March 10th, 2008 by Carl
I’m super excited to announce the 2008 Canning River Rafting trip in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR this coming July. We’ll be leaving Fairbanks on June 29, and don’t return until July 14 .. 4 solid weeks of exploring and traveling in the arctic is hard to beat. Room is a premium on this trip, so it’s wise to get in early. 2 people are already booked, and we won’t have more than 5 people on this trip, plus 2 guides (if the trip is full), so definitely start making preparations!
The trip will include flying into ANWR, to the headwaters of the Marsh Fork, in the heart of the Brooks Range, just on the north side of the Continental Divide. The Upper Marsh Fork is pristine mountain terrain, and we’ll spend some time exploring and hiking the peaks and valleys to see more of this region as we make our way north. After a couple of days we join up with the Canning River, continuing through the Brooks Mountains – spectacular country. We go through 2 very cool canyons; they’re short but really neat little canyons. Sometimes Dall sheep are in the area, and caribou, grizzly bear, wolves and wolverines too!
Gradually, as we wind our way north, we reach the coastal plain, which is seemingly endless. The Canning and the Staine river (pronounced Steen) lead us to the coast, where we’ll see the arctic ice pack, just off shore, the Beaufort Sea and Arctic Ocean. We’ll visit the renowned Bird Camp, and hopefully get some great opportunities at photographing migratory birds that visit the area, including tundra swan, shorebirds, sea ducks, loons, and maybe even snowy owls. Arctic foxes and red foxes are in the area, and we’ll also see arctic terns as well. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is famous for 2 herds of caribou, the Porcupine Caribou Herd and the Central Arctic Herd, and we have a good chance of seeing either as they make their way along their migratory routes.
We’re allowing plenty of time for this trip .. so we won’t be pushed for time, we’ll have lots of free time for hiking and photographing and exploring along the way. We’ll try to get around in the best hours for wildlife viewing and landscape photography, as the midnight sun allows 24 hour travel. A trip to ANWR is always a treat, and I can’t way for summer to roll around and to get back up to this incredible place.
Rafting is the way to travel in ANWR, we’ll cover lots of ground with little effort, there are very few rapids at all, it’s a great float down the river. We will do some hiking on both the coastal plain and in the mountains, but with the raft we can get ourselves and all our gear over 100 miles northward with far less effort than a regular backpacking trip would require. Campsites abound along the way, and we’re sure to have a blast. The weather in the high arctic is typically dry during the summer, so it’s a trip that’s hard to beat. Contact Expeditions Alaska for more information.