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Coyote Air Alaska Review

Are you looking for an Alaska air taxi to explore Alaska’s Brooks Range and Arctic area? Than we can recommend Coyote Air from Coldfoot. Please read our review about Fly Coyote. We used their services during trip to the Gates of the Arctic National Park. Moreover we took a scenic flight over the Brooks Range with them.

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Coyote Air Alaska Review

Coyote Air Alaska Review – Our Experiences

First, we would like to inform you that this is not a sponsored post. We share our honest opinion about Coyote Air (also known as Fly Coyote) – based in Coldfoot.

We used their services on our trip through the Dalton Highway. We hired them as an Alaska air taxi in the most inaccessible areas. We flew over the Brooks Range with them. They also organized a trip to the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve for us.

Coyote Air Alaska
Chris during scenic flight over the Brooks Range with Coyote Air Alaska

We started preparing for our trip on the Dalton Highway a few months in advance. It’s a very challenging route, one of the most difficult in the United States. But our goal wasn’t just to drive this route. We aimed to get to know it and see as many sights as possible north of Fairbanks and the Arctic Circle. One of our dreams was to see the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. However, since the cost of this adventure is high, we decided to look around first and visit the park for a day or two. We checked out the offerings of various Alaska air taxis operating in the area. Our choice was Fly Coyote, so we contacted them.

Before you read on, check out this 2-minute video. It’s from our trip to Gates of the Arctic National Park and a scenic flight over the Brooks Range with Danielle from Coyote Air.

About Coyote Air


The family-owned Coyote Air office is located at the Coldfoot Airport runway. It is at 175 mileposts of the Dalton Highway, about 250 miles north of Fairbanks. And above 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle Sign. Driving from Fairbanks will take you at least six hours without stopping along the way. As it’s a challenging route and you must have a well-prepared vehicle. So, check out our safety tips for driving the Dalton Highway.

The Owners, Danielle Tirrell & Dirk Nickish

Coyote Air – the owners and pilots, are Danielle Tirrel and Dirk Nickish. This couple is full of professionalism, commitment, and passionate people, living in this Alaskan wilderness. They have a passion for flying in their blood because they come from aviation families. The tradition of flying goes back several generations. Please read more about this wonderful family and their exciting aviation history on their website. Or ask them on your flight over the Alaskan Arctic. Your safety is their priority.

Danielle Tirrell from Coyote Air
Danielle Tirrell from Coyote Air

Coyote Air Services

Their offer is quite broad. If you plan to visit this inaccessible part of Alaska, they will help you organize it. They specialize in air taxi services related to the Brooks Range, the Gates of the Arctic National Park, Kobuk Valley National Park or Arctic National Wildlife Refugee. They know how to plan a trip to Alaska’s high Arctic.

Flightseeing Tours from Coldfoot

As we mentioned in our previous article, one of the best things to do in Coldfoot is take a flightseeing tour over the Brooks Range. Coyote Air offers flightseeing trips into the Brooks Range, Gates of the Arctic, and Kobuk Valley from June 1st until September 15th. Check their website for current prices and details. In their offer, you will find:

  • Gates of the Arctic Tour
  • Continental Divide Tour
  • Gates of the Arctic Cultural Tour
  • Kobuk & Gates of the Arctic Tour (which is a combination of visiting the two most remote US national parks: Kobuk Valley and the Gates of the Arctic, in one day)
  • Arrigetch Peaks Tour
  • Day trip to Gates of the Arctic National Park (later, we will share more details about this trip, as it was our choice)
  • Gates of the Arctic Scenic Flight (we book this spectacular scenic flight as well)
Brooks Range Scenic Flight with Coyote Air

Charters – Air Taxi Service to the Brooks Range and Alaska’s Arctic

They offer several types of charters. If you plan on backpacking in the wilderness of The Gates of the Arctic National Park or Kobuk Valley National Park, you can take hire them an Alaska air taxi. Moreover, if you need to deliver a supply of provisions or equipment for your expedition – you can also count on their service. If you need lodge transportation or planning mountaineering, filming, or scientific research in the Brooks Range area – they’re happy to offer their fly services. They also offer Float Plane Charters, so if you plan to go rafting on one of the area’s wild Alaskan rivers, you can also hire a Fly Coyote.

the Gates of the Arctic National Park with Coyote Air

Our Contact with Fly Coyote and our Gates of the Arctic Trip

Booking a Trip to the Gates of the Arctic with a Scenic Flight

After looking at the Coyote Air offer on their website, we emailed a few questions. We presented our needs. We have provided the planned date of stay in Coldfoot. Moreover, we asked about possibly organizing a sightseeing flight and a one- or two-day visit to the park. We got a quick and precise response. Danielle from Coyote Air took into account our needs and quoted the price. We booked the date and agreed to confirm our presence when we reached Alaska. We kept in touch by e-mail, and we really liked the precise answers and tips we received from Danielle.

Our Tip: We suggest you book your dream tour as soon as possible. We intended to combine the Gates of the Arctic and Kobuk Valley tours. But this option was unavailable on our planned traveling dates via Dalton Highway.

scenic flight with Coyote Air Alaska

Arrival at Coldfoot Airport

As soon as we arrived in Anchorage, we wrote to Coyote Air that we are going to Coldfoot. We confirmed that we will be on time. We arrived at Coldfoot Camp one day before the planned flight trip. So we decided to see the Coldfoot Airport and the headquarters of Coyote Air and say hello to the owners. Fly Coyote office is one of the smallest we’ve been to and the nicest. The interior of the small wooden house is filled with thank-you cards to Danielle and Dirk. Travelers around the world send greetings and thanks for their excellent service and unforgettable trips to the Brooks Range. We met with Danielle, saw their aircraft, and made an appointment the following day. We went to pitch a tent at Marion Creek Campground and popped out for a beer at Truckers Cafe in Coldfoot Camp.

coyote air office in coldfoot
coyote air office in coldfoot

Flight Tour Cancellation Due to Weather

Unfortunately, the weather in Alaska likes to play tricks and spoil travelers’ plans. After several travels around this state, we’re used to it. In the evening, the weather turned bad. Heavy rain was falling, and the mountains were covered with thick clouds. The morning was even worse. Visibility was practically none, so we already knew that our dream and the long-awaited tour to the Gates of the Arctic would not occur. That’s not the first time in Alaska. On a previous trip to Alaska, we got stuck at King Salmon Airport due to the weather on the way to a bear-viewing tour to Katmai National Park and Preserve.

Our Tip: Many activities in Alaska are weather dependent. It’s always worth giving yourself some spare time if you care about a specific trip. The weather in Alaska can change rapidly. So pack carefully for your Alaskan trip, including the activities you plan to do.

Agnes during scenic flight with Coyote Air Alaska
Gates of the Arctic National Park

Changing the Date of the Gates of the Arctic Trip

We drove to the airport at the appointed time to meet Danielle. She asked if we could change the trip’s date or if we want to give it up. The weather conditions made her unable to take off and fly safely. Luckily we had a few days to spare on the Dalton Highway. Taught by experience, we took into account the risk of bad weather and flight cancellations possibility. Since the weather wasn’t supposed to improve for a few days, we postponed the flightseeing trip to the return route from Prudhoe Bay and the Arctic Ocean. Fortunately, Coldfoot offers a variety of activities. One of the best is visiting the gold rush-era village of Wisemen, or exhibits in the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center, so it’s easy to plan a few days there.

scenic flight over Brooks Range
the Gates of the Arctic

Our the Gates of the Arctic National Park Trip and Scenic Flight with Coyote Air

Fortunately, after a few days, the weather improved, and we realized our dream of a trip to the Gates of the Arctic National Park. The weather was perfect. The sun was shining, and the clarity of the air was excellent. We packed properly for a trip to the Alaskan wilderness. We knew that in this Park, we could count only on ourselves.

Early in the morning, we met with Danielle, packed ourselves and our stuff, and took off. Due to the perfect weather conditions, Danielle decided to make first a scenic flight over the Brooks Range, which lasted an hour. And after the sightseeing flight, she took us to the park. The views were breathtaking. We landed on the smooth lake surface in Gates of the Arctic. And we arranged for a late afternoon pick-up at the same point. We will describe the stay in the Gates of the Arctic National Park for you in a separate article because it deserves a separate entry. Danielle was on a late afternoon on time, and we watched her make perfect landings on the lake.

Gates of the Arctic National Park

Safety and Coyote Air Aircraft

During our trip, Fly Coyote used Zippy. If’s a Cessna U206, built in 1977, which was modernized over the years and is very comfortable for flying over the Brooks Range. Danielle checked and refueled this seaplane before the flight. U in the model name of the plane means it is dedicated to oversize cargo; however, it easily fitted three of us. We started from Coldfood airport’s regular runway but landed on the lake in the middle of the Gates of the Arctic National Park thanks to the ability to switch wheels to water landing skids.

coldfoot airport coyote air
coyote air at coldfoot airport

Coyote Air Alaska Review – Final Thoughts

We have already done several scenic flights in Alaska and and we made a few travels to Alaska. For example, during our stay in Talkeetna, we took a scenic flight over Denali with a glacier landing. Sightseeing flights are one of the best Alaskan experiences worth the price.

Our sightseeing flight with Danielle from Fly Coyote was an excellent experience. Also, the whole day in the Gates of the Arctic National Park she organized for us was amazing. Coyote Air Alaska services are outstanding. It’s the highest professional level. We value their professionalism, care for safety, and customer satisfaction. Danielle and Dirk are wonderful people and great pilots. They know the Brooks Range and Alaska Arctic because this remote wild region is their home.

Coyote Air is the most professional and safest Alaska air taxi operator we have flown with. We are planning to return to Coldoot. And we want to organize, with Coyote Air help, a few-day trip to the Gates of the Arctic National Park. Moreover, we plan a few-day journey to the Kobuk Valley National Park. If you plan a trip to these remote areas of Alaska, we sincerely recommend using their services. With Coyote Air you will have a lifetime adventure thanks to their professionalism and reliability.

Coyote Air Alaska office

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Coyote Air Alaska Review


  1. Loved reading your review of Coyote Air Alaska on your blog. It sounds like an amazing adventure in remote Alaska and the aerial views are just mindblowing! Bucketlist material for sure!

  2. It was very interesting to read your article as I haven’t heard of an air taxi service before. I see how much easier Coyote Air made your trip, making actually possible to visit Gates of the Arctic National Park. You were so lucky that after the first cancellation due to heavy rain, the weather turned around and you were welcomed by such beautiful clear blue sky. Coyote Air sounds like a great little business that really takes care of its guests. Did you leave any note in their little wooden hut as well? 🙂

  3. I enjoyed your review of Coyote Air. It always means more to me when travel writers are not sponsored and give their honest review that feels more unbiased. I’ll be in Alaska in a few months for a cruise, and wish I could get inland to see and do more to explore Alaska’s beautiful interior. Perhaps another time. But I can appreciate how tricky it must be to travel in rugged Alaska and be subject to sudden weather conditions, too. So good to know Coyote Air is professional and at home in the air — and really knows how to assure you a wonderful experience.

  4. That’s one mindblowing location. And that aerial view is spectacular. I have only flown commercial airlines and seen a cockpit up close in an airplane museum in Delhi. And this air taxi sounds amazing–what an adventure. I hope, someday, I can make use of this review and fly Coyote Air.

  5. You know we are going to want to get in the air and see Alaska from the sky. So it was great to read your review of your experience with Fly Coyote. And to learn that they offer several different flight seeing tours. I might need to ask about a frequent flyer discount! I sure would not want to miss those views you got. Good reminder about planning some contingency time for bad weather.

  6. This appears to be an absolutely fantastic experience. It feels wonderful to fly as you delight in the idyllic surroundings. If I ever have the chance to visit Alaska and its remote regions, I’ll definitely take Coyote Air into account. And also, I appreciate your review’s candor!

  7. I am totally in awe of those landscapes that you can see from your plane window. Totally mesmerizing. I have done a similar sea plane flight in Australia where I flew over the Great Barrier Reef and I honestly think it was one of the best experiences I have had in air, Your positive review is definitely encouraging for people to consider these services when they head to that part of the world. I know that I will definitely be checking it out if I ever make it there. Good to know about the cancelations and various other types of charters.

  8. Wow! It’s nice to know that there is a reliable air taxi provider in the area. I appreciate that they give top priority to their client’s safety and the owners are very hands-on.

    Thanks for the heads up regarding the possibility of weather conditions. I guess we’d have to have a very flexible schedule when planning our Arctic trip. Appreciate all the tips and your sharing of your first-hand experience.

  9. I love that you have supported a small family business and knowing that they maintain the same professionalism you’d expect in a larger company makes it more appealing to use Coyote over other companies. I’d love to take this journey through Alaska and explore around the Dalton highway.

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