Wind River – Herbert Custom

Wind River – Herbert Custom


August 24, 2017 - September 2, 2017


Arctic National Wildlife Refuge


$5,100/ person



August 24, 2017 - September 2, 2017


Arctic National Wildlife Refuge


$5,100/ person

We think the Wind River is the finest rafting trip on the south side of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Starting on the open tundra, it flows beneath limestone spires, past glacial lakes, and through the boreal forests of northern Alaska. Experience the grandeur of wilderness and the excitement of river travel on this clear and beautiful river. The Wind River offers a great mix of river rafting, hiking, fishing, and wildlife.


Last updated: October 9, 2017


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

August 23

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

August 24

Leaving Fairbanks we fly 300 miles, over the Yukon River directly to a sand-bar on the Wind River. We set up camp and enjoy our first night in the wilderness.

August 25 - September 1

After inflating our rafts and talking about river safety, we set off onto the Wind—a small, clear river. We spend the next week enjoying this little river, as well as exploring our surroundings on layover days. The last few days of paddling promise steady and fun white water as this steep little river races towards the Ch’idriinjik (Chandalar) River. Once past the confluence with the Ch’idriinjik River, we enjoy a day of floating this broad clear river and then pull over at the appointed gravel bar, where our pilot will meet us.

September 2

Weather permitting, we catch our plane back to “civilization”. Hot showers are 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.

- Sandra, California, USA



Transportation beyond Fairbanks, food while in the wilderness, stoves, cooking & eating utensils, boats, paddles, life jackets, safety & repair gear and professional guide service. Rental equipment is available through Arctic Wild and is included.


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


Temperatures vary dramatically in the Arctic. Temperatures range from the 20s to 70s. When the wind comes from the north, the temperature can drop to below freezing. Cold rains and snow are possible, but mostly, “bad weather” might come in the form of rain. Most years mid-August is an easy time to be on the river. Mosquito season should be over but bring a small bottle of DEET repellent just in case.


Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska Geographic; Being Caribou, Karsten Heuer; Arctic Dreams, Barry Lopez; Midnight Wilderness, Debbie Miller; Fifty Years Below Zero, Charles Brown. 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