80° BY THE SEA
Looking for a beach vacation? Let us help you find the right spot.More
Opportunities for wildlife watching abound at the Yukon Delta refuge. With so many lakes, ponds, streams, and wetlands, the big thing to do is get in a boat, or hang out on the shore, and watch all the waterfowl. The refuge is also a great place for sportfishing, especially for rainbow trout, salmon, char, pike, grayling, and sheefish. Flat-water paddlers will never run out of water to try, although camping can be a bit marshy and DEET-dependent. Or try hiking and river floating in the uplands of the Andreafsky Wilderness area. You are a long way from help when you're in the refuge; know what you're doing.
Kuskokwim Wilderness Adventures. Local expert John McDonald operates seven boats on the Kuskokwim River and its drainages. His company runs boat charters, village trips, cultural tours, wildlife viewing, and rafter pick-ups. Especially popular are birding tours in May and June, when the almost 200 species of birds return to the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta to breed. Custom 5-night trips to Kisaralik Camp include 6–8 hour guided fishing trips on the Kisaralik River, one of the world's premier trout and salmon streams; the price includes transportation, guided trips, food, and lodging (fishing licenses extra). AK. 907/543–3900. www.kuskofish.com. One-day birdwatching $130, 5-night Kisaralik Camp trip $500.
Float Alaska. Ambitious travelers looking to set out on a self-guided fishing journey of a lifetime can rent rafts and all camping gear from this outfitter. While they do not offer accompanied tours, their outdoor experts will help visitors plan and prepare for self-guided fishing trips on the remote rivers of the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. From tackle to first aid to transportation, Float Alaska's team will set up everything for a safe and one-of-a-kind floating adventure. Actually catching the trout and salmon is up to you, though. Bethel, AK. 208/602–1200. www.floatalaska.com. Raft, tent, and kitchen unit rental, $195 per day.
PaPa Bear Adventures. This outfitter provides gear rentals and all transportation and trip logistics to/from some of the most remote hunting, fishing, and camping locations in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta, Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, and the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. They specialize in float fishing, rafting, and fall moose hunts, but offer the option to customize trips as well. Adventures typically depart from the Lakeside Lodge B&B in Bethel, which is owned by PaPa Bear's operators. Bethel, AK, 99559. 907/543–5275. www.pbadventures.com. Hunting from $1,900; fishing from $1,200.