Last updated: December 9, 2021
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Meet with your guides for a pre-trip meeting at 8 am at Arctic Wild headquarters in Fairbanks.
Once everyone is packed and ready for the adventure, we fly to Arctic Village a Gwich’in community in the Brooks Range where we will spent the first night of the trip visiting with locals and learning about life in the Arctic.
After a night in the village, we fly further north from Arctic Village across the Brooks Range and land on a gravel bar on the banks of the Aichilik River. Once the plane goes, we are on our own in the immense and quiet landscape.
June 28 - July 2
At any time during the week, we could see caribou, a grizzly bear or two, a wolf, or other arctic wildlife. On the 3 anticipated paddling days, we will be on the “go” for 6 to 8 hours. We won’t be in the rafts the entire time though, and will pull ashore several times each day for brief forays or to watch wildlife. At day’s end, we’ll choose a nice, dry, scenic camp. There will be free time for group and personal pursuits. Guides will lead informal natural history hikes, but you are also welcome to go off on your own.
We will plan two or three “layover days” and 3 full paddling days. Our first day hikes will be in the Brooks Range foothills. This area affords us great opportunities for gaining elevation, admiring wildflowers and watching wildlife.
Our final layover will be on the arctic coast. Hiking along the beaches is excellent and a pretty good workout. Depending on sea ice conditions, we may be able to climb an icy “pressure ridge” formed by the frozen Arctic Ocean.
Await the arrival of our bush pilot, who will land on the beach. We will fly south across the breadth of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge back to Arctic Village where we will switch to a larger plane. Weather permitting we arrive back in Fairbanks for a late dinner.