For the past several years, thousands of caribou have spent the first weeks of July at the Canning River delta. This year’s Canning River trip aims to combine world-class wilderness with a once in a lifetime wildlife spectacle. The trip will start in the majestic Brooks Range and paddle north to the Arctic Coast. There are never guarantees, but with any luck, caribou and other wildlife should be around every corner.
Last updated: August 17, 2019
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Meet your guide(s) for a pre-trip meeting at 4pm in Fairbanks at Arctic Wild headquarters.
Fly from Fairbanks north, over the Yukon River and then into the spectacular Philip Smith Mountains, to our put-in on on the Canning River. We will set up camp and explore the nearly limitless wilderness.
On paddling days we will spend about five hours on the water, stopping for short walks and a delicious lunch en route. There will be three or four “layover days” where we will leave camp set up and will explore the area on foot. Guides will lead informal natural history hikes on moving days and on the layover days. The hiking is fantastic the entire length of the river and wildlife can be found at any time. Early in the trip the scenery is quite mountainous. As we descend the river the sky opens and the lands flattens. The coastal plain and especially the river delta is rich in bird life, some of the best in Arctic Alaska. The diversity of wildlife and landscapes is a great joy of the trip. We plan on spending the last full day of the trip at the Arctic Coast and we can hike down to the beach where there is an old Eskimo village.
Weather permitting, our pilot will arrive and fly us back across the Brooks Range to Fairbanks in time for a late dinner and a 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
Boats, paddles, life jackets, safety & repair gear
Select rental equipment is available through Arctic Wild.
Professional guide service
Personal clothing and gear per our equipment list
Fishing gear, and fishing license
Gratuity for guide(s)
Expect a variety of weather. July tends to be mild by arctic standards. Expect temperatures to range from in the 70’s down to freezing. Snow is always possible. Bugs could be an issue in the mountains and foothills so DEET and a head-net are highly recommended. Bring an extra warm layer for the coast.