ALASKA RAFTING ON THE HULAHULA RIVER – 10 days
The Hulahula River on the north slope of the Brooks Range flows within a narrow canyon and is an excellent choice for rafting, wildlife viewing and hiking in Alaska. This popular trip hosts spectacular scenery as this river flows through steep-walled glacial valleys, taking you to the arctic coastal plain, calving grounds of the caribou and feeding grounds of the grizzlies and wolves.
One of the more challenging of the rivers rafted in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, the Hulahula River begins as a trickle in the highest peaks of the Brooks Range. Swift and turbid with glacial silt, at average flows, the Hulahula waters are class I and II with stretches of class III. We pass Mt. Michelson with it’s glaciated peaks, towering over us at 8,855 feet as the river winds it’s way to the Beauford Sea.
Our 10 day adventure begins as we board the commuter flight from Fairbanks to the Gwich’in community of Arctic Village. From there we board a bush plane equipped with tundra tires for gravel bar landings. For the next 8 days, we travel down river, taking a day or two for a layover and some day hiking. In the upper reaches of the river, the flows rush between partially glaciated mountain ranges where we’ll probably see dall sheep grazing on the mountainsides. Lower down we have an excellent chance of seeing musk ox and grizzlies. Day 10 we pack our final camp and bid a fond farewell to this land that has held us in its hand.