Archive for the ‘Gates of the Arctic National Park’ Category

Gates of the Arctic National Park hiking, backpacking and photography information and trips

Favorite Photos 2016

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

Hey Folks,

It’s that time of the year again. Wrapping up image editing and putting together a quick gallery of photos from the year for you. These are mostly from different photo tours we ran this year. (more…)

Backpacking and Trekking Poles

Sunday, January 10th, 2016
trekking poles for use hiking on on steep terrain Arrigetch Peaks, gates of the arctic National park Alaska

You can see why hiking poles are so handy on this terrain in Alaska. Often no to very little trail, and it can be steep, slippery, rocky, wet, or all of the above.

Hey Folks,

I’ve written on the topic of trekking poles a few times in the past. Here also. Every year I receive a lot of questions about the use of trekking poles in Alaska. Nothing’s changed. Use them.

The image above illustrates how useful they can be. Backpacking up or down steep terrain like this, often on very little or no trail, with a heavy pack on your back is challenging. Surprisingly, harder still, for most folks, is hiking across the side of a hill like this. Having that pole on your side to lean in to the hill is a big help.

A lot of folks hiking in the lower 48 don’t use them, and I understand that, for sure. The trail systems there are (generally) so good that I don’t think trekking poles hold quite the same benefit there, even though still useful. Up here, however, it’s a different matter (so I now provide trekking poles for all backcountry trips if you don’t have them or don’t want to deal with packing yours up here). (more…)

Favorite photos for 2015

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Hey Folks,

So, for my participation in Jim Goldstein’s annual photos of the year presentation, I thought I’d roll along with some of my personal favorites.

The northern lights were fantastic all year, and we had some great opportunities on our trips. Way too much fun shooting these all night long. The great grizzly bears or brown bears of Katmai never ease to amaze, and we had some excellent trips there. Polar bears are always a treat to photograph, as were the bald eagles of Haines and the backcountry trips to Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Gates of the Arctic National Park are always special.

And this year, I came closer than ever to photographing a wolverine. Way, way way too close! Maybe next year. 🙂

So, without further ado, here are some images from this year (more…)

Images of the month Fall, 2015

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

hey Folks,

Whoops sorry about this. I haven’t posted in a while. Things were pretty hectic since July, and I’ve now got a little bit of down time so I’ll try to make up for that. Instead of posting an Image of the Month for November, I’ll upload a handful of photos, one for August – Nov. So, without further adieu

Image of the Month August 2015 – Chitistone Canyon, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park

Part of the Goat Trail hike, the view down Chitistone Canyon, in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Part of the Goat Trail hike, the view down Chitistone Canyon, in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click the image above to view the full size version of this photo.

(more…)

Northern Lights & Winter in Arctic Alaska

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
A stock photo of the northern lights rising over a small creek, with the Brooks Range mountains in the background, part of Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

The northern lights rising over a small creek, with the Brooks Range mountains in the background, part of Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks

I am just now back from a trip to the arctic looking for the northern lights; 4 of us went north of Fairbanks, to the Brooks Range, and spent a dark, cold week rambling around the mountains, enjoying what is ordinarily an incredible place; in the winter, a unique and somewhat amazing experience.

The northern lights themselves dropped by for a visit each night; we were indeed fortunate. We had cloudy skies for part of just one night, and all the moonlight anyone might ever hope for to light up the foregrounds. In the arctic, the moon doesn’t really pass ‘overhead’, but circles around the sky, so though it’s not high in the sky, it stays out for quite a while.

We were also lucky with the weather; there was just enough wind around (particularly higher in the mountains) to keep things from getting too cold. Weird, huh? Wind (generally) keeps things warmer in the winter. On our final day, there was not the slightest breath of air, and the temperature dropped a lot .. hitting minus 40 right as we departed for the drive south. For the duration of our trip it had been (mostly) in the 0 to minus 20 range; Fahrenheit, of course).

Photography in the cold, at night, can be a challenge, but we were all well prepared, and managed to make some keeper images. I’ll write another post later about tips and ideas to alleviate some of the problems folks run into in such conditions. For now, I gotta catch up on some sleep.

Cheers

Carl

 

 

Nikon Coolpix L22 – Backpacking Photography Gear

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
On our Bremner Mines to Iceberg Lake trek, Amy and Cindy take a quick break before we ventured down to the glacier.

On our Bremner Mines to Iceberg Lake trek, Amy and Cindy take a quick break before we ventured down to the glacier. Photo taken with Nikon Coolpix L22..

Hey Folks,

Just editing some of my files from this past summer, and I ran across this picture from our August Iceberg to Bremner Mines trek. I shot this photo with my little Nikon pocket camera, a Nikon Coolpix L22. I started carrying a point and shoot (P&S) this summer, for the first time in I don’t know how long; too long!

It’s definitely nice to have something handy and accessible, without trying to deal with a larger SLR hanging from a strap while hiking. I generally carry my SLR or SLRs inside my backpack, stashed away where they won’t get (a) damaged and/or (b) left behind quite so easily. It’s SO easy while backpacking to stop and take a quick break, put something down, and walk off without it. That sucks when it’s a can of bear spray or a Nalgene, but it REALLY sucks when it’s something like an SLR, and insanely expensive.

So this summer I hiked with a trusty little Nikon Coolpix L22 in my shirt pocket – the perfect size for a P&S camera. I miss the image quality, of course, when I get home to view the images, but I mostly miss the functionality of the camera in the field. This could well be simply because I’m not as familiar with that camera as I should be, and so I just “point and shoot”, rather than fussing with trying to make some kind of manual controls. There were a few times when I really thought “man, I wish this camera would let me do x-y-z” – which of course I could easily have done if I’d had the SLR in my hands. (more…)

Hiking Gates Of The Arctic National Park

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012
Camping in the boreal forest in the Brooks Range, near the Arrigetch peaks. Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Camping in the boreal forest in the Brooks Range, near the Arrigetch peaks. Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Well, it’s well and truly spring here in Alaska, and the summer/fall hiking season right around the corner. So for anyone heading north this summer, this page might be of interest to you. Gates of the Arctic National Park is one of the less visited national parks in the state, which makes it a great place to explore and “get away”. Miles upon miles of mountain wilderness, boreal forest and alpine tundra make it a diverse and fascinating hiking region.

At the same time, it’s also a challenging expedition. Logistics for getting there, getting ‘in’ to the park, hiking across muskeg, dealing with mosquitoes, bears, rivers, and trailess terrain can be intimidating. So let’s look at a few options you might want to consider.

Getting to Gates of the Arctic

You’re options for hiking in Gates of the Arctic National Park, for most folks, start with Fairbanks. You want to head north, either up the Dalton highway (Haul Rd), or fly. If you fly, my recommendation is to fly directly to Bettles; you can catch a regularly scheduled charter flight, so it’s not super-expensive like a charter flight can be. If you take the Dalton, either ride up to Coldfoot/Wiseman, or stop at Prospect Creek (maybe 75 miles south of Coldfoot). You can fly from Prospect Creek landing strip in to Bettles (schedule with your air taxi well before leaving Fairbanks, you can’t schedule this on arrival,as there is no one there). If you go all the way up to Coldfoot, you can  hook up with an air taxi service there and fly in to the backcountry.

There is a Park Service Visitor Center there in Coldfoot where you can get some more information; but don’t expect to get a lot of trail beta there. Gather that well before you start your trip. Typically, the folks in the VC aren’t going to be able to offer you a lot of hiking information for Gates of the Arctic National Park. You’ll need to check in though, and either pick up or show them your Bear Resistant Food Canister (BRFCs are requisite for hiking/backpacking in Gates of the Arctic National Park). (more…)

Image of the Month, Sept 2011- Caliban, Arrigetch peaks.

Friday, September 2nd, 2011
Caliban, in the Arrigetch Peaks, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Caliban, in the Arrigetch Peaks, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Image of the month for September, 2011; Caliban, or Calaban, in the Arrigetch Peaks, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. A gorgeous fall morning and a near perfect reflection. We had a great trip up north to the Gates of the Arctic National Park; the Arrigetch Peaks were every bit as impressive as I’d heard they are.

We’ll definitely back for a hike and photo tour to this area soon!

Cheers

Carl

avatar

Owner and guide Carl Donohue.

 

Shopping For Gear?


Equipment

    * Outdoor Research
    * Patagonia
    * Montbell
    * Arcteryx
    * Mountain Hardwear
    * Western Mountaineering
    * EXPED
    * Black Diamond
    * Mystery Ranch
    * Feathered Friends

Recent Articles

Translate this page.

 

Expeditions Alaska logo


Error: Please enter a valid email address

Error: Invalid email

Error: Please enter your first name

Error: Please enter your last name

Error: Please enter a username

Error: Please enter a password

Error: Please confirm your password

Error: Password and password confirmation do not match