- Class I-II
- River Length
- 65 miles
- 3 days
A multi-day trip down the Wild River is economical alternative to other longer and more involved trips in the high Arctic. The Wild River is located outside the National Parks and Preserves of the high Arctic region and conveniently flows close by to the small bush community of Bettles, facilitating a flightless take-out.
The Wild River drains the southern Brooks Range, flowing swiftly through small riffles and peaceful scenic sections. From its put-in at scenic Wild Lake, the Wild River flows through Boreal Forest as it courses downstream along gravelly banks. Wildlife is abundant along the Wild River, with frequent sightings of Bear, Moose and Wolves . The fishing opportunity along the Wild River is excellent when the river is not in high flows, featuring good stocks of Arctic Grayling and Arctic Char.
The put-in on the Wild River is accessed via floatplane from Bettles to Wild Lake. Bettles is most often accessed via flight from Fairbanks though roads do extend to the town from the South. At the conclusion of the trip, visitors end up at the old town site of Bettles, located only a few miles from Bettles and accessible by vehicle. From Bettles, visitors are shuttled back to Fairbanks via plane or vehicle for homeward bound travel.
Visitors to rivers in the high Arctic should be adventurous and open minded. The Arctic region is a harsh environment and can require a bit of tolerance from her visitors. Weather in the Arctic can range from 80 degrees and sunny to 40 degrees and raining to 20 degrees and snowing, all within an hour. During the summer months there is constant daylight in the Arctic region, a unique experience that should be factored into the trip planning. Gnats, mosquitoes and biting flies that see human visitors as a miraculous food source can also become an issue in the high Arctic. Proper measures should be taken by all visitors to the region to ensure their enjoyment of the experience. For those visitors willing to make the trip to the Arctic it is sure to be an amazing experience that will never be forgotten.