Mission: Caribou Photography and Caribou Migration
The Ultimate Porcupine Caribou Herd Photography Trip in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)
Dreaming of caribou herds stretching as far as the eye can see? Join us on this popular 8 day camping trip in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This trip is your best chance to get into the herd.
• Dates: June 24th through July 1st, 2013.
Sketch of the Arctic National Wildlife Caribou Base Camp trip:
Each and every summer the Porcupine River Caribou Herd congregates in northern Alaska for one of the world's most inspiring wildlife migrations. By late June the herd swells to over 100,000 animals and we regularly see thousands and even tens of thousands of caribou climbing tundra ridges and swimming icy rivers. It is a thrilling experience to watch a valley fill with caribou, and the sound of 60,000 caribou walking through your camp cannot be described.
But because arctic Alaska is so vast and the caribou vary their route from year to year, it can be difficult to plan a trip to see this wildlife spectacle. Their movements are affected by snow depth, temperature, insect abundance, and wind direction to name just a few factors. It is almost impossible to predict where they will be tomorrow never mind next June, but it is not Mission: Impossible... it is Mission: Caribou! We have a plan to get you into the herd.
With 24 hours of daylight and nearly limitless wilderness all around, there is no end to the exploration we can do. Each day we will head off in a different direction seeking wildlife and vistas. Without knowing where the camp will be it is difficult to predict the routes we will take, but there is no shortage of beauty in this arctic wilderness, nor any shortage of great hikes.
Join us on this 8-day adventure of Mission: Caribou!
Yes, those are all caribou.
Arctic Refuge Caribou Photography Trip Itinerary
What follows is a general flow of events.
Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
June 23: Meet with your guide for a pre-trip meeting at 4 pm in Fairbanks
June 24: We fly from Fairbanks to the tiny village of Coldfoot where we meet with our bush pilot and decide where we should fly to put ourselves in the path of the migrating caribou.
June 25- 30: We spend our time exploring the area looking for caribou and other wildlife. Your guide will lead daily hikes in hopes we can place ourselves in a hidden location in the path of the caribou. There will be times when no caribou are present, but there is no end to the beauty of the arctic.
July 1: We say our last goodbyes and meet our bush pilot for our flight back to Fairbanks for hot showers and a soft bed. Weather permitting we arrive back in Fairbanks for a late dinner.
Mission: Caribou, Camping and Photography Trip Details
Included in the price of the trip: Transportation beyond Fairbanks, food while in the wilderness, stoves, cooking & eating utensils, safety & repair gear and professional guide service.
Not included in the price of the trip: Lodging, non-camp meals, personal clothing and gear, waterproof river bag, fishing gear, and fishing license. Gratuity for guide(s). An equipment list is provided upon registration. Rental equipment is available through Arctic Wild.
Weather & Bugs: Temperatures vary from the 70’s to below freezing. Snow is possible; rain is likely. However, this time of the year we generally have lots of sunny weather There could be bugs, so bring a mosquito head net and a small bottle of DEET repellent just in case.
Suggested Reading: Seasons of Life and Land, Shubanker Banjeeri; Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska Geographic; Being Caribou, Karsten Heuer; Arctic Dreams, Barry Lopez; Midnight Wilderness, Debbie Miller; Fifty Years Below Zero Charles Brown; Caribou & the Barren-Lands, George Calef. You may also find this link of interest- Porcupine Herd Movements Animation. More Alaska reading is available from our Bookstore.