Last updated: October 16, 2017
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Meet your guide for a pre-trip meeting in Fairbanks at 4pm
It’s a long day. We fly north from Fairbanks to Bettles, crossing en route the mighty Yukon River and the Arctic Circle. Then, we charter a floatplane into the Gates of the Arctic National Park. We’ll land on a sprawling lake near the river and take the rest of the day to pitch camp and explore our surroundings on foot. Welcome to paradise.
August 23 - 29
We’ll paddle our way down the Noatak. On the moving days we travel about 15 miles which will take about 4 hours. There will be free time each and every day after camp is pitched, the long evening is yours to enjoy the golden arctic sunlight, fishing, climbing the nearby ridges or just skipping rocks! We will also have a couple layover days when we don’t need to break camp and can enjoy the solitude and wilderness. Hiking into the high-country is good from every camp and there are several all-day hikes we can try if the group is game. There are also plenty of shorter hikes we can take. All of them lovely and all likely to encounter wildlife. The weather and your desires dictate much of the schedule during the trip.
Time to pack-up the folding canoes and await the sound of a distant plane. Once everything is loaded we fly south to the Kobuk Dunes and land in a sea of sand. Then the plane departs and we are once again, alone in the wilderness.
A full day to enjoy the dunes. The sand constantly shifts and swirls. There are springs coming right out of the sand and great expanses where nothing seems to live. The hiking is soft in places but great distances can be covered if so inclined. Should you want to hike to the Kobuk River we can explore the dunes, forests and river in a long circuit returning to our base camp at day’s end.
Our last morning in the field. There will be time for a last walk in the sand before packing camp and then flying back to Kotzebue, arriving by late afternoon (weather permitting). You can arrange your own flight to Anchorage this evening.