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Arctic National Wildlife Refuge:
Adventure Guide

Beyond the ever-swirling "save it or drill it" oil debate, the vast wilderness
of ANWR is of a kind unknown even in Alaska. With its future uncertain,
there is no better time to see it for yourself.   Text by Rachel Scheer



SEE A VIDEO of wildlife biologist George Schaller and writer Jonathan Waterman's ANWR trip, courtesy of Wild Chronicles.
Watch the video >>


LEARN MORE about preserving the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge at Patagonia's Web site, which is devoted to education and political action. More >>


PLAN YOUR TRIP to ANWR with our Adventure Guide >>


SEE MORE ALASKA TRIPS with these ten adventures into the changing wild of America's last frontier. More >>


With no marked trails, no rescue crews, and no phone service or campgrounds, ANWR can be a daunting place to visit on your own. Nearly all visitors choose to go guided.

Read our feature article "The Last Refuge," by Jonathan Waterman. More >>

Arctic Treks runs ten-day rafting trips down the Class III Hulahula River, which cuts through the wildflower-rich coastal plain and rewards paddlers with views of musk ox and Dall sheep ($4,050, including flights from Fairbanks; www.arctictreksadventures.com).

Arctic Wild offers a ten-day rafting trip ($4,200, including flights from Fairbanks;
www.arcticwild.com) down the Class II Marsh Fork of the Canning River. Over a hundred miles (161 kilometers) or so you'll wind in and out of the jagged limestone peaks of the Brooks Range on your way to the Arctic Ocean.

If you are one of the rare few determined to execute a DIY trip in the refuge, Fairbanks-based Wright Air Service offers daily one-hour flights to Fort Yukon ($125 one-way;
www.wrightair.net). From there, Yukon Air Service provides charter flights throughout the refuge. Owner Kirk Sweetsir can arrange access to remote spots that are more likely to be outfitter free, maximizing the already profound solitude of the place. For a DIY trip similar to the author's, head to the Kongakut River, a prime spot for caribou-watching and rafting ($1,900 round-trip; www.yukonair.com). The optimal time to visit is mid-June through August.

Resources: The definitive source for visitor information is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Web site (http://arctic.fws.gov). 

 
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