Kongakut Hike and Fish

Kongakut Hike and Fish


August 7, 2017 - August 14, 2017


Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)


$4,800/ person from Fairbanks (party of 4)



August 7, 2017 - August 14, 2017


Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)


$4,800/ person from Fairbanks (party of 4)

The perfect August backpacking route takes us to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where the scenery is breathtaking, the walking is easy (at least by Brooks Range standards) and the fishing is out of the world! As the Arctic Refuge transitions into fall, we will travel along the limestone creek beds, climb stony ridges, and marvel at the diversity of birds and wildlife. This backpacking trip is so far off the beaten path, there is no path at all. And when we get to the Kongakut River we can enjoy some of the best fishing in Alaska. Join us for the adventure of a lifetime!


Last updated: October 21, 2016


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

August 6

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

August 7

Fly 350 miles north from Fairbanks, across the Yukon River and the Arctic Circle to the Gwich’in Athabascan village of Arctic Village, which sits alongside the Ch’idriinjik (Chandalar) River. From Arctic Village, we board a smaller plane and fly northeast over the continental divde and down the Kongakut. Once the pilot leaves, we’re on our own. We’ll hike several miles to the first of many lovely camps. You’ll have the evening to settle into your surroundings, hike up a ridge or cast a line for the famed Kongakut Char.

August 8

Our first full day is spent along the Kongakut River. We have a few miles to cover but still have lots of time for relaxing and or fishing in the deep gravely holes or next to the little cliffs.

August 9 - 12

We hike deeper into the mountains, working our way along a side creek, crossing and recrossing channels in search of caribou trials and good footing along the sand bars. We will spend five or six hours each day carrying packs, looking for animals and watching the mountains slowly pass by. After hiking each day and enjoying a hot meal, there will be daylight enough for a leisurely stroll to look around. There will be time for a layover day to explore side canyons sculpted by millions of years of snowmelt, or climb one of the many ridges for a long view of the Brooks Range. Fall colors should be brilliant, evidence of another season coming to an end with a flourish of rich color and autumnal scents before the hard season of snow and darkness sets in.

August 13

After descending from the pass, we can see the Kongakut below and we make the final miles to the big river. Back in the land of big fish, we can spend the evening river-side enjoying our catch cooked over a willow fire.

August 14

All good things must end. One last cast of the fishing line. One last hike to look for wildlife and then it is time to pack our tents and fly south, Fairbanks bound. If the weather cooperates you will be back in civilization by dinner time.

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 beyond Fairbanks, food while in the wilderness, stoves, cooking & eating utensils, water filter, safety & repair gear and professional guide service. Rental equipment is available through Arctic Wild and is included in the price of the trip. See full equipment list.


Lodging, non-camp meals, personal clothing and gear, backpack, fishing gear, and fishing license. Gratuity for guide(s).


Weather this time of year is often cool and stormy, though we can get some awesome clear weather. Precipitation is generally light, and it’s fairly easy to keep comfortably dry. Because it’s the arctic, however, snow is always possible and you can expect temperatures to range from the 30s to the 60s. Because of the cool weather, mosquitoes should be absent, but bring a little DEET just in case.


Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska Geographic; Being Caribou, Karsten Heuer; Arctic Dreams, Barry Lopez; Caribou & the Barren-Lands George Calef; Arctic Wild, Lois Crissler. 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