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Posted: 3/18/2021 2:41:58 PM EDT
Any of you fine folks spent any time up there? I’d really like to fly in and spend 2-3 days back packing in September, but would love to hear some experiences with what seems like the few companies that offer services.

Thanks!
Link Posted: 3/18/2021 9:37:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/18/2021 9:40:20 PM EDT by raven]
September? Brr. Unless it's an indian summer, it starts getting chilly at night in Anchorage around summer. It probably starts freezing up in the Brooks Range in September.

My coworker went there last year (or the year before?) with her husband. They pack rafted down a river. In dry suits. I'll email her tomorrow if you'd like. She's in her late 20's so she probably has an Instagram, I'll see if I can find it.
Link Posted: 3/19/2021 10:53:47 AM EDT
My initial thought was the same. Probably a little cold if you could come late august early September would probably be best. Still plenty of daylight that time of year. Make sure you have a farm in inreach or something of the sort. Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 3/24/2021 1:45:01 PM EDT
@Bakke1

Reply from my coworker:

So glad you reached out; it is really intimidating to plan these things for the first time. I have so much to share so hopefully I do a good job summarizing, but feel free to ask more questions or pass my contact info along.


I've gone early August and spent 10 days out there. It was self-supported hiking and packrafting. When thinking about timing, it is good to check hunting regulations to avoid (or not avoid) areas based on your friends interest in being around that.


To get to Gates, Fairbanks is the best place to start smaller bush flights. The national park has a list of commercial services: https://www.nps.gov/locations/alaska/services-gates-of-the-arctic.htm. I've heard great things about Coyote Air and Wrights. Can't find the information for the guy named Kirk that we went with. I checked and not all villages that are access points are allowing non-community members to come this summermore logistics for your friend to research. For instance, Anaktuvuk Pass is closed.


As for equipment, bear storage is another one. We used bear bags instead of canisters because they get smaller as time goes on and you eat up your food. Some people bring bear fences, but we never have. If on the river in a small personal boat like a packraft I think dry suits are necessary. Guided trips use bigger rafts and people may not need drysuits. Guiding services are also suggested on the national parks website. The other out of the ordinary piece of equipment is an inReach.


We were in ANWR on the Marsh Fork to the Canning River. We got dropped off and picked up by the pilots 'secret' air strips in the middle of nowhere. This is not the cheapest way to do things, much better to start and/or stop in a village where Wright Air flies.
If going by himself, this website is a GREAT resource for trip planning and safety. https://thingstolucat.com/ I highly recommend!
Link Posted: 3/24/2021 5:29:53 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By raven:
@Bakke1

Reply from my coworker:

So glad you reached out; it is really intimidating to plan these things for the first time. I have so much to share so hopefully I do a good job summarizing, but feel free to ask more questions or pass my contact info along.


I've gone early August and spent 10 days out there. It was self-supported hiking and packrafting. When thinking about timing, it is good to check hunting regulations to avoid (or not avoid) areas based on your friends interest in being around that.


To get to Gates, Fairbanks is the best place to start smaller bush flights. The national park has a list of commercial services: https://www.nps.gov/locations/alaska/services-gates-of-the-arctic.htm. I've heard great things about Coyote Air and Wrights. Can't find the information for the guy named Kirk that we went with. I checked and not all villages that are access points are allowing non-community members to come this summermore logistics for your friend to research. For instance, Anaktuvuk Pass is closed.


As for equipment, bear storage is another one. We used bear bags instead of canisters because they get smaller as time goes on and you eat up your food. Some people bring bear fences, but we never have. If on the river in a small personal boat like a packraft I think dry suits are necessary. Guided trips use bigger rafts and people may not need drysuits. Guiding services are also suggested on the national parks website. The other out of the ordinary piece of equipment is an inReach.


We were in ANWR on the Marsh Fork to the Canning River. We got dropped off and picked up by the pilots 'secret' air strips in the middle of nowhere. This is not the cheapest way to do things, much better to start and/or stop in a village where Wright Air flies.
If going by himself, this website is a GREAT resource for trip planning and safety. https://thingstolucat.com/ I highly recommend!
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Thank you sir, I appreciate you taking the time to get that to me!
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