Want stunning scenery, arctic wildlife, and a good workout? Head up into the Arrigetch Peaks for a week of backpacking and day hiking and see the best of Gates of the Arctic National Park.
Last updated: March 29, 2018
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 tiny town of Bettles, Alaska. Here, we board a smaller plane and continue on into the Gates of the Arctic National Park, landing near Arrigetch Creek and beginning our adventure.
The trip is less than 30 miles, but some of the terrain is difficult. There are no constructed trails and six miles with packs is enough to make you feel you have earned your dinner. It usually takes a couple days of hiking to get into the high alpine basins. Once in the high country, we have a day or two to explore the spires, tarns and high passes. The descent back to the Alatna Valley is easier than the ascent, as we will have lighter packs and trail-hardened legs. If we want more mileage and challenge, we may elect to cross a pass into hot springs creek and walk back to the Alatna a bit further south.
Await the arrival of our bush plane. The busy world awaits. Weather permitting we fly to Bettles and from Bettles, back to Fairbanks. Shower.
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.
Round-trip airfare from Fairbanks
Food while in the wilderness, stoves, cooking & eating utensils, water filter
Safety & repair gear
Professional guide service
Rental equipment is available through Arctic Wild and is included
Personal clothing and gear, backpack, tent
Fishing gear, and fishing license
Gratuity for guide(s)
See full equipment list.
A variety of weather should be expected including rainy periods and bright sunny conditions. Temperatures can range from in the 70’s or higher down into the 30’s. Generally at this time of the year we get some sunny and some rainy weather. This is often the warmest part of summer. Bugs could be an issue so carry a head net and one bottle of DEET insect repellent.