Gates of the Arctic Base Camp – Pennington Custom

Gates of the Arctic Base Camp – Pennington Custom


August 23, 2022 - August 28, 2022


Gates of the Arctic National Park


$6,200/ person. Party of 5



August 23, 2022 - August 28, 2022


Gates of the Arctic National Park


$6,200/ person. Party of 5

Immerse yourself in the wild landscape of the central Brooks Range in Gates of the Arctic National Park as summer turns to fall. Our six day base camp trip allows you to relish the solitude and serenity of the America’s northernmost National Park in the company of an experienced wilderness guide and naturalist. Day hikes, fishing, fall colors and excellent chances to see wildlife make this a great introduction to Alaska’s arctic wilderness


Gates of the Arctic is the “crown jewel” of America’s National Park system. With 19 million acres of sprawling and undeveloped wild land in the central Brooks Range, it is a wilderness like no other. With no constructed trails, no campgrounds, and no visitor services of any kind, Gates of the Arctic is the perfect place for wilderness exploration and solitude. One of our favorite places in the Park is on the shores of a wild stream surrounded by mountains and tundra as far as the eye can see.

After our flights from Fairbanks we will set up a comfortable base camp on the banks of a north flowing river in the heart of the rugged Brooks Range. We’ll be just spitting distance from the Continental Divide and surrounded by glacial cirques, broad ridges, and braided streams. The tundra in the broad valleys should be filled with the orange and red of autumn foliage and the sweet light of morning and evening lasts for hours during late August.

Days will be spent hiking through the varied landscape, looking for wildlife and/or just enjoying the view. Or if we stay closer to camp there is good fishing for arctic grayling, fields of blueberries ripe for the picking, the ever present chance of glimpsing wildlife, and no end of interesting things to discover on the tundra. We intend to explore some of the wildest country in North America at a lovely time of year.

We never know exactly what wildlife we may encounter on a trip, but caribou frequent the area in August, feeding on the rich green tundra in small bands. It is also a great place to watch bears grazing the flats or eating berries on the slopes. We may also see wolves, moose and a great variety of other furred and feathered creatures during our time in the mountains. Foxes occasionally flirt on the edge of camp and we even see porcupine waddling across the tundra muttering to themselves, blonde quills bright in the fall tundra. The serendipity is part of what makes encountering wildlife so rewarding. A keen interest and keen eyes are certain to spot a great variety of wildlife.

You need not be a seasoned adventurer to enjoy this trip. Our sturdy base camp and excellent cooking leave you free to enjoy the wilderness and our seasoned guides are on hand to teach you the skills of living in the remote and sometimes challenging arctic. With good equipment and a great attitude this will be an adventure never to be forgotten.

Last updated: September 27, 2022


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

August 22

We’ll have a pre-trip meeting at Arctic Wild headquarters at 4 pm the afternoon before our departure where we’ll meet each other, discuss wilderness safety, check gear, and discuss the next day’s logistics.

August 23

You’ll be picked up early at your hotel in Fairbanks and shuttled to the airport where we’ll catch a flight north to the Nunamiut village of Anaktuvuk Pass in the heart of the Brooks Range. From there we’ll load our gear into a smaller plane for the hour-long flight across the mountains to our gravel bar landing strip. Once there we’ll set up a comfortable camp on the tundra next to the river before heading out to explore.

August 24 - 27

Each day in the backcountry brings something different. Some days we will take day-long hikes to explore the glacial cirques, nearby alpine lakes, or wander the high ridges. Other days we may stick closer to camp, allowing the opportunity to fish, search for wildlife, photograph the nearby surroundings, muse over the archeological sites or discover the wilderness on your own. The weather and the groups desires will guide our activities.

August 28

Weather permitting, we’ll say a final goodbye to Gates of the Arctic and the Brooks Range and take a few last photos before boarding the plane for the trip back towards Fairbanks. If the weather cooperates and all goes as planned we’ll arrive back in Fairbanks in time for dinner and a long hot shower.

Michael listened to our descriptions of what we wanted in a trip and investigated the possibility of making that sort of trip happen. Unlike some other guide services, he was attuned to what we were saying and did not outright say he could not accommodate us because Arctic Wild only provided trips like X, Y, or Z. In my opinion, the major difference between Arctic Wild and the 4 other guide services I talked to was that Michael tried to design a trip meeting our trip objectives and wishes.

- Rochelle , Missouri, USA



Round-trip airfare from Fairbanks into the Brooks Range and back

Food while in the wilderness

Safety & repair gear, stoves, cooking & eating utensils, kitchen tent, water filter and other camp supplies

Professional guide service

Select Camping Equipment on request.


Non-camp lodging

Non-camp meals

Personal Clothing and gear per our equipment list

Fishing gear, and fishing license

Gratuity for guide(s)


Temperatures vary from the 60’s to below freezing. Snow is possible; rain is likely. As summer turns to fall we can expect a wide variety of weather. With the warm weather behind us we don’t expect many bugs but bring a small bottle of DEET just in case.


Nunamiut, Helge Ingstadt

Ordinary Wolves, Seth Kantner

Alaska Wilderness, Robert Marshall

Last Light Breaking, Nick Jans

Arctic Wild, Lois Crisler

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