The relatively new and innovative technology of single-person packrafts allow us to explore the wildest portions of Alaska and to fish where few have ever cast a line. This week-long adventure in Northwest Alaska has it all: fun packrafting, mountain hiking, and outstanding fishing, all in a spectacular setting.
Last updated: February 27, 2020
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Meet your guide(s) in Kotzebue for an evening preparatory meeting.
We fly north from the Chukchi Coast at Kotzebue across the Noatak Valley and into the DeLong Mountains. Following the Kugururok River from above, we assess water levels and choose the optimal starting location for the trip. Once the plane is unloaded and has departed, we are alone in the vast wilderness. Then we can set up a comfortable camp, the fishing rods, and enjoy the solitude.
Four full days on the Kugururok to bask in the beauty and catch some fish. We have about 35 miles to cover on the Kug so we have plenty of time to day-hike into the hills, explore the tundra or walk the river flats. Instruction for packrafting will be provided and the Kug is a good place to hone your skills. As we head south on the river the mountains recede and the floodplain grows broad.
Pack up and take a final stroll down the gravel bar in search of wildlife. Take a few more casts in hopes of a record Dolly or examine the mud flats for fresh tracks. Mid-morning our pilot will return for us (weather permitting) and will fly us three at a time down the Noatak River and into the village of Kotzebue where the trip concludes and you can take a shower.
Michael listened to our descriptions of what we wanted in a trip and investigated the possibility of making that sort of trip happen. Unlike some other guide services, he was attuned to what we were saying and did not outright say he could not accommodate us because Arctic Wild only provided trips like X, Y, or Z. In my opinion, the major difference between Arctic Wild and the 4 other guide services I talked to was that Michael tried to design a trip meeting our trip objectives and wishes.
Transportation beyond Kotzebue
Food while in the wilderness
Stoves, cooking & eating utensils
Boats, paddles, life jackets
Safety & repair gear
Professional guide service
Select rental gear is included in the price of the trip.
Personal clothing and gear as listed on our packing list
FIshing gear, and fishing license
Gratuity for guide
For a climate summary of the nearby Noatak Village click here. The Kug will likely be 5 or 10 degrees cooler.