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Published: September 30th 2017
Geo: 64.8452, -147.722
On Friday our flight to Fairbanks did not leave Gustavus until around 5:30 PM so we did a little more hiking near the lodge on the Tlingit and Bartlett River Trails. These trails combined were only about 6 miles total round trip from the lodge and involved very little elevation gain. The Tlingit trail followed the shore of Bartlett Cove for about a half mile then we followed the paved road to the Bartlett Rive Trailhead. Most of the river trail passed through a very dense old growth rain forest and led to the shore of the Bartlett River. Along the way we saw bear scat in two places so we were alert to the possibility of seeing a bear, but saw none.
After our hike we checked out of the lodge and took the shuttle back to the airport. This leg of the journey took us, on Alaska Air, back to Juneau then to Anchorage then on to Fairbanks, arriving at midnight to still very bright skies. Truly the land of the midnight sun. We got a courtesy cab to the Hotel where we tumbled into bed by about 2:00 AM. The nest morning we took another cab
back to the airport to catch our 1:00 PM flight to Bettles. We were flying with Warbelows air service on a twin engine plane that could carry eight passengers and the pilot. We thought we would have about an hours flight to Bettles but it turned out to be more like three and a half hours since our route took us first to Coldfoot, then on to Anaktuvuk Pass to drop off or pick up several others before going on to Bettles. At first I was disappointed that we would be delayed but it really was a treat to fly over the Gates of the Arctic park en-route and actually fly between the two mountains that have been dubbed the actual Gates of the Arctic.
We finally arrived in Bettles around 4:30 PM and were met by Eric, our innkeeper host. We were shown to our room in the Aurora Lodge where we settled in before dinner at the historic lodge.
Below are pictures from our hike on the last day at Glacier Bay and a few from the trip on to Bettles.
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