Last updated: October 21, 2016
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Meet your guide at 4 pm for a pre-trip meeting in at Arctic Wild headquarters in Fairbanks.
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.
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.
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.
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.