Last updated: January 11, 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 at 6 pm in Fairbanks at Arctic Wild headquarters in Fairbanks.
Fairbanks to Wiseman:
We will pick you up at your local lodging and begin our drive to the Brooks Range. We cross the Yukon River, the “Old Woman Hills” and mile after mile of wilderness along the Dalton Highway. Near the end of the day we arrive in the historic mining town of Wiseman (Population 15) and meet our hosts, true Alaska pioneers.
A day to explore the southern Brooks Range:
From our base in Wiseman we will spend the day hiking in the mountains. If the weather is clear we can climb high into the tundra, or elect to explore the big woods by the creek. When darkness descends we look up in hopes of seeing the Aurora.
Wiseman to Deadhorse:
Drive over the Brooks Range and onto the Arctic Slope. Dall sheep, caribou and muskoxen can all been seen in the area and we will have time to enjoy the sights. After a long drive we arrive in the oil camp of Deadhorse, Alaska, aka Prudhoe Bay. The oil company accommodations are not as quaint as the log cabins of Wiseman, but the place is fascinating nonetheless.
Deadhorse to Kaktovik:
Catch the morning flight to the native village of Kaktovik. Population 300. Once we settle into our rooms we can tour the town with a local inupiat guide before heading to the beach to meet our captain for our first trip out to see the bears.
Weather permitting, we will enjoy two, 3-hour boat rides with a local guide. We will certainly see polar bears but we may also see bowhead whales, bearded seals and perhaps even beluga whales. Between boat trips we can walk around the village, explore both roads that go out on the tundra, or buy some locally made crafts.
Kaktovik to Barrow:
Our last day in Kaktovik and a final boat trip to visit with the bears before we board our flight to the top-of-the-world, Barrow Alaska. We arrive in Barrow by mid-afternoon and will head towards Point Barrow the furthest north location in the United States. On the way, we may encounter local hunters butchering a whale, fishing or out hunting birds. Time permitting we visit the Heritage Center and learn more about the history of the area.
Barrow to Fairbanks:
We will have time to see a bit more of the community this morning. What other town sells whaling harpoons at the auto-parts store? Where else do walrus heads adorn a home’s entry? Mid-day, we catch our flight back to Fairbanks where, sadly the trip ends.