Noatak – Cox Custom

Noatak – Cox Custom


August 22, 2018 - August 30, 2018


Gates of the Arctic





August 22, 2018 - August 30, 2018


Gates of the Arctic



Join Arctic Wild for an Alaska wilderness canoe trip in Gates of the Arctic National Park. Spend nine days canoeing, hiking and watching wildlife in Alaska’s biggest wilderness. This is canoe camping at its best with fun paddling, great wildlife encounters and endless hiking opportunities. There are few places in Alaska’s arctic where we so reliably see wildlife, especially bears.


Last updated: September 20, 2018


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

August 21

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

August 22

It’s a long day.  We fly north from Fairbanks over the Yukon River and the Arctic Circle to the arctic village of Bettles.  From Bettles 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 assemble the canoes and paddle for a bit. Or we might elect to explore our surroundings on foot and save the paddling for the next day.

August 23-29

We’ll canoe our way down the Noatak.  On days when we travel, we will spend about five hours on the river paddling around 15 miles.   Alternating days will be layover days when we will explore on foot from camp. We can climb peaks from every camp, but there is also lots of good walking along the river, or following a pretty tundra creek.  There will be free time each and every day after camp is pitched.  The long evening is yours to enjoy the golden arctic sunlight.

August 30

Clean up and pack our gear. Weather permitting, we’ll catch our return flight back up the Noatak, over a great many mountains and then on to Fairbanks. Remove rubber boots!

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



Round-trip airfare from Fairbanks

Food while in the wilderness, stoves, cooking & eating utensils

Boats, paddles, life jackets, safety & repair gear

Rental equipment is available through Arctic Wild and is included

Professional guide service


Non-camp lodging

Non-camp meals

Personal clothing and gear, per our equipment list.

Fishing gear, and fishing license

Gratuity for guide(s)



Temperatures vary dramatically in the Arctic. Temperatures range from the 20s to 70s, averaging in the 50’s. Cold rains and snow are likely, but we can get sunny, clear weather this time of the year too.  Summer will be over and mosquitoes should not be a problem on this trip, but a few flies could still be bothersome. Traveling with insect repellent (DEET) and a head-net is always prudent.


Nunamiut by Helge Ingstadt; Naturalists Guide to the Arctic by E.C. Pielou; Arctic Wild by Lois Crisler; People of the Noatak by Clair Fejes. 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!"
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Eileen - Canning River