Price includes all travel costs from departure Fairbanks to return Fairbanks at end of trip. All flights to Bettles and backcountry included! Lodging/meals in Bettles included.
This is one of the treks we list as a Trip of a Lifetime!
The Arrigetch Peaks located in the Gates of the Arctic National Park are unique in Alaska and you will be amazed at the country we will explore on this route. Dramatic spires and sheer walls will keep your shutter finger clicking and your legs moving. This is remote even by Alaska standards. As a result the transportation costs are a bit more but well worth it.
Not a route for the timid or inexperience. There is bushwhacking and tussuck hiking lower down and higher up there is hiking on rocks. So you need to want to see the stunning peaks because you will have to work to get there.
The trip departs out of Fairbanks, flying into Bettles and then a bush flight deep into the Brooks Range. Both flights are included in the cost.
Our bush float plane will land on a small lake in the Alatna River valley. From there we head for the high country and 8 days of exploring places that are seldom visited. Time is allowed on this trip for layover days to explore areas that might otherwise get passed by. Our itinerary is ours to shape as we go! If a nearby pass or ridge beckons we are free to take off and check it out.
We conclude our hike by heading back down to the shores of Circle Lake where our pilot picks us up for another jaw dropping flight into Bettles.
We spend the night decompressing in Bettles (included) before heading back to Fairbanks the next morning.
The Adventure at a Glance
9 days/8 nights trekking in Gates of the Arctic National Park
Type: Loop trip/backpacking
Difficulty: More challenging
Duration: 9 day wilderness trek, 9 days total including travel time
Custom Trips: Custom trips can be scheduled late June to early Sept.
|Pre Trip||Arrive by mid-afternoon in Fairbanks and get checked into your hotel (not included). Once the group is assembled you will meet with your guide who will review gear and logistics for the next few days.|
|1||After a breakfast to get us going we head to the airport for an amazing flight to the village of Bettles. This small mountain community is a gateway to the Gates of the Arctic National Park and jumping off point for adventures into the Brooks Range. But we don't stay here long as we hop onto a smaller bush plane equipped with floats. Our pilot drops us off at Circle Lake where we spend our first night in the backcounty, relaxing from a day of flying.|
|2-7||Your guide whips up a great breakfast to power us on our way. We break camp and leave the lowlands of the Alatna valley behind as we head for the high country. The first day involves some challenging terrain including a bit of muskeg and some bushwhacking. Eventually we hit some game trails that make the going a bit less taxing. But be ready form some challenges. Once we get above the brush things ease back. Over the next several days or schedule and itinerary are ours to make and adapt as we go. We will probably spend a night or two base camping along the way and do some exploring with light day loads. The highlight of the trek is the incredible Arrigetch Peaks. The towering granite spires all around will leave you speechless and busy snaping photos left and right|
|8||Reluctantly we bid farewell to the high country and work our way back down to Circle Lake. We may stop for the night or spend our last night at the lake depending on weather and what we feel like doing.|
|9||One last backcountry breakfast and then we pack it up for the flight back to Bettles. We could jump on a plane in Bettles and be in Fairbanks that night... but where's the fun in that. Instead we spend a night at the Bettles Lodge and decompress from our adventure before returning to the city.|
|10||Morning flight from Bettles back to Fairbanks|
How Do We Get to The Gates of the Arctic?
Because the logistics are a bit more innolved with such a remote location, we take care of that for you. Our trips in the Gates of the Arctic National Park begin in Fairbanks Alaska. Once you get to Fairbanks we take care of the rest. Included in trip costs are the flight from Fairbanks to Bettles as well as the connecting bush flight in a smaller float plane which takes us deep into the Brooks Range.
Where Do We Meet?
You'll meet your hiking guide and the rest of the group in Fairbanks for an orientation meeting around 5:00 p.m. the evening before the trip begins. This is the day listed as Day 0 on the itinerary. You will be in contacted about a month before your trip and we will specify the exact location of the orientation meeting at that point. The next morning we take a van for the short ride to the airport for our flight into Bettles. In Bettles we transfer to a bush float plane for the flight into the deep backcountry of Gates of the Arctic National Park.
Our pickups on the last day are usualy around mid-day to allow us time to get back to Bettles, get cleaned up and relax before dinner. The next morning we take a morning flight into Fairbanks allowing time for afternoon connecting flights.
Your safety is our top priority. Our treks are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are certified wilderness first responders, each with years of wilderness experience. On most treks the guide carries a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 907.554.1088 for more information.
Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.
We prefer to run small groups and our clients like it that way too. The standard group size on our Brooks Range backpacking trips is 5 guests and 1 guide. Larger groups are possible for private trips. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 907.554.1088 and we'll answer all your questions.
Weather in the Brooks Range and Gates of the Arctic
Alaska is pretty far north and like any mountain evirronment we are prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures in Gates of the Arctic. July is especialy variable and we have had temps hit the low 80s some summers. Mid August is when things start to cool down a bit but still great hiking weather.
Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
As measured at the Anaktuvuk Pass weather station (elevation 770 metres (2,530 ft)), the average summer temperatures are 3 °C (37 °F) as a low and 16 °C (61 °F) as a high. During the winter the average low is −30 °C (−22 °F) while the average high is −22 °C (−8 °F).
What's Not Included
: See the Gear List for detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your trek.
Meals: What To Expect
All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.
For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.
We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.