I had hunted with Peterson in 2005, taking a brown bear in the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge where he has an area with exclusive use rights as well. At that time we discussed doing a floattrip down one of the many rivers in his area in the ANWR for grizzly and sheep. I had heard nothing but solid reports year after year about the area, so I booked a trip for August 2008.
The Kongakut River is the only major river whose entire course is within the refuge's designated wilderness. Its headwaters start high in the eastern Brooks Range, and the river flows east then north through the mountains and coastal plain out to the Beaufort Sea. Its average flow rates are generally Class I and II, but there are some stretches with Class III rapids to make things exciting. The river is open from June through September and flows through the birthing grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd. Strands of stunted spruce and willows reach up to 2,700 feet, where they give way to open tundra and rocky slopes that rise to about 7,000 feet over the rivers.
The trip starts at the headwaters on the very far end of the Continental Divide on the north........(continued)