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Passion for the Alaskan Wilderness Courses Through Our Veins

Alaska is an extraordinarily beautiful and special place, but much of our great state is largely inaccessible. The glaciers of Southeast Alaska are some of the most captivating features in this region of the world. To truly appreciate the scale and experience this incredible land, one must take to the air and soar among the peaks.

Our History

NorthStar Trekking, LLC was founded in 1998 by Bob Engelbrecht, a pioneer of helicopter glacier tours in Alaska, as a way of sharing the pristine, untouched wilderness of the Juneau Icefield with guests from around the world. In 2018 we began partnering with Airboat Alaska and in 2021 we began partnering with Alaska Icefield Expeditions to provide opportunities for experiencing Alaska’s glaciers via airboat and dogsled. On every excursion, we combine our top-notch flightseeing tours, award-winning guest care, and strong safety culture to give our guests an experience of a lifetime.

a plane sitting on top of a snow covered mountain

Our Mission

NorthStar Helicopters is committed to providing outdoor adventures that are tailored to the interests and abilities of each guest, with safety as our foremost priority. By employing extremely professional and knowledgeable staff, utilizing the highest quality gear, and operating in accordance with our high safety standards, we continue to lead the industry in efficiency, reliability, and excellence. We take pride to ensure that each tour:

  • Limits the number of participants so that we can focus on each guest and provide a personalized experience, with a maximum guide-client ratio of 1:6
  • Is led by caring, knowledgeable staff who enjoy sharing their expertise
  • Incorporates education about the unique environment you are visiting
  • Provides guests with high-quality gear and ensures safety as our utmost priority
a flock of seagulls are standing in the snow

Our Partners

Alaska Icefield Expeditions

Alaska Icefield Expeditions began with the dream of sharing sled dogs, the beauty of Alaska, and their unique way of life with others. Chris and Dan Turner’s experience with sled dogs was born out of a natural progression after living in a remote location in Alaska for many years. After bringing their dogs to the icefield to assist in a film production, they found that the dogs loved being on snow in the summer and glacier dog sledding was born. The Turner’s began operating tours in 1998, and today employ a team of committed mushers and handlers, many of whom have run the Iditerod and Yukon Quest. Experience the knowledge and enthusiasm of mushers and sled dogs alike on one of the most unique Alaskan adventures imaginable!

Airboat Alaska

Airboat Alaska is owned and operated by husband and wife team, Brian and Julie Thatcher. Both Brian and Julie spent their childhoods exploring the secluded Taku Inlet and always dreamt of sharing this remote pocket of the world with others. Airboat Alaska has turned this dream into a reality by offering exclusive, up-close views of the mighty Taku Glacier. Join them on an extraordinary journey into this wild, remote part of Alaska and see what makes the Taku their passion!

a man and a dog in the snow
Airboat Alaska

Our Commitment to the Environment and Sustainability

NorthStar is a helicopter touring company founded by locals driven by sharing their passion for exploration of the vast and diverse natural resources, so abundant and readily available to us. We have the unique ability to immerse our guests into some of the most remote and awe-inspiring regions of Alaska. Through providing personalized and educational outdoor experiences, we inspire our visitors to adopt environmental stewardship and conservation practices, such as “Leave No Trace,” so that places as magnificent as Juneau’s glaciers will be preserved for future generations. Since 2022, we have been certified as a green business by the Alaska Travel Industry Association’s Adventure Green Alaska program.

Other ways that we help to promote sustainability in our community is through yearly donations to local non-profit organizations that work to increase cultural, environmental, social, and economic capital in Juneau.  In 2019, we donated standby tour tickets (valued at $880 each) to approximately 60 non-profit organizations. These organizations then auction these tickets at fundraising events which help support their mission. We also participate in other miscellaneous community outreach events and programs. For instance, we sling all of the trash for the Juneau Community Wetlands Cleanup each May.

Additionally, we contract with organizations such as the U.S. Forest Service and State of Alaska Division of Forestry  to aid in wildfire response efforts. We have long partnered with the University of Alaska Southeast to provide transportation to and from key environmental and ecological research sites.

Our Environment