Being Caribou, Karsten Heuer; Arctic Dreams,Barry Lopez; Midnight Wilderness, Debbie Miller; Fifty Years Below Zero Charles Brown; Caribou & the Barren-Lands, George Calef. You may also find this link of interest- Porcupine Herd Movements Animation. More Alaska reading is available from our Bookstore.