There is no place quite like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge when the sun shines day and night on the endless rolling tundra, and the frozen ground bursts with flowers and bird song. Join Arctic Wild and The North Face for a five day base camp trip in the Arctic Refuge and experience wilderness solitude at its best.
Last updated: August 17, 2019
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Meet your guide for a pre-trip meeting at 4 p.m. in Fairbanks at Arctic Wild headquarters.
Fly 350 miles north from Fairbanks, across the Yukon River and the Arctic Circle to the Gwich’in Athabascan village of Arctic Village. In Arctic Village we will have a little time to take in our surroundings and hopefully meet some locals. Then we meet our pilot for the beautiful flight over the Continental Divide past countless peaks and glaciers into the Sadlerochit Mountains. Once we have all arrived, we will make camp and enjoy the first of many hikes.
Each day will bring its own surprises. The hiking will be varied from soft tundra to long gravel bars to rocky slopes. With luck there will be caribou and other wildlife to enjoy near camp. The camping is excellent and the scenery unbeatable.
Pack up early and begin listening for our airplane. When it arrives we reluctantly load our gear and ourselves for the flight back through Arctic Village and on to Fairbanks, arriving late in the afternoon. A shower is in order.
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.
Transportation beyond Fairbanks
Food while in the wilderness
Stoves, cooking & eating utensils
Select Rental equipment is available through Arctic Wild and is included
Professional guide service
Personal clothing and gear per our Equipment List
Weather this time of year is typically dry and this is the warmest part of the year, though we can get some powerful storms that can either rain or snow on us. Precipitation is generally light, and it’s fairly easy to keep comfortably dry. You can expect temperatures to range from the 30s to the 70s. Mosquitoes could be bothersome down in the river valleys but usually there is breeze enough to keep them down. Bring DEET and a head-net just in case.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by Alaska Geographic; Naturalists Guide to the Arctic by E.C. Pielou; Being Caribou by Karsten Heuer; Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez; Caribou & the Barren-Lands by George Calef; Fifty Years Below Zero by Charles Brown; Midnight Wilderness by Debbie Miller; Seasons of Life and Land by Shubanker Banjeeri; Arctic Wings by Stephen Brown. More Alaska reading is available from our Bookstore.