CLF – Western Arctic Base Camps

CLF – Western Arctic Base Camps


August 13 - 16 and August 16- 20, 2017


Western Brooks Range





August 13 - 16 and August 16- 20, 2017


Western Brooks Range



This year’s CLF trip to the Western Arctic Reserve will explore two very different areas in the NPR-A. Our first camp will be on the coast where the tundra melts into the cold sea and the wetlands are full of birds. The second camp will be along the Arctic Divide at the very southern edge of the Reserve where dark rocks jut from impossibly green valleys and caribou trails are etched into the mountain sides. Join us for one or both of these Arctic adventures this August.


Last updated: January 31, 2017


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

August 12

Meet your guide in Kotzebue for a pre-trip meeting where we’ll look over the maps and double-check our gear. At the meeting, we’ll schedule a rendezvous time for the next morning’s flight.

August 13

Weather permitting we’ll fly from Kotzebue in the morning, across the Noatak River, DeLong Mountains and then down the Utukok River to Kasegeluk Lagoon. We plan to land on the beach and camp on the tundra.


Augut 14 - 15

Two full days to hike, bird, beach comb, and contemplate the rich and fragile Arctic from our weather worthy base camp on the coast.

August 15

If you are just joining the trip for the Mountain Base Camp portion, meet with your guide in Kotzebue for an evening meeting.

August 16

Fly into the Delong Mountains from either Kotzebue or Kasegaluk and pitch camp. We will spend some time scouting from the air to see if we can find an area with good numbers of caribou moving through the mountain passes.

August 17 - 19

We have 3 full days to enjoy the mountains. Each day we can hike in a new direction, seeking fresh vistas, signs of ancient hunters and glimpses of the region’s wildlife. Each evening we return to camp and enjoy the camaraderie and comforts of camp.

August 20

Weather permitting, our pilots arrive mid-day and we fly over the yellow and red tundra back south to Kotzebue.

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



Transportation beyond Kotzebue, food while in the wilderness, stoves, cooking & eating utensils, safety & repair gear and professional guide service.


Lodging, non-camp meals, personal clothing and gear, fishing gear, and fishing license. Gratuity for guide(s).


Temperatures vary from the 60’s to below freezing. Snow is possible; rain is likely. As summer turns to fall we can expect a wide variety of weather. With the warm weather behind us we don’t expect many bugs ut bring a small bottle of DEET just in case. Temperatures on the coast will be significantly colder than in the mountains. Winds may also be significant.


50 Years Below Zero, Brown; Arctic Dreams, Barry Lopez; Caribou & the Barren-Lands, George Calef; Arctic Wings, Mountaineers; Beautiful images and information about the geology of the Arctic Coast at 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