What's fantastic about Alaska's tourism industry is that there's something for everyone--whether it's a group taking a walking ghost tour of Downtown Anchorage, a family rafting trip on the Nenana in Denali National Park, or a couple settling in for an endless Alaska summer night in a remote cabin, Alaska offers visitors and residents alike nearly endless recreational options.
In Alaska's Arctic, there are many traveling options remote and unique even by Alaska standards. Utquiagvik (formerly Barrow) is Alaska's and the United States' northernmost city, and as such presents opportunities for exposure to Arctic sights and Alaska Native customs and culture unique to the region, including a June festival celebrating the end of the whaling season.
Nome, perched on the tip of the Seward Peninsula overlooking the Bering Sea, offers a mix of Alaska Native culture, Alaska adventure, sporting events, and a rich history as Alaska's most famous Gold Rush town.
Kotzebue--known as the Gateway to the Arctic--lies on a sand spit at the end of Baldwin Peninsula in the Kotzebue Sound at the end of the Noatak, Kobuk, and Selawik Rivers, serving as a trading location for Alaska Natives for hundreds of years.
And there are dozens of other villages and small communities throughout the Arctic to explore. As small and rural as these communities may be, there are, speckled in the region, even more remote adventures for those wanting to immerse themselves in wilderness. One remarkable example is the Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge.
Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge
Iniakuk Lodge is located sixty miles north of the Arctic Circle and is accessible only by plane. The Iniakuk's owner, Patricia Gaedeke, says that all of their tours is all-inclusive. "They include round-trip air transportation from Fairbanks with Wright Air Service to Bettles, where guests transfer to Brooks Range Aviation, and then they fly on floats to Iniakuk Lake," Gaedeke explains. "Our packages also include lodging, meals, and a guide for each group for the time that they're here."
Gaedeke, originally from California, says that in the 1970s, her future husband was a master guide who contracted her father for a hunt. Two years later, when guide Bernd Gaedeke came through California on a winter vacation, he met Patricia "and fifty days later we were married and I moved to Alaska," she says.
It was in the summer of 1974 (the summer of their honeymoon), with a BLM log cutting permit, that Gaedeke and her...