Experience true remote Alaska at this all-inclusive wilderness lodge northeast of Denali National Park. The intimate, 12-cabin Wood River Lodge lies at the base of a mountain with a river running past it, fitting in perfectly with the surrounding area. It’s an idyllic getaway for anyone from couples to larger gatherings like a family reunion or corporate retreat. And the 2-night minimum gives you time to adjust to the magic of this wilderness outpost.
Settle into Wood River
Part of the adventure will be getting to this wonderfully remote lodge, and the unique journey here is also included in your stay. You’ll begin the 4- to 5-hour trip around noon in a fully enclosed, heated side-by-side and travel some 25 miles into the wilderness, leaving the road system behind. Along the way, you’ll make a fascinating stop at a wilderness survival bus (similar to the one Chris McCandless — of “Into the Wild” — found near Denali), drive over Cody Pass, and descend into the Wood River Valley. Then you’ll board a jet boat for a thrilling river ride to the lodge. This perfect introduction to Alaska’s vast wilderness gives you a real feeling for just how wonderfully remote you are. You could also arrange to fly here from Healy or Fairbanks for an additional cost.
The 12 cozy cabins each have one open room and en suite bathroom, along with plenty of privacy, while the two-story main lodge features a wood-burning stove and dining areas, along with big windows that offer opportunities to gaze up at Mt. Anderson and spot Dall sheep. You’ll also find a Swiss Chalet, a theater building, and a wood-fired sauna and hot tub on the property.
All meals are included in your stay, so you and your group will start each morning off with a hearty meal, including items like pancakes and bacon. Lunch is served family-style, or you can order up a picnic lunch and take it on a hike. Dinners are also filling backcountry affairs fit for lumberjacks—just what you’ll need after working up an appetite—and you can add delicious beer, wine, or cocktails for an additional cost.
Wildlife Viewing, Hiking & S'mores
Customize your getaway by choosing from a variety of included experiences. During the day, for example, you can go canoeing among the swans on Swan Lake, spot moose on Moose Pond, and try your hand at gold panning in Sheep Creek. Want to work up a sweat? Explore the surrounding trails on foot or fat-tire bike, or climb the almost 3,000 feet to the summit of Mt. Anderson, where you’ll discover gorgeous views out to Cody Creek and towards Healy. Or take an Argo tour across the Beaver Ponds. At night, hit the theater, where you can watch movies about Alaska in seats from a vintage movie theater. Or sit out by the fire pit chatting, making s’mores, and relaxing while you soak up the midnight sun.
Experience Alaska's History
Mining was the big business in this area back in the late 19th-century. The first permanent structure was finished in 1907, and it’s still standing today. The area’s beauty was then discovered by movie makers, authors, and photographers, with expeditions shooting here in the 1940s and 1950s. By 1965 there was a big-game hunting lodge, and famous hunters from all over would fly in. The wilderness lodge tradition continued, and in 2017, the current couple who owns the lodge bought it and now run it with the help of some of their 10 children.
Prices & Dates
|May - Sep
|Entire Lodge // $1299 first person (or single), $499 each additional group member up to five
|Rates Include: Meals, transportation by side-by-side and jetboat, excursions from lodge
|Flights to/from the lodge can be arranged at an additional cost