Alaska, northwest of Canada, is the largest and most sparsely populated state in the US. It's known for its dramatic, diverse terrain of wide-open spaces, mountains and forests, with abundant wildlife and many small towns. It’s a destination for outdoor activities including skiing, mountain biking and kayaking. It could be called the last great wilderness in this part of the world. And Ultima Thule Lodge is the perfect place to experience this magnificent landscape.
Your luxurious cabin is nestled on a hillside alive with flowers and the Alaskan lodge's abundant vegetable garden. Leading up from the runway, a path winds along the hillside to the next cabin, and up the slope to the main lodge.
The main lodge sits at the top of the hill and houses the dining room, open kitchen and sitting room with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the mighty Chitina River and mountains to the south.
Where you are staying at Ultima Thule, daily adventure tours have no itinerary. When you wake and make your way to the grand room at the main lodge, the Claus family is already studying the skies. The Clausesand their experienced Alaskan wilderness guides will help you discover the perfect activity each day to match your mood, experience level and interests.
One day, you may fly to explore an abandoned gold mine. Or kayak and fish for salmon in a glacial-fed river. Or hike in pursuit of Dall sheep across a mountain ridge.
The next day you could find yourself landing in the middle of the largest non-polar glacier in the world, the Bagley Ice Field,for an undisturbed view of the earth's most massive pile of rock and ice, Mount Logan. The opportunities for adventure at Ultima Thule Lodge are endless.
Ultima Thule Lodge sits 100 miles from the literal end of the paved and maintained road system. Chitina is the closest hub to the lodge where, after driving from Anchorage, all supplies and lodge personnel are flown in.
Anchorage is over 350 miles due west of the lodge and McCarthy is an isolated, abandoned copper mining town within the boundary of the National Park about 50 air miles from the lodge.
You awake each morning immersed in the Wrangell-St. Elias wilderness. The unnaturally long, brilliant days of an Alaskan summer are bursting with life.
Here in the heart of the wilderness, one hundred miles from the end of the road, bears roam glittering sandbars. Moose feast on wild vegetation. Dall sheep tread their ancient mountain paths and eagles soar from cliff to spruce.
There is an element of the unexpected – the thrill of being in a place where nature leads us, and not the other way around. When we put ourselves in nature’s hands we forget our daily routines and live our days filled with wonder.
There is a vastness – knowing that if we set our sights high enough, push beyond the edges of your map, we can travel to a place no one has ever been, and see things no living person has ever imagined.
There is majesty – the thrill of humility that comes from standing amidst something larger than ourselves.
It may be that there are as many definitions of wilderness as there are living souls who long to explore it, but it may be that every one of us can agree on this: True wilderness changes us. It gets under our skin. It reminds us that there is something larger than the sliver of the world we see every day. It refreshes us, recharges us. And nothing is ever the same again.
The lodge offers 5 private cabins built using local timber and designed to maximise privacy. Cabins are uniquely appointed, with elegantly crafted furniture, stained-glass windows and plush leather furniture. Each cabin has two bedrooms (one room boasting a king-size feather bed), a full bathroom and an amply furnished sitting room with amazing views of the surrounding countryside. There is also a cedar sauna/self-spa that makes a great place to relax after a full day of adventuring.
Dining is in the main lodge building and features gourmet meals prepared with fresh Alaskan ingredients. We have a large organic garden on site and grow most of our own veggies. Salmon and wild game are also harvested locally.
With a maximum of 12 guests at a time, you will find the lodge is an oasis of relaxation and personal experience.
Most Alaska visitors come during the summer months, from mid-May to mid-September. The summer offers the widest range of tours and adventures for visitors along with temperatures that range from the mid-50s to the mid-80s, depending on what region of the state you visit. (Temperatures along the coasts and in the Far North are cooler than in the Interior, which features the hottest summer temperatures.) Alaska Travel during a “shoulder season” – early May to late September – to find better prices and more availability than during the middle of the summer.
Winter ups the ante on only-in-Alaska vacation experiences. Have you always dreamed of watching the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) paint surreal ribbons of light across the sky? Wondered what it would be like to glide quietly across a snowy landscape by dog sled, or on skis? Winter is the perfect time to experience Alaska as Alaskans do – and to take part in our favorite annual events. In February and March, a wide range of festivals and celebrations combine with warmer weather and more daylight hours for perfect winter vacation conditions.