Last updated: October 13, 2015
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Meet your guide at 4pm for a pre-trip meeting in Kotzebue
Fly from the Eskimo village of Kotzebue on the Chukchi Sea. After briefly seeing the sights in Kotzebue and collecting park stamps at the new Kobuk Valley National Park visitors center, we fly east up the Kobuk River and then into the dramatic mountains of Gates of the Arctic. Landing on a gravel bar near a clear fast river we will unload and set-up camp. We spend the afternoon and evening settling in, learning the birds and plants, and planning the next day’s adventure.
A full day to explore and enjoy Gates of the Arctic. Your desires help govern our activities. We can hike to a lake and try some fishing, ascend the nearest peak and watch Dall Sheep grazing, or plan a big loop hike, up one drainage and down the other. With 24 hours of daylight and more wilderness than we could explore in a lifetime, our energy and imagination are the only limits to what we can do.
After a morning walk our pilot arrives for the spectacular flight to Kobuk Dunes. We land right in the heart of the Kobuk Dunes. Once we unload we may have to carry our gear a ways to access fresh drinking water but then we can go and explore the dunes, springs and sand flats.
A full day to enjoy the dunes. Moose, wolves and fox all frequent the dunes as do a great number of birds. 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. Swim in the ponds, look for wolf dens, slide down the tallest dunes, or just stretch out your beach towel and parasol.
Weather permitting, our bush plane will arrive to fly us back to “civilization”. We plan to arrive back in Kotzebue by early evening. Empty sand from boots and take a shower.