Upclose Look at “Gates of the Arctic National Park – Twelve Years of Wilderness Exploration”


A central Illinois local author publishes “Gates of the Arctic National Park – Twelve Years of Wilderness Exploration”.

Beginning with his training in arctic wilderness survival at Elmendorf AFB in 1966, Joe Wilkins has a fifty-year span of experience in remote regions of arctic Alaska.  During the early 1970’s, he was climbing and backpacking in the area which, in 1980, was designated Gates of the Arctic National Park.

Between 2005 and 2017, Wilkins made more than fifty trips into remote regions of the Brooks Range in and around this majestic park.  Some of these were solobackpacking trips during which he also utilized canoes and packrafts to explore lakes and rivers.  During other trips, he served as a Volunteer Backcountry Patroller assisting the backcountry operations of the National Park Service in Gates of the Arctic National Park.  Wilkins made the decision to write Gates of the Arctic: Twelve Years of Wilderness Exploration while backpacking 675 miles on a pilgrimage through the Pyrenees Mountains along El Camino de Santiago from the Grotto at Lourdes, France to the Cathedral in Santiago, Spain.   

In addition to his widespread backpacking experiences in Alaska, his climbing, hiking and backpacking explorations in North America extend throughout the entire range of the Rocky Mountains from the border of Mexico, through Alberta, British Columbia, the Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories of Canada.

Joe is also a Professor Emeritus at UIS and military veteran. All net proceeds from book sales go toward supporting needy veterans through the Joe Wilkins Veterans Scholarship Fund (established 2003). 

To purchase Joe’s book visit his website here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Follow ciLiving on Social Media

Facebook Social IconTwitter Social IconInstagram Social IconPintrest Social Icon

Don't Miss