Why This Trip?
If you’re looking for a pinnacle ecosystem trip to experience expansive, raw land, with families that built their own accommodations in the wilderness, then this trip is for you. A stay at Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge in the Brooks Range in Gates of the Arctic National Park, and Ultima Thule Lodge in Wrangell St. Elias National Park provide the Alaska equivalent of an African or Antarctica safari. Both lodges are fly-in only and all-inclusive. You’ll land at glaciers or lakes, and see places where there are no roads, no human incursion, and the country is only changed by the passage of time. Caribou are migrating, the glaciers are melting and moving, the salmon streams are running – none of it is man-made or encumbered by big developments. A true chance to be swallowed up by the land.
To book, call each lodge individually, let them know that you hope to combine two lodge stays, and they will help you plan your itinerary.
Fly into Anchorage, Flight to Ultima Thule Lodge
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Arrive in Anchorage. Coordinate with the lodge to arrange the 1 - 2.5 hr charter flight (dependant upon aircraft type) from Anchorage to McCarthy. From McCarthy you’ll board a second, shorter 25-minute flight departing at 4pm to Ultima Thule Lodge in the heart of Wrangell St. Elias National Park.* Packages are 4 nights & 4 days Sunday - Thursday.
At Ultima Thule, your days are personalized, based on your interests. At 13.2 million acres, Wrangell St. Elias is bigger than many small countries. Ultima Thule is Greek for land that is remote beyond reckoning. No surprise, the best way to grasp and appreciate the sheer scope of this park is by air, which is why Ultima Thule keeps a fleet of airplanes, each equipped with “land anywhere” Bush Wheel tires. Much like secret fishing holes, the Ultima Thule pilots have their favorite locations in the park to take guests—and with no restrictions on where they can land, the entire area is available to explore.
For meals, the lodge prides itself on using locally harvested fish and game and combining them with their homegrown vegetables and fresh herbs from the lodge’s extensive gardens and greenhouses.
Retire to your luxury room with hand-crafted furniture, sheepskin rugs, and a collection of Alaskan art and artifacts.
*Depending upon your arrival time in Anchorage, you may want to arrive in Anchorage the day before your transfer to Ultima Thule.
Ultima Thule Lodge
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Each Day at Ultima Thule is custom. There are never set itineraries. Each day’s custom fly-out adventure revolves around the weather, and the guest’s interest. It’s guaranteed that each day will be different from the one before.
On your daily excursion, you’ll always have a guide, and lunch will be served with you on your adventure.
Ultima Thule Lodge
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Another day of custom excursions in Wrangell St. Elias National Park. Maybe today you’ll spend the morning flightseeing over the massive Bagley Icefield—the largest non-polar glacier in the world—or spiraling up the largest vertical gain in the world to the summit of 18,000-foot Mt. St. Elias.
Ultima Thule Lodge
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Another day of custom excursions in Wrangell St. Elias National Park. You could land on a gravel river bar to watch grizzly bears fishing for salmon, or take a walk to scoop up handfuls of sweet wild blueberries!
Depart Ultimate Thule Lodge, Fly to Fairbanks
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Transfers from Ultima Thule Lodge back to the McCarthy Airstrip are scheduled for a 3:30pm arrival back at the McCarthy Airstrip. From McCarthy, arrange for a charter flight to Fairbanks and overnight in Fairbanks.
Fly Fairbanks to Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge
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Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge is a fly-in luxury wilderness lodge 200 miles north of Fairbanks and 60 miles above the Arctic Circle. You’ll depart Fairbanks in the morning and fly one-hour to the small village of Coldfoot in a 9-passenger Cessna Caravan. Coldfoot is a truck stop along the trans Alaska pipeline road and best known from the tv series “Ice Road Truckers.” From there, you’ll change to a 4-passenger float plane for an additional 45-minute flight to Iniakuk Lake, usually arriving by noon. It is also possible to arrange a private, direct flight from Anchorage to Coldfoot.
The main lodge has all the amenities (including 24-hour solar power and satellite internet if you need it), or you can travel farther into the wilderness and explore the Brooks Range from one of the lodge’s private cabins, inside Gates of the Arctic National Park.
Each reservation is private, so you’ll have the whole lodge (and knowledgeable guides) to yourself. Most itineraries are 3-5nights, but longer packages are available.
Iniakuk lake Wilderness Lodge
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The lodge’s pre-set itineraries are just a starting point; every trip is customized and adjusted to fit your interests.
- Come during June or July and you can hike, photograph and fish under the endless midnight sun.
- In August, you can watch caribou migrate right past the porch of their cabins in Gates of the Arctic National Park, as the tundra colors begin to turn.
- Leisurely day-long float trips are also a prime activity, starting at the outlet of Iniakuk Lake and ending with a floatplane pick up and return for dinner.
- Take a flight over 8.3 million acres of Gates of the Arctic National Park or 1.75 million acre Kobuk National Park. Stop for lunch and a short hike.
Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge
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Another day of custom excursions. Overnight at Iniakuk.
Fly Iniakuk to Fairbanks
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On your last morning at the lodge, you’ll depart between 10am-12pm, and arrive back in Fairbanks between 4-6pm. Overnight in Fairbanks.