Kobuk Raft and Fish

Kobuk Raft and Fish


July 22, 2017 - July 29, 2017


Gates of the Arctic





July 22, 2017 - July 29, 2017


Gates of the Arctic



The Kobuk River hosts some of the best fishing north of the Arctic Circle and offers an exceptional rafting trip in Gates of the Arctic National Park. Combining stunning scenery, fun whitewater, and world-class fishing the Kobuk makes a wonderful week-long wilderness fishing trip in the wilds of Alaska.


Last updated: March 28, 2017


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

July 21

Meet your guide(s) in Fairbanks for a pre-trip meeting at 4 pm.

July 22

Fly from Fairbanks 200 miles north, across the Yukon River to the frontier settlement of Bettles. From here we transfer to a smaller floatplane and fly west another 100 miles along the southern flanks of the Brooks Range Walker Lake. En route, watch for moose feeding in ponds and bears on the hillsides.

July 23

We spend a layover day here, settling into our surroundings, hiking to a sweeping view of the route ahead, exploring the lake, and fishing for lake trout, grayling and northern pike.

July 24 - 28

We’ll raft, hike and fish our way down the Kobuk. On each “moving day,” we’ll aim to make about 20 miles, roughly six hours of paddling. On our first paddling day we will need to negotiate significant rapids and may need to portage around the biggest one. After that we have a couple of Class III rapids and numerous smaller rapids. Once below the canyon the river mellows and the fishing gets even better! We will spend our two layover days at camps where the river swings closest to the mountains—for great hiking opportunities! There will be free time each and every day—after camp is pitched you’re free to do as you please, and we will stop often to fish promising looking holes.

July 29

Weather permitting our plane picks us up for a flight down the Kobuk River, to the village of Kotzebue where the trip ends.

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 starting in Fairbanks and ending in Kotzebue, food while in the wilderness, stoves, cooking & eating utensils, boats, paddles, life jackets, safety & repair gear and professional guide service. Select rental equipment is available through Arctic Wild at no extra charge.


Lodging, non-camp meals, personal clothing and gear, waterproof river bag, fishing gear, and fishing license. See fishing regulations for details.  Gratuity for guide(s). An equipment list is provided upon registration.


Temperatures vary from the 70’s to below freezing. Snow is possible; rain is likely. However, this time of the year we can have lots of sunny mild weather too. Mosquitoes should be minimal but there may be some flies on warm evenings. Pack a bottle of DEET just in case.


Land of Extremes, Alex Huryn; We Live in the Arctic, Constance Helmericks; Arctic Wild, Lois Crisler; Ordinary Wolves Seth Kantner; Alaska Wilderness Robert Marshall; Last Light Breaking 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!"
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Eileen - Canning River