The Arctic Refuge, which altogether encompasses nearly 20 million acres, is some of the most pristine, remote, untouched wilderness in all of Alaska. It will certainly leave a lasting impression on you. Once you see the sheer expanse and vastness of this area, you will never forget it. Simply put, there is nowhere else like it.
My guide area, which consists of the Hulahula River and waters which drain into it, is bordered by the Franklin Mountains to the West and the Romanzof Mountains to the East. To the South is the Continental Divide and due North is the Arctic Ocean. This area has some of the highest most rugged peaks in the entire Brooks Range, including Mount Chamberlin (8,901 ft) and Mount Michelson (8,855 ft), and Okpilak Glacier. It is a truly spectacular country. The main valley of the Hulahula River is about 2500 ft and we spend most of our time at this elevation, taking most of our sheep at the 4,000 to 5,500 ft range. This portion of the Brooks Range has excellent mountain habitat which has supported some of the highest sheep population densities in the entire range.
Arctic Refuge is home to a huge variety of wildlife, and according to FWS, “The Refuge’s rich pageant of wildlife includes 42 fish species, 37 land mammals, eight marine mammals, and more than 200 migratory and resident bird species.” Large terrestrial mammals include the Barren Ground Caribou which constitute the Porcupine Caribou Herd, Dall Sheep, Grizzly Bear, Muskox, Polar Bear, Wolf, and Moose, just to name a few.
Because of the special wilderness character of the Refuge, and because of our respect for all wild places, we practice Leave No Trace camping. I encourage you to read up on Leave No Trace guidelines before your trip. It is our goal to leave the Refuge intact for future generations.
The Arctic Refuge is managed for all Americans by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a federal agency within the Department of the Interior.
“Arctic National Wildlife Range was established in 1960 to preserve unique wildlife, wilderness, and recreational values. In 1980, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) re-designated the Range as part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and provided four purposes that guide management of the entire Refuge: to conserve animals and plants in their natural diversity, ensure a place for hunting and gathering activities, protect water quality and quantity, and fulfill international wildlife treaty obligations.”
For more information on Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, I strongly encourage you to visit: