Ipnavik and Colville Rivers

GUIDED ALASKA Inactive Private Trips

Ipnavik and Colville Rivers


August 6, 2019 - August 13, 2019


National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska


All payments made via CLF



August 6, 2019 - August 13, 2019


National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska


All payments made via CLF

In the upper Colville Basin, in the far western Brooks Range there is a wilderness almost totally unknown. Shallow, clear and punctuated by rocky bluffs, the Ipnavik River takes us through one of the least visited parts of Alaska. With help from CLF this area may someday form the core of the 5 Rivers Wilderness Area.


Last updated: April 16, 2019


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

August 5

Meet your guide for a pre-trip meeting at 4 pm in Fairbanks at the Arctic Wild headquarters.

August 6

Fly north from Fairbanks across the Yukon River over the Brooks Range past Gates of the Arctic National Park to a gravel bar on the Ipnavik River in the NPR-A. After unloading the airplane we will make camp and relish the feeling of solitude. An evening hike on the tundra will whet our appetites for more exploration.

August 7

We have the day to explore the headwaters on foot. Late in the day we can ready the boats, get a refresher on paddle strokes and review river safety in preparation for the next day’s paddle.

August 8-12

The weather, the river and the wildlife inform our decisions about when to paddle, when to hike, when to rest and when to climb the bluffs for a vista. Some days we will spend most of the day on the water. Some days will be shorter and more leisurely and there will be one or two days when we elect to explore the uplands on foot and fish for grayling in the river, leaving camp set up for two nights in a single location. No matter how we spend our time, each day will be full of adventure and surprises

We will camp at the base of bluffs that will afford us sweeping views of the Colville basin. Each day presents new wonders and each moment offers a quiet surprise. It is a subtle, serene, and rich landscape; hauntingly beautiful primordial wilderness.

August 13

A final search of the gravel bar for fossilized coral; one last look in the willows for blue-throats and then it is time to pack our gear and listen for the distant hum of an airplane, perhaps the first we have heard in a week. Once the plane arrives we wing south and back to Fairbanks. (Weather Permitting)

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.

- Sandra, California, USA



Transportation from Fairbanks to the river and back

Food while in the wilderness

Stoves, cooking & eating utensils, water filter, safety & repair gear

Professional guide service

Select rental equipment is available through Arctic Wild and is included



Non-camp meals

Personal clothing and gear per our Equipment List

Fishing gear, and fishing license

Gratuity for guides


We can get some powerful storms that can either rain or snow on us in August, but we also get lots of mild summery days. You can expect temperatures to range from the 30s to the 70s. Mosquitoes and flies could be bothersome on occasion. DEET and a headnet are essential. Mid- August is not a time of extremes. We expect a bit of everything from sun to wind to rain to flies to perfect fall days when there is no place on earth finer than the Arctic.


Nunamiut by Helge Ingstadt; Land of Extremes by Alex Huryn; Last Light Breaking by Nick Jans; 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