Explore the beauty and wildness of America’s most northerly National Parks with Arctic Wild as summer turns to fall. We start at Bering Land Bridge where we can soak in the solitude and hot-springs, before moving to inland to the famed Kobuk Sand Dunes. From there we wing into the Brooks Range to explore the Noatak River, and then our final days at a remote lake along the Continental Divide right in the heart of Gates of the Arctic National Park.
Last updated: October 2, 2019
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
We’ll have a pre-trip meeting in Kotzebue the evening before our departure at 6:45 pm where we’ll check gear, and discuss the next day’s logistics.
Meet back at the pilot’s hangar and then we are off. After an hour-long flight down the Baldwin Peninsula, we head west into Bering Land Bridge Preserve. After setting up camp a bath is in order! Then we can start exploring the tundra and mountains. Welcome to paradise!
Three full days in Bering Land Bridge. We will visit the hot springs, hike the volcanic landscape, explore the rock formations that dot the tundra, and watch the variety of birds and wildlife.
Weather permitting, we’ll say a final goodbye to Bering Land Bridge with it’s granite spires and hot creeks and fly north exploring Bering Land Bridge by Air. If the weather permits we will land at Cape Espenberg on the Arctic Ocean for a beach walk and picnic mid-day before flying west over the sprawling wetlands of the Selawik Wildlife Refuge, before spotting an island of sand in a sea of trees, your new home for a couple of days.
Two full days to explore the dunes, search for wildlife, photograph the nearby surroundings, or day-dream with no one for miles around to disturb you. Maybe you’ll want a beach towel and umbrella so you can bask in the sand. Maybe you will search for rare plants growing in the sand. No matter the activity Kobuk Sand Dunes is lovely and interesting.
The sound of the plane will break the silence (weather permitting). Once we load our camp into the plane we fly into the heart of the Brooks Range. We land on a gravel bar in the shadow of Mount Igigpak, Gates of the Arctic’s tallest peak.
The Noatak is a river like no other. With 4 full days and only 15 miles to paddle, there is lots of time for watching bears, hiking and searching for the wolf den near Pingo Lake. There will be either one full day, or two partial days on the water. to get from the drop-off location to the gravel bar where we meet the plane.
Weather permitting, our pilot arrives mid-day for the flight out of the Noatak, and onto the continental divide. We will establish a warm and comfy camp high in the mountains on a lake where we think caribou will be migrating and settle in to watch summer fade and wildlife heading south.
Five full days on the Divide. Hiking or sitting by the fire and looking out the tent, either way, it is a place and an experience never forgotten.
There is more to explore and enjoy but when we hear the sound of the propeller we know that this adventure is nearly done. If the weather cooperates we should be in Fairbanks by late evening. Time to change your socks and take a shower!
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 starting in Kotzebue and ending in Fairbanks
Food while in the wilderness
Stoves, cooking & eating utensils
Safety, repair and camping gear
Professional guide service.
Select Rental gear is included in the price of the trip.
Personal clothing and gear per our Equipment List
Fishing gear, and fishing license
Gratuity for guide.
Temperatures vary dramatically in the Arctic. Temperatures range from the 20s to 80s, averaging in the 60’s. August is a transition from summer to fall and temperatures will decline during the course of the trip. Temperatures should be warmest on the Kobuk and coldest at the “Caribou Cabin”. Bugs will be on the wane but bring a little DEET, just in case.