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Alaska Hula Hula River Rafting Adventure

Raft & Hike in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

 

From its headwaters in the Brooks Range, the Hula Hula River flows through rolling tundra and a breathtaking canyon before spilling onto the vast coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This lush wildflower-dotted landscape is home to an outstanding variety of wildlife, including Dall sheep, musk oxen, grizzlies, and coastal birds. Experience the wonders of this swift-flowing river as you raft almost 100 miles on thrilling Class III-IV whitewater - perfect for paddling enthusiasts - and enjoy hiking and camping in pure Arctic wilderness. See below for a sample itinerary of your day-to-day activities.

Note - Actual itinerary routes vary from departure to departure depending on environmental conditions and group abilities. Please call for more details about each departure.

 

  • Feel the expansive solitude while rafting, hiking and camping in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

  • Head to the skies on spectacular bush flights across the wilderness of Northern Alaska

  • Float across the wildlife-rich Arctic coastal plains

Arrive:

Fairbanks, Alaska

Depart:

Fairbanks, Alaska

Price: from $4,595

Duration:

13 Days

Departures:

See Dates

Group Size:

7-8 Guests

Min Age:

14 yrs

Activity:

Level 4

7 Days of rafting Class I - III rapids, up to 18 miles, and 3 days of hiking.
Learn more here.

  • Arrive in Fairbanks, Alaska

    Day 1

    Arrive in Fairbanks, Alaska by 3:30pm to have enough time to check-in and prepare for a 5pm pre-trip meeting and welcome dinner. Meet the group and have all your questions answered by the guides prior to departing the next day. It'll be an early night to prepare for tomorrow's adventure.

    Accommodation: Bridgewater Hotel, Fairbanks

    The Bridgewater Hotel is a seasonal accommodation centrally located in downtown Fairbanks. Guests consistently give positive reviews to the "bountiful" breakfast buffet, which offers an array of delicious hot and cold options. The sights, sounds, and attractions of town are within walking distance, and guests can begin sightseeing just a few steps outside of the front door. This boutique hotel is quaintly furnished and offers comfortable rooms, making it a pleasurable stop on an MT Sobek traveler's adventure through Alaska.

    Meals: Dinner

  • Travel to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

    Day 2

    Rise to embark on a spectacular 300-mile bush plane flight over the Yukon River Flats to Arctic Village. Here switch to a smaller plane and continue north over the Brooks Range and to the upper Hula Hula River, located in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) - a land of majestic mountains and rolling tundra. The plane will land on a small gravel bar near the river's headwaters - the site of the first camp.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Hulahula River

    Your riverside camping experience includes nightly camps on the banks of the Hula Hula River. Included in our expedition-style trip are three-person four-season tents for every two-people and includes a Thermarest pad and fresh sleeping bags. All camping spots are on spectacular right next to the river. At lunch and dinner time you'll enjoy gourmet meals served by your guides.

    Transportation: 5-hour scenic bush flight

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Launch Down the Hula Hula River

    Day 3

    On the first full day on the river, take time to become acquainted with the pace of the river and the expansive tundra landscape that surrounds this legendary river in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Make camp along the riverside and enjoy the sounds of the wilderness and the babbling river.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Hulahula River

    Your riverside camping experience includes nightly camps on the banks of the Hula Hula River. Included in our expedition-style trip are three-person four-season tents for every two-people and includes a Thermarest pad and fresh sleeping bags. All camping spots are on spectacular right next to the river. At lunch and dinner time you'll enjoy gourmet meals served by your guides.

    Activity: 4 hours/16 miles rafting

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Raft Below Towering Peaks

    Day 4

    The scenery is breathtaking as the river flows between the highest peaks in the Brooks Range - Mount Ishto, Chamberlain and Michelson - all towering at 9,000 feet above sea level. Pull into camp for the night and enjoy a delicious meal prepared by the guides. You'll understand why food tastes so much better in the wilderness after an adventurous day.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Hulahula River

    Your riverside camping experience includes nightly camps on the banks of the Hula Hula River. Included in our expedition-style trip are three-person four-season tents for every two-people and includes a Thermarest pad and fresh sleeping bags. All camping spots are on spectacular right next to the river. At lunch and dinner time you'll enjoy gourmet meals served by your guides.

    Activity: 5 hours/18 miles rafting on Class II rapids

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike Up Esetuk Creek

    Day 5

    After a relaxed breakfast, grab your daypack for a day of hiking alongside Esetuk Creek - which is the first grey cloudy creek bringing the glacial silt from the glaciers above you in the Brooks Range. See the flora and fauna start to change as you explore this landscape by foot today.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Hulahula River

    Your riverside camping experience includes nightly camps on the banks of the Hula Hula River. Included in our expedition-style trip are three-person four-season tents for every two-people and includes a Thermarest pad and fresh sleeping bags. All camping spots are on spectacular right next to the river. At lunch and dinner time you'll enjoy gourmet meals served by your guides.

    Activity: 4 hours/4-6 miles hiking with 1,000' elevation gain & loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Raft "The Gorge"

    Day 6

    Make your way through the journey's swiftest and rockiest stretch of the river. Under the helm of expert guides, navigate this dynamic section with three distinct unnamed rapids. Then take a short walk through the tundra, taking in superb views of the rapids and the Kikiktat Mountains in the distance.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Hulahula River

    Your riverside camping experience includes nightly camps on the banks of the Hula Hula River. Included in our expedition-style trip are three-person four-season tents for every two-people and includes a Thermarest pad and fresh sleeping bags. All camping spots are on spectacular right next to the river. At lunch and dinner time you'll enjoy gourmet meals served by your guides.

    Activity: 4 hours/11 miles rafting; 2 hour/2 miles hiking with 400' elevation gain & loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Navigate the Boulder Gardens

    Day 7

    As today continues, notice the gradient continue to become steeper as you leave the mountains. That speeds up the river momentum - and provides for a scenic day as you move through the vast Arctic landscape, over and around boulders that make for fun rapids.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Hulahula River

    Your riverside camping experience includes nightly camps on the banks of the Hula Hula River. Included in our expedition-style trip are three-person four-season tents for every two-people and includes a Thermarest pad and fresh sleeping bags. All camping spots are on spectacular right next to the river. At lunch and dinner time you'll enjoy gourmet meals served by your guides.

    Activity: 5 hours/14 miles rafting on Class II rapids

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike the Foothills of the Brooks Range

    Day 8

    Enjoy a leisurely morning, though the endless summertime sun will be shining for almost 24 hours. With a packed lunch, make your way to a hike that captures the view of the Brooks Range above, with its many unnamed mountains and a dazzling landscape descending into the horizon. Look hard enough and you may just see the ocean.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Hulahula River

    Your riverside camping experience includes nightly camps on the banks of the Hula Hula River. Included in our expedition-style trip are three-person four-season tents for every two-people and includes a Thermarest pad and fresh sleeping bags. All camping spots are on spectacular right next to the river. At lunch and dinner time you'll enjoy gourmet meals served by your guides.

    Activity: 4 hours/4-6 miles hiking with 1,200' elevation gain & loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Descend into the Coastal Plains

    Day 9

    Keep your eyes wide open for the abundant wildlife that roams this spectacular open landscape. The vastness and lack of large brush assist in making this region prime for wildlife spotting, featuring species like porcupine caribou herd, grizzly bears, Dall sheep, and possibly musk ox.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Hulahula River

    Your riverside camping experience includes nightly camps on the banks of the Hula Hula River. Included in our expedition-style trip are three-person four-season tents for every two-people and includes a Thermarest pad and fresh sleeping bags. All camping spots are on spectacular right next to the river. At lunch and dinner time you'll enjoy gourmet meals served by your guides.

    Activity: 5 hours/15 miles rafting on Class II rapids

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Spend the Day Unwinding by the River

    Day 10

    Enjoy one of the last few days in the depths of the Alaskan wilderness. Stay in camp for reading, wildlife spotting, or other leisurely activities. There will be optional group hiking, with lengths and distances depending on the weather.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Hulahula River

    Your riverside camping experience includes nightly camps on the banks of the Hula Hula River. Included in our expedition-style trip are three-person four-season tents for every two-people and includes a Thermarest pad and fresh sleeping bags. All camping spots are on spectacular right next to the river. At lunch and dinner time you'll enjoy gourmet meals served by your guides.

    Activity: Optional 4 hours/4-6 miles hiking with 1,200' elevation gain & loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Float through Open Fields

    Day 11

    Today, discover the Arctic coastal plain - low relief tundra comprised of alluvial channels, estuaries, and innumerable lakes where unparalleled grand vistas stretch for miles. The mellow river lends way to a day filled with world-famous birding, fishing for Arctic char or grayling, and paddling.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Hulahula River

    Your riverside camping experience includes nightly camps on the banks of the Hula Hula River. Included in our expedition-style trip are three-person four-season tents for every two-people and includes a Thermarest pad and fresh sleeping bags. All camping spots are on spectacular right next to the river. At lunch and dinner time you'll enjoy gourmet meals served by your guides.

    Activity: 6 hours/13 miles rafting

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Reach the Beaufort Sea

    Day 12

    The sounds of ocean birds and the smell of salt water indicate you've almost reached the Beaufort Sea. Once again you will be stunned by the vastly changing landscape. This evening, watch the floating ice packs on the horizon from the riverside camp.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Hulahula River

    Your riverside camping experience includes nightly camps on the banks of the Hula Hula River. Included in our expedition-style trip are three-person four-season tents for every two-people and includes a Thermarest pad and fresh sleeping bags. All camping spots are on spectacular right next to the river. At lunch and dinner time you'll enjoy gourmet meals served by your guides.

    Activity: 5 hours/12 miles rafting

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Return to Fairbanks & Depart

    Day 13

    Break camp and await the arrival of bush planes for the flight to Kaktovik - home of the Inupiat Peoples, or Artic Village - home of the Gwich'in People, followed by a flight back to Fairbanks by 7pm.

    Transportation: 3-hour bush flight

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Alaska Hula Hula River Rafting Adventure

Detailed Itinerary

Thank you! Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

MT Sobek is one of only a few companies who operate on the Arctic Rivers of Alaska and have been doing so for over 37 years.

Reason #02

This one-of-a-kind river adventure is guided by our Alaska river experts, many who have lead trips in the area for over 20 years.

Reason #03

With nearly 24-hours of daylight a day, this trip offers endless opportunities to soak in the vastness of this remote landscape and the potential to see thousands of migrating Caribou, musk ox and bears.

Meet your guides

Kevin McDermott

Kevin McDermott

Kevin McDermott-a.k.a. "Thirsty"-is an integral part of Mountain Travel Sobek's Arctic rivers program. His laid-back manner puts everyone at ease, and he is a wealth of knowledge about Arctic rivers. Kevin has been guiding since he was 17 years old. Although he normally spends his winter months in Colorado's Telluride ski area, he has climbed Denali three times, reaching the summit in 2000. Thirsty is a legend in the MT Sobek circle and endears himself to travelers with his expertise, calm demeanor, and sense of humor.

Clint Fries

Clint Fries

Clint is well known for being calm, conscious and curious. He is an explorer and has been guiding for 20 years from the Arctic to Latin America. Clint is always up for an adventure, and seldom at a loss for words. MT Sobek guests can count on him to entertain in front of some of the most beautiful backdrops in North America. He has exquisite ability to combine wilderness meals and a keen eye for the unseen. Clint's group characterize his leadership as positive, cohesive, and feeling at ease in the wild.

Christa Sadler

Christa Sadler

Christa Sadler is an author, geologist, educator, and guide from Flagstaff, Arizona. She has worked as a guide on rivers throughout the Southwest and Alaska, and in Ecuador since 1986. She works as a naturalist and educator in Mexico, Alaska, and the Colorado Plateau. Her research in archeology, geology, and paleontology has included several ridiculously hot summers searching for dinosaurs in the badlands of Montana, fighting off dust storms and overly curious camels in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, and steering clear of annoyed marine iguanas in the Galapagos Islands. Her articles and photographs have appeared in many prominent publications over the years and her immense knowledge and strong leadership make her an MT Sobek legend!

Activities

Exciting Class I-III rafting along the Hula Hula River, hikes through Arctic landscapes, extraordinary wildlife spotting, and riverside camping.

Lodging

A comfortable B&B in Fairbanks and an MT Sobek riverside camp, with meals served beneath the stars in the midnight Alaska sun.

Climate

Expect daytime temperatures between 60°F-80°F, and nighttime temperatures between 40°F-50°F. Variable weather is always possible with frequent light rain.

FAQ

What level of participation with camp should I expect on this trip?

Guides will provide lessons on how to set-up tents the first night so that you can set-up your own each night thereafter. The guides will always assist, and you're always welcome to help with camp chores.

What flights are included in this trip?

All internal airfare is included, which includes roundtrip charter bush planes from Fairbanks to Arctic Village, to the river put-in. And then river take-out to Kaktovik and back to Fairbanks.

What kind of personal gear is provided?

We provide all camping equipment, including 4-season expedition style 3-person tents, 15-degree sleeping bags and Therm-a-Rest pads. We also provide life vests, dry bags, Helly Hansen rain pants and jacket and rubber boots.

How bad are the mosquitos?

June is ahead of the mosquito season, so we do not recommend that you bring a bug net and/or bug jacket.

Will I see wildlife on this trip?

While we cannot guarantee anything, this river is legendarily known to have abundant wildlife viewing opportunities and exceptional birding with its prime breeding habitat where the mountains meet the sea.

Do I need river experience for this trip?

Some rafting experience is highly recommended, as this is a very remote adventure with potentially variable weather. You should come prepared for 11-nights wilderness camping with minimal amenities.

  • 2021
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom

2021

Scheduled Dates

  • Jun 10 - 22, 2021
    $4,595 price per person dbl occ
    +$3,150 internal airfare+$250 single supplement
    Limited SpaceConfirmed
  • Jun 21 - Jul 05, 2021
    $4,895 price per person dbl occ
    +$3,150 internal airfare+$250 single supplement
    Wait ListConfirmed

Price Includes

  • Expert leadership from experienced adventure guides
  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the daily itinerary
  • Potable water and snacks throughout
  • 1 glass of wine or beer at dinner
  • All tips and gratuities for support staff with the exception of your lead adventure guide(s)
  • All necessary rafting gear
  • All group entrance fees, activities, and ground transportation
  • Arrival and departure day group airport transfers

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, any airport taxes, or excess baggage charges
  • Optional tips to your lead adventure guides
  • Personal expenses such as medical immunizations, phone calls, laundry, or souvenirs
  • Airport transfers if arriving outside of the group transfer
  • Optional travel protection

Contact An Expert

888.831.7526

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Thank you, one of our specialists will be contacting you shortly.

Go Private

Go Private

Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private Trip.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

Call for Private Trip Pricing

1.888.831.7526

Make Your Own Dates In These Months

Price Includes

  • Expert leadership from experienced adventure guides
  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the daily itinerary
  • Potable water and snacks throughout
  • 1 glass of wine or beer at dinner
  • All tips and gratuities for support staff with the exception of your lead adventure guide(s)
  • All necessary rafting gear
  • All group entrance fees, activities, and ground transportation
  • Arrival and departure day group airport transfers

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, any airport taxes, or excess baggage charges
  • Optional tips to your lead adventure guides
  • Personal expenses such as medical immunizations, phone calls, laundry, or souvenirs
  • Airport transfers if arriving outside of the group transfer
  • Optional travel protection

Contact An Expert

888.831.7526

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Thank you, one of our specialists will be contacting you shortly.

Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure

Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.