Last updated: December 19, 2023
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Meet your guides for a pre-trip meeting at 4 pm in Fairbanks at the Arctic Wild headquarters. Then it is time to celebrate Ed’s 81st Birthday!
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.
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 21 - 23
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 day 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.
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 (Weather Permitting) we wing south and back to Fairbanks. If the weather permits we may have the opportunity to fly over the proposed Willow Project and the adjacent oil fields on a lengthy detour at trips end.