MAMA BEAR HELI-DROP
Details - The preparations for this camping trip are very similar to our "Adventure Trip". Every backcountry trip into the Talkeetna mountains requires a lot of prep work from the pilots and guides. The main difference is that with a helicopter we get into even more remote country where float-planes can't get to.
The weather conditions can dictate our flight schedule to and from these mountainous camping destinations. Delays are not common but can definitely happen.
Although not required for this trip, we do recommend that each camper bring their own backpack already filled with clothing and personal items. The guide will have camp gear and food ready for the trip before you arrive.
Prepare to camp above 4,500 ft elevation in the Talkeetna Mountains where summer is just an option for mother nature and hiking by snow fields in July and August is very realistic. We will help you decide what warm items to pack before you ever leave home.
Day 1: You get flown to the lodge at 10:00 AM and meet up with our guide. Several totes containing camp gear and food will be ready to load onto the helicopter and flown to base camp. Up to 3 flights may be needed to fly out all gear and campers depending on the size of the group. The guide, gear and maybe one or two campers fly to base camp on the first flight and start to set up camp while the pilot flies back to the lodge to pick up the second load of campers. Everything is weighed so the pilot knows what is safe to fly into camp with every load. The afternoon is spent setting up camp, exploring the surrounding area looking for caribou anters, hiking, etc. Being more than 2,000 feet above treeline means no camp fires so we will haul in enough fuel for all cooking needs.
Day 2: The entire second day is all about hiking, looking for wildlife, picking berries, and enjoying nature. We leave base camp sometime after breakfast with a lunch packed so we can eat while exploring and not have to return to camp until afternoon. The guide spends the afternoon boiling water for coffee & tea so everyone can relax and enjoy camp before dinner.
Day 3: Just like day 2 we have the whole day to head off in another direction, pack a lunch and explore. One hiking option will bring you within viewing distance of some of last winters bear dens, and other options include open tundra hiking looking for all types of birds and small wildlife that reside far above treeline, or you can try some serious bouldering in the foothills surrounding camp.
Depending on if you decide to stay 2 or 3 nights in the mountains, the helicopter will fly in on the morning of Day 3 or 4 to pick you and your guide up and fly back to the lodge. The remainder of your time at the lodge is a great chance to visit with other lodge guests from all over the world and share your memories of the expedition.
Day 4 or 5: While spending the two nights at the lodge you are free to enjoy more guided day-hiking, spending time out on the lake in a kayak, fishing, or just relaxing at the lodge.
Day 5 or 6: Enjoy a hearty lodge breakfast before your return flight back to Talkeetna scheduled for 10:30 AM.