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ANWR: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge River Journey

From $5,095

  • River rafting, hiking, camping in the pure wilderness of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
  • Spectacular bush flights across vast stretches of northern Alaska
  • Float across the coastal plain all the way to the Beaufort Sea; spectacular wildlife includes musk oxen, wolves, grizzlies, and caribou

From its headwaters in the Brooks Range, the Hulahula River flows through rolling tundra and a breathtaking canyon just before it spills onto the vast coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on its way to the Beaufort Sea. Here is a lush landscape layered in wildflowers, home to an outstanding variety of wildlife, including Dall sheep, musk oxen, snowy owls, sandhill cranes, eider ducks, swans, wolves, fox, moose, grizzlies, wolverine, and small bands of the Porcupine caribou herd on their summer migration.

Our trip—led by the original Alaska Discovery company—includes paddle rafting and several full layover days where we can break into smaller groups for birding, photography, nature walks, or a full day hike up the surrounding hills. No prior paddle rafting experience is necessary, but the Hulahula is a swift-flowing river with Class III whitewater—ideal for the paddling enthusiast!

Day 1: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Note:  You will need to arrive on the day prior to day one by 5:00pm.  There will be a pre-trip meeting at 6:00pm at Fairbanks B&B. 

Day One

This day is mostly devoted to flying north! After an early breakfast on your own, our journey begins with a spectacular 300-mile bush plane flight over the Yukon River Flats to the native community of Arctic Village. We then switch to smaller planes and continue north over the Brooks Range and on to the upper Hulahula River. The Arctic Refuge is a land of majestic mountains, rolling tundra, and the coastal plain. At first glance, the country appears quite barren from our plane. But a closer look reveals a lush, alpine landscape blanketed with wildflowers, intricate valleys, and ancient rock formations and cascading waterfalls. We’ll land on a small gravel bar along the river near its headwaters, and set up our first camp.

  • Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:MTS Private Camp

Days 2-11: Rafting & Hiking along the Hulahula River

Our schedule on the Hulahula will be leisurely and flexible as we’ll have nearly 24 hours of daylight each day! Like all river trips, the peaceful sounds of the river will be a constant companion. Paddle rafting days are mixed with full layover days to hike the ridges above the river, photograph wildflowers and amazing wildlife—including some of the Porcupine caribou herd, fish for Arctic char and grayling (bring your fishing gear!), and explore one of the finest wilderness settings on earth.

A fun and exhilarating set of Class III rapids carries us through a narrow gorge on the first portion of the trip. Near the end of the trip we’ll have the opportunity to camp on the Arctic Coastal Plain, where unparalleled grand vistas stretch for miles and the birding is fabulous. This is the heart of the area threatened by oil development. At this point in the trip there may be some necessary portaging of boats and gear. The amount of portaging is dependent on water levels. Our final take-out is near the Beaufort Sea, with a possible hike to the edge of the sea where the offshore ice pack may be in view.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:MTS Private Camp

Day 12: Return to Fairbanks and Depart

On our final day, we’ll break camp and await the arrival of the bush planes for our flight to Kaktovik, followed by a flight back to Fairbanks. We plan to arrive in Fairbanks by 7:00 p.m., but we highly recommend booking another night in Fairbanks as flight delays are possible. Guests often gather for a no-host dinner on this final evening.

  • Breakfast/Lunch

No group departures scheduled. Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availability. Call us for details.

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MTS Private Camp

  • River rafting, hiking, camping in the pure wilderness of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
  • Spectacular bush flights across vast stretches of northern Alaska
  • Float across the coastal plain all the way to the Beaufort Sea; spectacular wildlife includes musk oxen, wolves, grizzlies, and caribou

From its headwaters in the Brooks Range, the Hulahula River flows through rolling tundra and a breathtaking canyon just before it spills onto the vast coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on its way to the Beaufort Sea. Here is a lush landscape layered in wildflowers, home to an outstanding variety of wildlife, including Dall sheep, musk oxen, snowy owls, sandhill cranes, eider ducks, swans, wolves, fox, moose, grizzlies, wolverine, and small bands of the Porcupine caribou herd on their summer migration.

Our trip—led by the original Alaska Discovery company—includes paddle rafting and several full layover days where we can break into smaller groups for birding, photography, nature walks, or a full day hike up the surrounding hills. No prior paddle rafting experience is necessary, but the Hulahula is a swift-flowing river with Class III whitewater—ideal for the paddling enthusiast!

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Note:  You will need to arrive on the day prior to day one by 5:00pm.  There will be a pre-trip meeting at 6:00pm at Fairbanks B&B. 

Day One

This day is mostly devoted to flying north! After an early breakfast on your own, our journey begins with a spectacular 300-mile bush plane flight over the Yukon River Flats to the native community of Arctic Village. We then switch to smaller planes and continue north over the Brooks Range and on to the upper Hulahula River. The Arctic Refuge is a land of majestic mountains, rolling tundra, and the coastal plain. At first glance, the country appears quite barren from our plane. But a closer look reveals a lush, alpine landscape blanketed with wildflowers, intricate valleys, and ancient rock formations and cascading waterfalls. We’ll land on a small gravel bar along the river near its headwaters, and set up our first camp.

  • Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:MTS Private Camp

Days 2-11: Rafting & Hiking along the Hulahula River

Our schedule on the Hulahula will be leisurely and flexible as we’ll have nearly 24 hours of daylight each day! Like all river trips, the peaceful sounds of the river will be a constant companion. Paddle rafting days are mixed with full layover days to hike the ridges above the river, photograph wildflowers and amazing wildlife—including some of the Porcupine caribou herd, fish for Arctic char and grayling (bring your fishing gear!), and explore one of the finest wilderness settings on earth.

A fun and exhilarating set of Class III rapids carries us through a narrow gorge on the first portion of the trip. Near the end of the trip we’ll have the opportunity to camp on the Arctic Coastal Plain, where unparalleled grand vistas stretch for miles and the birding is fabulous. This is the heart of the area threatened by oil development. At this point in the trip there may be some necessary portaging of boats and gear. The amount of portaging is dependent on water levels. Our final take-out is near the Beaufort Sea, with a possible hike to the edge of the sea where the offshore ice pack may be in view.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:MTS Private Camp

Day 12: Return to Fairbanks and Depart

On our final day, we’ll break camp and await the arrival of the bush planes for our flight to Kaktovik, followed by a flight back to Fairbanks. We plan to arrive in Fairbanks by 7:00 p.m., but we highly recommend booking another night in Fairbanks as flight delays are possible. Guests often gather for a no-host dinner on this final evening.

  • Breakfast/Lunch

MTS Private Camp

Dates and Pricing

No group departures scheduled. Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availability. Call us for details.

pricing

Call for Pricing

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