Stretching from Canada’s Yukon Territory to the Pacific Ocean, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is part of the largest protected land mass on earth. Although the land surrounding Ultima Thule Lodge is deep in a national park, it is utterly inaccessible and almost entirely unvisited.
There is only one way to get here. There is no itinerary.
The Claus Family and their experienced wilderness guides can help you discover the perfect activity to match your experience level and your interests for your Alaska vacation. Everyday is unique. 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'll 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, Mt. Logan.
If you want, Paul Claus will take you flying over the pinnacle of Mount St. Elias, the largest vertical rock face on Earth. You will dust Elias’ snowy peak, then dive down over the glacier fields, breeze over the grassy plains, and glide out to the Pacific Ocean. You can land on the beach and eat the gourmet picnic lunch Donna Claus sent along in the back of the plane. Sit on an iceberg in the sun and watch huge chunks of glacier ice crash into the waves. There are no itineraries you have to chose from ahead of time here. No set schedule of events. This is adventuring as it's meant to be, in its purest form, adhering to the laws of nature while respectfully marveling at her grandeur.
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. The lodge offers 5 private cabins built using local timber and designed to maximize privacy.
Each evening you return to the lodge and to your private cabin. Each cabin has two bedrooms, one room boasting an over stuffed king size feather bed, a full bathroom and an amply furnished sitting room with views of the Chitina River and surrounding mountains. There is also a cedar sauna/self-spa.
Dining is in the main lodge building and features gourmet meals prepared with fresh Alaskan ingredients. Ultima Thule Lodge has a large organic garden on site, and they grow most of their veggies. Salmon and wild game are also harvested locally. Special dietary needs can be accommodated.
Ultima Thule Lodge sits 100 miles from the literal end of the paved and maintained road system. Anchorage is over 350 miles due west of the lodge and McCarthy is an isolated, once abandoned, historic copper mining town within the boundy of the National Park about 50 airmiles from the lodge.
Anchorage (ANC) is the major hub for Domestic and International flights and offers good options for overnighting if necessary. Transfer to and from Ultima Thule is provided from McCarthy. This is a tiny, end of the road village with limited services. However, for the adventurous traveler we can also suggest local options for overnighting or extending your stay. McCarthy is reachable by charter plane or car.
FLYING: Flight time from Anchorage is 1 – 2.5 hours depending on type of aircraft. Shared and private flight charters are available, set departure times apply. We work with the best charter companies in our area and can arrange these bookings for our guests directly.
DRIVING: Expect 4.5 hours driving time from Anchorage to Chitina where the paved road ends. From Chitina a 60 mile gravel road takes you into the National Park to the village of McCarthy at the road's end. You can self-drive the additional 2 – 2.5 hours from Chitina to the airstrip near McCarthy where you meet the Ultima Thule transfer plane.
• Alaskan gourmet cuisine, served fresh, wild and locally harvested
• Craftsman Deluxe cabin(s) depending on group size. Each with 24 hour electricity, en-suite bathroom with hot running water.
• Unlimited access to cedar sauna, wood-fired hot tub and self-spa
• Light laundry service
• Senior level guides and pilots
• Each group traveling together will have private adventure options and guides each day.
• Daily bush plane flights (no added cost for flight time associated with any of the offered activities and flying safari adventures!)
• Tailor made unique adventures each day.
• Specialty gear/equipment needed for adventure activities
• Complimentary selection of house wines and local Alaskan craft beers
• Transfer to/from the lodge and McCarthy, Alaska