When Alaskans Zack and Anjanette Steer decided to leave behind Anchorage city life, they chose one of the more remote, yet road-accessible places they could find. Owners of the Sheep Mountain Lodge since 2000, the couple and their two young boys now live in the beautiful and wild area near the Matanuska Glacier, in view of the Chugach and Talkeetna Mountain Ranges. They've created a welcoming family environment where visitors can absorb the quiet and beauty of wild Alaska, without the added expense of air travel, since it's only two hours northeast of Anchorage on Alaska Highway 1.
Goats, Sheep and Sled Dogs Out Your Window
Nestled at the foot of a Dall Sheep and mountain goat preserve and open year-round, the lodge has 11 cabins, all with private decks opening onto stunning views. Bring your binoculars or use the spotting scope at the lodge to scan for goats and sheep, or ask Anjanette about the birds flying amongst the cottonwood trees. An avid birder, she'll be happy to help you identify most any species. Both Steers are lifelong, multi-generational Alaskans who readily share their knowledge of everything Alaskan, from bird watching to dog mushing to flower and vegetable gardening in the Far North. Zack's competed in both the Iditarod and Yukon Quest sled dog races multiple times. He calls his mushing a hobby that's turned to addiction, and he maintains the trails in winter for mushing and cross country skiing. His dog kennel is on the property.
Blissful Living and Berry Picking
The Steers pride themselves on the family atmosphere of their place, and their clean, comfortable cabins, which sleep up to six. Fresh cut flowers from Anjanette's garden grace the well built cabins, which feature country furniture and private baths. (There is no television). The property also includes a hot tub and sauna, as well as Anjanette's greenhouse and flower gardens. The grounds not only have stunning views, but access 12 miles of maintained trails. They Steers will even point you in the direction of wild berry patches, since Sheep Mountain is a popular gathering place for Alaskans looking to fill their freezers with blueberries and cranberries.
Launching Pad for Adventure
The options for exploration and adventure around the Lodge are numerous, and the Steers help guests hire guide services. They can arrange just about anything (other than fishing, it's not a good fishing spot)--whether you want to shoot the rapids of the Lion’s Head run on the Matanuska River, strap on crampons and walk on a glacier or take a flight over the mountains, rivers and glaciers of the area. Sheep Mountain Lodge is a good area to spend a couple of days, and waiting to book trips until arrival is advised. This is so the activities can be selected while accounting for weather conditions.
Having Those Berries for Dessert
The lodge has a restaurant and full bar, which are open from mid-May to mid-September. It’s a place that Alaskans will stop in for a meal during a weekend trip or long drive. That’s to say, it’s an oasis of good food on a highway system known for greasy spoons. Their nightly specials are highlights and include halibut, shrimp and salmon from Prince William Sound and Alaskan produce from the Palmer area. Home-baked desserts top off every meal, with specials such as triple berry cobbler or strawberry rhubarb pie.
Sheep Mountain Lodge is a perfect destination or a stop along the way. It's a place to get out of the car and into the land. Whether you are inclined to hike rolling trails in search of wild berries or explore glacial crevasses, the lodge is a great place to stay in this magnificent section of Alaska.