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Over Five Decades of History ...

Alaska Trailblazers has a rich history with roots dating back to the early 1950s when Bill Waugaman started hunting and guiding in the Healy and Wood River drainages on the North side of the Alaska Range. Waugaman’s acquired several camps from the legendary Carl Anderson including Grizzly Camp located at the headwaters of Wood River which became the main camp for Bill & Flora Waugaman’s guiding and outfitting business, Wood River Guides & Outfitters.

Prior to Statehood (1959) Waugaman’s established several new camps on the Healy and Wood River drainages and access was by horseback or fly-in as it is today. The Snow Mountain Gulch camp “Wood River Camp” was established in 1960 and became the main base camp in 1967. Healy Camp, Sheep Camp; and Painted Mountain Camp are all original camps used for the hunting/guiding operation and outdoor recreation by family and friends.

Today, Chris & Debby Curnow are the custodians of the 35 acres of pristine wilderness and continue the legacy of the Wood River.

Waugaman Mountain (left) overlooks the property.

On 03/13/09 the U.S. Board on Geographic Names officially approved naming a mountain in honor of William "Bill" Waugaman (1915-2003) for his contributions to the State of Alaska. "Waugaman Mountain" is located in the Alaska Range, 65 miles south of Fairbanks, Alaska, Elevation 6575'. Bill Waugaman was always a good steward for hunting and guiding in Alaska while respectful of the land, the wildlife and environment.

Meet the Owners & Guides

Chris & Debby’s decades of outdoor experience and love of the Alaskan outdoors and horses have inspired them to offer true Alaskan wilderness adventures through Alaska Trailblazers.

Chris grew up with horses, hunting and an appreciation of nature and the outdoors. He came to Alaska in 1975 at 20 years old and worked for a geological survey company taking rock samples and staking mining claims all over Interior Alaska including the Wood River area. Chris and Debby joke that they were likely on the same mountain at the same time many years before starting their life together. Chris is an avid outdoorsman with many decades of wilderness experience and great “fix it” skills in the woods.

Debby’s love of horses and the outdoors started in the early 1960s, flying into hunting camp with her family (Waugaman) as a young girl. In 1970, at age 12, she had her first horseback pack trip into the Alaska Range as an assistant wrangler for Wood River Guides & Outfitters. Debby’s dad promoted her to lead wrangler in 1974 after 3 more years of training. She has taken horse pack trips into the Healy and Wood River drainages every year since for Wood River Guides & Outfitters, Alaska Trailblazers and personal hunting and recreation.

Chris & Debby are proud to carry on the tradition.


"Debby & Chris definitely know how to show their guests the beauty and adventure of Alaska's wilderness! We saw more country on horseback than we ever could have on our own two legs!"

Tammy R. - Anchorage, Alaska            

"Chris & Deb - It has been everything I have dreamed of from the time I was a kid. Alaska is truly everything you see in all the pictures in the magazines and I can now say that I have experienced it first hand and can someday tell my children about this wonderful place. I truly feel honored that I met everyone here at camp and (Bill, Radar, Chris, Deb) I hope that I will be back to sit around the camp fire and tell stories. Thank you so much for the time of my life!"

Joe D. - Dalton, New York            

"Great food, Better People, Big Game!"

Rowdie S. - Santa Ysabel, California            

"Riding to the lake was easy even for a novice like me! It was fall when we made the trip…the colors and blue sky made you glad to be alive. When we took our lunch break at the lake the only sounds were the horses moving in the brush and the call of migrating cranes. A day spent at the lake is truly a day in heaven. I’d go back in a heartbeat."

Suzi L. - Fairbanks, Alaska            

"Thank you so very much for the wonderful experience of being in the back woods of Alaska. It is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. Making new friends and wonderful experiences is what it is all about. The cabins and meals were top notch. I wil keep in touch and send pictures. Thanks again so very much. I am looking forward to a return trip so I can go to Sheep Camp with you some day."

Dave W. - Dansville, New York            

"I am a city girl with a lifelong love of horses. A friend, told me about Alaska Trailblazers and an amazing horse pack trip through rivers and wilderness in Alaska she took years ago. In 2007, we flew into the famed Wood River Main Camp by bush plane staying in the beautiful Honeymoon Cabin. I spent five days riding rugged trails, experiencing intensely beautiful scenery, and gaining trail and horsemanship skills. Additionally, I ate some of the best chow a wilderness camp could offer. I left Wood River with new friends, and a sense of strength and empowerment; having a new appreciation of the great land.

The following year I returned to Alaska with the opportunity to bring horses into camp. The trip from Healy is a demanding 65 mile trek over a portion of the Alaska Range, which tests strength and skill of both horse and rider. The changing scenery and wildlife is a marvel throughout the trip. During our adventure; we blazed new trails, forded riverbed changes related to recent flooding and made countless river crossings. Arriving at Main Camp felt like "coming home". What a ride!

Now, I'm addicted and returning for a repeat 2009 horse trip. Chris and Debby Curnow and the four-legged staff at Alaska Trailblazers graciously invite Alaskans and non-Alaskans alike to experience this incredible, unforgettable paradise."

Teresa L. - Seattle, WA            

Contact Us       -       alaskatrailblazers@alaska.net       -       PO BOX 73911, Fairbanks, AK 99707
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