Tours

A variety of companies offer tours in the ANWR including camping, fishing, wildlife viewing and float trips. Operators include ABEC's Alaska Adventures (see p256), Alaska Alpine Adventures (§§ 877-525 2577; www.alaskaalpineadventures.com), Arctic Wild (§ 888-577 8203; www.arcticwild .com), Chilkat Guides (§ 907-766 2491; www.raftalaska.com) and Wilderness Alaska (§ 907-345 3567; www.wildernessalaska.com). To see the massive caribou migration you'll need to arrive in mid-June. Budget on spending roughly US$2000 per week. For a full listing of approved companies, visit http://Arctic.fws.gov/recguide.htm.

Reserve through the BLM's Fairbanks office (§ 474 2251,474 2200; www.ak.blm.gov).

Next up is the service centre, Livengood (mile 71), where you'll find a small general store. At this point, the Elliott Hwy swings west, and in 3km you'll come to the turn-off for the start of your odyssey north. At mile zero of the Dalton Hwy is an information centre that has up-to-date details on road conditions, wildlife sightings and weather reports. The road winds through rolling hills and over small creeks, the largest of which is Hess Creek at mile 25. There's a lookout here with good views of the pipeline. In the trees near the Hess Creek Bridge there are unserviced camp sites, and good fishing for whitefish and grayling.

The highway begins to descend to the Yukon River at mile 47, providing views of kilometres of pipeline. At mile 56 you'll hit the mighty Yukon River, which drains nearly half of Alaska and much of Canada's Yukon. It's the fifth-largest river in North America, beginning in the Yukon and flowing over 3040km (1900 miles) before it reaches the Bering Sea. The 687m (2290ft) wooden-decked bridge is the only one to cross the Yukon in Alaska. Just north of the bridge is the Yukon Crossing Visitor Centre (S 9am-6pm mid-May-mid-Sep), managed by the BLM. It has interpretive displays on the pipeline and the terrain you're about to enter. On the west side of the highway is Yukon River Camp (§ 665 9001; d US$89), which includes a motel, a restaurant, tyre repair and a phone.

Yukon River Tours (§ 452 7162; www.mosquitonet .com/~dlacey/yrt.html; adult/child US$25/15) also operates from here and offers boat trips along the Yukon three times a day. The trip takes you to an Athapaskan fish camp and cultural centre, and offers good opportunities to see wildlife.

Six kilometres north of the Yukon River is an old pipeline camp, now a BLM camp site with a pit toilet and a well. Nearby is the turnoff for Hotspot Café (§ 451 7543), which includes rustic accommodation, a restaurant, tyre repair and a phone.

Digital Cameras For Beginners

Digital Cameras For Beginners

Although we usually tend to think of the digital camera as the best thing since sliced bread, there are both pros and cons with its use. Nothing is available on the market that does not have both a good and a bad side, but the key is to weigh the good against the bad in order to come up with the best of both worlds.

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