Raft from the peaks of the Brooks Range to the Arctic Ocean on the fast-paced Hulahula River. This rafting trip has it all: day hikes to glacier views, whitewater rafting, arctic wildlife, spring wildflowers and even a walk on the frozen Arctic Ocean. Traverse the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on this classic rafting trip from the mountains to the sea.
Last updated: June 21, 2018
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Pre-trip meeting with your guides in Fairbanks at 4pm at Arctic Wild headquarters.
Fly north from Fairbanks across the Yukon River, the Arctic Circle, and the Brooks Range, to the headwaters of the Hulahula River. We’ll make a comfortable camp, have a good dinner, and watch the sun refuse to set! Welcome to the arctic! We can climb a small hill for a lovely view of the valley ahead.
We’ll paddle and hike our way down the Hulahula River, allowing for three layover days for hiking and exploring. We’ll take a layover in the mountains, another on the Coastal Plain, and another on the river’s delta en route to the Arctic Ocean. On days when we paddle we encounter a wide variety of conditions from steep canyons to expansive plains. Each day is an adventure as we travel north across the refuge.
Awake this morning at the northern edge of the continent. Weather permitting, we get a quick flight to the Eskimo Village of Kaktovik and then a longer flight back south across the Brooks Range, the Arctic Circle, and the Yukon River to Fairbanks arriving late in the day. Time to change your socks!
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
Professional guide service
Personal clothing and gear, waterproof river bag
Fishing gear, and fishing license
Gratuity for guide(s)
Rental equipment is available through Arctic Wild. See full equipment list.
(Please note that if you are unable to depart Kaktovik on the last day of the trip as scheduled, you will need to get yourself meals and a hotel in Kaktovik. This is not included in the trip price.)
This is an early season trip and the weather can vary dramatically in the Arctic. Temperatures can range from the 20s to 70s even in a single day. When the wind comes from the north, the temperature can drop to below freezing. Cold rains and snow are possible, but we get lots of sunny weather in the summer season. In all likelihood this trip is prior to the “bug season” but bring along a mosquito head net and a small bottle of DEET repellent. Better safe than sorry.