Want to find out where Alaskans take their visitors? Visit McCarthy Lodge and the Ma Johnson Hotel for an experience National Geographic calls “authentic, sustainable, memorable.” McCarthy offers small-town charm nestled among spectacular glaciers and mountains – in a national park twice the size of Denali. Equally impressive is that it is the only accommodation and restaurant recommended by Michelin Guide for the McCarthy-Kennicott area. It’s off-the-beaten path, but its authentic flavor and fine dining options make it worth the trip. We call it progressive-remote. You might call it heaven.
Alaska Heavenly Lodge offers the best of both worlds: all the seclusion and luxury normally associated with fly-in lodges, as well as the affordability and convenience of being on the road system. Built in 1974, Alaska Heavenly Lodge is made up of three hand-hewn log cabins. The Main Lodge features a full kitchen, a 16-person dining room table, a comfy sitting area with a wood-burning fireplace, a loft library, and a deck overlooking the Kenai River. But it’s far from rustic: Wi-Fi, flat-screen televisions, and a Jacuzzi bring the lodge fully into the 21st century.
Just 2.5 Hours from Fairbanks on the Richardson Highway, The Lodge at Black Rapids is an undiscovered gem.The peaks of the Alaska Range, trout-filled lakes, swift rivers, and alpine tundra surround the lodge, which is named for the Black Rapids glacier. The owners built the Lodge over nearly 10 years, designing it to fit into the landscape. There are six rooms in addition to the bunkhouse, with queen beds and private baths. Large windows overlook the deck and mountains making it easy to lounge in your room. It is a perfect base for adventures set off of the Richardson Highway, where you can enjoy great hikes, fishing holes, and bike rides.
This private lodging business may be the ultimate way for independent travelers to stay in the famously just-off-the-grid McCarthy. They're located just before the footbridge leading into town, so you can park your car right by your private guest house —without the hassle of parking and having your stuff schlepped over the bridge. A favorite among locals and visitors alike, the modern guest houses have great views of the Wrangell St. Elias National Park from their decks. You will also find full kitchens, solar power and free access to a seasonal veggie garden to supplement your meals.
If you’re looking for an intimate setting right on a river, try The Cabins at Denali Park Village. You’ll find 52 individual rustic cabins nestled among the trees on the banks of the Nenana River. Here, you’ll avoid the tourist crowds as you hike along the river for your own wilderness experience.
Alaskan adventures and great lodging await at the Great Alaskan Adventure Lodge. This all-inclusive experience lets you drive or fly in to the property, which sits on 25 acres at the confluence of two rivers. An old homestead with cabins and luxury tent options, the lodge makes for a comfortable stay. You’ll also find an array of adventures—everything from great fishing to glacier cruising. The owners have been perfecting their itineraries for 30 years, so they’re bound to be adventures that you’ll remember for a lifetime.
This 86-room lodge not only has endless views over a vast valley, but it also sits on the banks of the Kenai River, which teems with fish. With vaulted ceilings made of naturally finished wood, cozy sitting areas with wood-burning stoves and private porches, it’s easy to feel like the whole place is yours. The area is famous for its fishing, but you also have easy access to Kenai Fjords National Park, a wild land filled with glaciers, marine life and mountains. Go for a wildlife-viewing cruise, or just go for a stroll along the lodge’s own nature trail.
The Alaskan Kennicott Glacier Lodge is a replica of one of the historic copper-mining buildings. It’s a luxurious property that sits in the heart of the ghost town and the center of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, surrounded by spruce and mountains. Curl up by the fireplace with a book, enjoy the home-cooked meals, and linger with a glass of wine on the deck that nearly juts out over the Kennicott Glacier. Choose from either the Main Lodge, or the New South Wing – then venture out to tour the Historic Mill, or go on a Glacier Trek.
Looking for an intimate and accessible getaway with an authentic Alaskan feel? Alaska Wildland Adventure's Kenai Riverside Lodge will fit the bill, with just 16 cabins set on the Kenai River, surrounded by 3,000-foot snow-capped mountains. This easy-access riverside lodge has a remote feel, but is still right on the road system. Meals are served family-style, creating a more intimate experience, and allowing you to mingle with fellow guests and your guides. Spend your day hiking, fishing, or strolling down a self-guided trail. At night, take in a naturalist program, enjoy a wood-fired sauna, or just relax on the riverside deck by the fire pit.
This year-round private lodge sits on an eleven acre 1901 historic gold mining claim, backed up against the Chugach State Park, and has sweeping views of Turnagain Arm and the mountains beyond. The view makes the lodge seem very remote, like you have ventured into the wilderness, yet it is a convenient 30-minute drive south from the Anchorage International Airport. The three-story lodge has three guest rooms, one on each level, to accommodate up to 12 guests.
The Seward Windsong Lodge is a full-service lodge set in a glacier valley, surrounded by the forest. Just eight miles from Exit Glacier and four miles from Seward, the lodge offers a peaceful retreat from the bustle of downtown; a free shuttle provides access to town, tours, and transportation. Perhaps the best amenity, though, is the sound of the gentle flow of the Resurrection River from your room. No surprise, many guests say their best night of sleep during their entire Alaska trip happened right here. Evidence of Seward's industrial side does appear in the area (i.e. a nearby gravel operation), but it doesn't dominate the scenic beauty.