Celebrating 50 years of Adventure Travel

Overview

From its headwaters in the Brooks Range, the Hulahula 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
  • Duration: 13 Days
  • Group Size: 5-8 Guests
  • Minimum Age: 14 Years Old

Itinerary

  • Day01

    Arrive in Fairbanks, Alaska

    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.

  • Day02

    Travel to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

    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 Hulahula 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.

  • Day03

    Launch Down the Hulahula River

    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.

  • Day04

    Raft Below Towering Peaks

    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.

  • Day05

    Hike Up Esetuk Creek

    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
    • Activity: 4 hours/4-6 miles hiking with 1,000' elevation gain & loss
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day06

    Raft "The Gorge"

    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
    • Activity: 4 hours/11 miles rafting; 2 hour/2 miles hiking with 400' elevation gain & loss
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day07

    Navigate the Boulder Gardens

    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.

  • Day08

    Hike the Foothills of the Brooks Range

    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
    • Activity: 4 hours/4-6 miles hiking with 1,200' elevation gain & loss
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day09

    Descend into the Coastal Plains

    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.

  • Day10

    Spend the Day Unwinding by the River

    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
    • Activity: Optional 4 hours/4-6 miles hiking with 1,200' elevation gain & loss
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day11

    Float through Open Fields

    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.

  • Day12

    Reach the Beaufort Sea

    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.

  • Day13

    Return to Fairbanks & Depart

    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
Want to extend your adventure?
Contact our Regional Specialists for more travel ideas!

Upcoming Departures

  • AvailableJun 22 - Jul 04, 2020
View More Departure Dates
From: $6,895.00 What's Included?
13 Days
Book This Trip Build your own

Got Questions?
Speak with an expert.

Ashley Pacelli

Ashley Pacelli

MT Sobek Regional Specialist

1.888.831.7526CallEmail

Create a free account to have full access to all of our PDF downloadable trip itineraries.

Login / Create an account

Thank you! You can access the trip itinerary here:

Download Itinerary

Rafting the Hulahula River Map

Open Map

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 soaking in the vastness of this remote landscape.

Meet Our Guides

Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.

What To Expect

  • Activities

    Exciting Class I-III rafting along the Hulahula 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.

Dates & Pricing

Pricing Dates

Scheduled Dates

  • Available
    Jun 22 - Jul 04, 2020
    Confirmed Departure

Customize Your Trip

Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!

2020
$6,895.00 Price per person

Additional Cost

  • $250.00 Single Supplement
  • $24.00 Optional Alaska Donation

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

Testimonials

  • "An excellent trip with fabulous scenery and animal sightings. The entire trip was planned out extremely well and all the details were thought out in advance making for a very pleasurable trip."

    Bob F.

    MT Sobek Guest, Rafting the Arctic Hulahula River

  • "The opportunity to see and participate in an adventure trip in a locale such as the Hulahula is an exquisite experience."

    Larry M.

    MT Sobek Guest, Rafting the Arctic Hulahula River

Newsletter Sign-Up

Be the first to hear about exciting new adventures, last minute trip opportunities, special events and more.

Sign Up

Contact An Expert

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

1.888.831.7526 Live Chat