Backpacking the Arrigetch Peaks
Gates of the Arctic National Park

Backpacking the Arrigetch Peaks - Gates of the Arctic National Park

We'll start the trip in Fairbanks, Alaska - our launching point for all of our adventures above the Arctic Circle!  After an evening pouring over maps and discussing our route, we'll board the first of 2 bush flights necessary to get us into the wilderness.  We'll fly from Fairbanks to Bettles, a true bush community accessible only by air and the town where many Brooks Range expeditions launch.  After loading our gear and ourselves into a floatplane, we'll leave the lake and watch miles of untouched wilderness drift below us, as the Arrigetch Peaks grow larger on the approaching horizon.  With the precision Alaska bush pilots are known for, we'll touch down on Circle Lake and unload our gear on the shore.   As soon as the plane leaves the water, we’ll suddenly & silently find ourselves alone in the epicenter of true wilderness.

As we shoulder our packs and begin our uphill climb out of the Alatna River Valley, we'll all be anxious for our first glimpse of the Arrigetch Peaks and the country that we'll explore for the next 8 days! Experience one of Alaska's best kept secrets with Alaska Alpine Adventures!

*While Alaska Alpine Adventures endeavors to follow our itineraries as written, odds are in fact slim that you actually will during the camping portion of this trip.  The expeditionary factors at play quite often compel our guides to deviate from the written itinerary.  Guide considerations could include weather conditions, group preference, individual ability, specific safety considerations, or unforeseeable circumstances; collectively what many have called “The Alaska Factor.”  Flight times into and out of the wilderness may also vary based on any number of similar factors. Therefore we strongly suggest that you approach any adventure in Alaska with an open mind.

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Trip Details

DURATION 10 days
LENGTH 40+ miles
INTENSITY Level 3
SEASON Summer
BEGINS IN Fairbanks, Alaska
ENDS IN Fairbanks, Alaska
AIRPORT Fairbanks International (FAI)
WILDLIFE/
SCENERY
caribou, wolves, bears
Price$4,495
Youth Price$4,495
Great ForExplorers Couples Individuals

The Arrigetch, meaning "fingers of the outstretched hands", are a cluster of peaks within the mighty Brooks Range. The Arrigetch Peaks are known for their sheer walls, vertical spires and spectacular relief. Join us for a 10-day exploratory backpacking adventure into the heart of this amazing and seldom visited hiking paradise, deep within the wilderness of Gates of the Arctic National Park!

Our backpacking trip into the Arrigetch Peaks, in the heart of Alaska's Brooks Range, will allow you the opportunity to explore the best of Gates of the Arctic National Park.  From the lowland spruce country of the Alatna River Valley to the amazing tundra country below the spectacular Arrigetch spires, Gates of the Arctic is worthy of priority on every explorer’s bucket list!

What's Included

  • All group gear: Expedition quality tents, group tarp, all cooking equipment & eating utensils
  • Safety Equipment: Satellite phone, maps, GPS, and medical kit
  • Trekking poles
  • Roundtrip air transportation from Fairbanks to Bettles
  • Roundtrip air transportation from Bettles into the wilderness
  • Lodging on night one in Fairbanks
  • Professional guide service at a maximum 4:1 client to guide ratio
  • All meals from dinner on day one through lunch on the final day of the itinerary
Day
1

Today you are free to arrive in Fairbanks on your own.  From the airport, grab the complimentary airport shuttle to Pike's Waterfront Lodge, which is located near the airport on the banks of the Chena River.  After checking into the lodge, you’ll meet our guides by late afternoon in the hotel lobby. Tonight we’ll do an orientation dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant in Fairbanks and upon returning to our hotel, we’ll pour over maps and discuss the route.  Dinner & accommodations included.

Day
2

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll make our way back to the airport for our bush flight from Fairbanks to Bettles, the gateway community to Gates of the Arctic NP.  Once in Bettles, we’ll transfer our gear to an awaiting float-plane for the 1-hour flight to Circle Lake - a small oxbow lake near the banks of the Alatna River.  As we bid our pilot goodbye,  thoughts will quickly turn to the expedition ahead.  We'll make camp near the lake, savor our first night in the wilderness, and prepare for our Alaska backpacking adventure into the Arrigetch Peaks. All meals included.  Distance: 1-2 miles, Elevation Gain 300'

Days
3-8

We'll hoist our packs, and begin the steady climb out of the Alatna River valley and into the alpine high country that will be our home for the next 6 nights.  The arduous climb out of the Alatna will reward with spectacular tundra hiking along ridges, unparalleled views of deep glacially carved valleys, incredible camp locations, and stupendous vistas of the magnificent Arrigetch Peaks.  Whether ascending a high mountain pass, walking along a tundra-clad ridge, or hiking alongside a high alpine lake, exploring this area will provide you the essence of Gates of the Arctic National Park, and the vastness of an incomparable wilderness.  All meals included.  Distance: 6-8 miles per day, Elevation Gain 1500'-3000' per day

Day
9

By the afternoon of day 9 we'll descend from the high alpine and make camp along an unnamed clear water creek in the Alatna River valley.  We'll celebrate our final evening in the backcountry surrounded by the silence and solitude found in Alaska's unspoiled and protected wilderness.  All meals included.  Distance: 4-5 miles, Elevation gain 1000'-1500'

Day
10

With a sense of humility and accomplishment, we'll break camp for the last time and make our way back to Circle Lake, where we'll await our bush flight.  After a short stop in Bettles, we'll return to Fairbanks and the conclusion of our trip. If you are leaving Alaska on this day, please schedule flights home from Fairbanks for after 9pm. Better yet, plan to spend another night at Pikes.  Breakfast & lunch included.

*While Alaska Alpine Adventures endeavors to follow our itineraries as written, odds are in fact slim that you actually will during the camping portion of this trip.  The expeditionary factors at play quite often compel our guides to deviate from the written itinerary.  Guide considerations could include weather conditions, group preference, individual ability, specific safety considerations, or unforeseeable circumstances; collectively what many have called “The Alaska Factor.”  Flight times into and out of the wilderness may also vary based on any number of similar factors. Therefore we strongly suggest that you approach any adventure in Alaska with an open mind.

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