Last updated: October 9, 2017
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Meet your guide for a pre-trip meeting in Fairbanks at 4pm
It’s a long day. We fly north from Fairbanks to Bettles, crossing en route the mighty Yukon River and the Arctic Circle. Then, we charter a plane into the Gates of the Arctic National Park. We’ll land on a sprawling lake near the river. If the mood strikes us we will inflate the raft and paddle for a bit. Or we might elect to explore our surroundings on foot and save the paddling for the next day.
July 31 - August 2
We’ll paddle and row our way down the Noatak. We’ll paddle about 10 miles on the moving days which will take about 4 hours. There will be free time each and every day after camp is pitched, the long evening is yours to enjoy the golden arctic sunlight, fishing, climbing the nearby ridges or just skipping rocks! We will also have one layover day when we don’t need to break camp and can enjoy the solitude and wilderness. A nice long hike is in order for this day.
Time to pack-up the raft and await the sound of a distant plane. Once everything is loaded we fly south to the Kobuk Dunes and land in a sea of sand. Then the plane departs and we are once again, alone in the wilderness.
A full day to enjoy the dunes. 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. Should you want to hike to the Kobuk River we can explore the dunes, forests and river in a long circuit returning to our base camp at day’s end.
Our last morning in the field. There will be time for a last walk in the sand before packing camp and then flying back to Kotzebue, arriving by late afternoon (weather permitting). You can arrange your own flight to Anchorage this evening.