An experience in the Arctic Refuge is one we encourage you to search out for yourself -- we do not provide packaged trip plans or trail maps pointing the way through the Refuge. Perhaps more than anywhere in America, the Arctic Refuge is a place where the
sense of the unknown, of horizons unexplored, of nameless valleys remains alive.
These rare qualities place wilderness before the visitor, not as an abstract
concept but as a real place where decisions have consequences. Because the wild has
not been taken out of the wilderness, there are risks. Freedom, discovery, and exploration
prevail. Experience and self-reliance are required.
You can either visit the Refuge on your own or travel with a guided group. If you choose to visit on your own, we recommend you contact the air taxi operators who work in the Refuge. You will most likely want to fly into the Refuge with one of these pilots, and they are very helpful at suggesting locations and dates. If you are coming on your own, no permit is necessary.
Although the Arctic Refuge is remote and vast, expect to see other recreationists if you visit popular areas. This is especially true at the few locations where air taxi operators leave and pick up most visitors. If solitude is your primary concern and you would like to ensure that your visit does not coincide with other people, ask your air taxi pilot for recommendations. The pilots are in the Refuge regularly, and therefore have the best knowledge of the day to day distribution of visitors. If you'd like to avoid guided groups, check the recreational guides' web sites to see their schedules and locations. Even if you come upon a crowded spot, a hike of only a few miles will take you to unpeopled places.
Visiting the Arctic Refuge on your own requires a great deal of planning, preparation, and experience in remote areas. Many visitors opt to visit the Refuge the first time as members of a guided group. To arrange such a trip, contact the recreational guides or hunting guides working in the Refuge. Many of them have web sites that discuss aspects of their Refuge travels.
General information about some of the rivers in the Refuge is available. Also available are guidelines for activities on the Refuge and the text of the Refuge brochure.
The Arctic Refuge is so large that no one map is adequate for on-the-ground travel. Topographic maps are available from the U.S. Geological Survey. A single-page shaded relief map, however, gives an idea of the country within the Refuge.
Specific questions concerning your Refuge visit may be directed to:
- Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
- 101 12th Ave., Room 236
- Fairbanks, AK 99701
- or to firstname.lastname@example.org. (email@example.com)
September 12, 2008