Ultima Thule Lodge + Ridgewood Wilderness Lodge
mid-May to mid-September
Why This Trip?
A vacation that combines a stay at Ridgewood Wilderness Lodge and Ultima Thule Lodge showcases some of Alaska’s best scenery, wildlife, and excursions. Alaska’s Ridgewood Wilderness Lodge is a gateway to 400,000 miles of adventure in the Kachemak Bay State Park, just a short water taxi ride from Homer, Alaska. Visitors come to enjoy the mountain and coastal views, fly-in trips to a remote mountain lake for kayaking and fishing, the thrill of kayaking amongst icebergs, hiking to a glacier, world-class halibut & salmon fishing, or viewing bears in their natural habitat. Then head East, into the heart of the 13.2 million-acre Wrangell St. Elias National Park to Ultima Thule Lodge. Away from the coast, you’re in the heart of mountain country, surrounded by some of the tallest mountains in North America. Both lodges are owned by Alaskan families and have a reputation for fine dining and adventure.
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 Anchorage
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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 Anchorage and overnight in Anchorage.
Fly to Homer, Water Taxi to Ridgewood
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Wake up and catch a quick 45-minute flight to Homer. Check-in at the water taxi office at 2:00pm, for a 2:30pm departure. If you arrive in Homer with a couple of hours to spare before getting on the water taxi, explore the Homer Spit. You’ll find art shops, gift shops, and great local restaurants to grab a bite to eat.
There’s a 2-night minimum stay, but staying 5 nights gives you enough time to experience all of the great excursions the lodge has to offer. Most activities are included in your stay, while others are available for an additional fee.
Three gourmet meals are served each day. Breakfast will include homemade quickbreads, muffins, fruit & yogurt or hot cereal. Guests can design their own 'Ridgewood Dagwood' sandwich on fresh Sourdough Bread (whole wheat or white) with their choice of 4 meats, various cheeses and veggies, homemade dessert, chips and water bottles as they’re gone each day from the lodge. Dinners have an emphasis on the bountiful seafood present in the area like halibut, salmon, crab, shrimp and oysters. Enjoy vegetable sides and fresh bread. Many of the vegetables served at the lodge are grown right on site! And always save room for homemade desserts.
Ridgewood Wilderness Lodge, Sea Kayaking & Glaciers
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On your first day, take advantage of one of the lodge’s included activities. Enjoy a moderate hike to Grewingk Glacier Lake. The reward is an incredible view of an ancient glacier tucked into a valley with towering peaks and alpine meadows. Then, load into the kayaks and paddle among the icebergs that have calved off the glacier and get an up-close view.
Day at Ridgewood, Flightseeing
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Today, book a flightseeing adventure. Options range from flightseeing over Kachemak Bay and the nearby Harding Icefield before landing on a remote lake for kayaking, hiking or fishing. Or, head Southwest to peer into the crater of the active Augustine volcano.
Day at Ridgewood, Hiking
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With Kachemak Bay State Park in your backyard, there are a multitude of options for hiking and exploring the area on foot with a guide. Visit nearby tidepools to see what critters you can discover. Take a challenging hike up Alpine Ridge, above treeline and wander around the tundra. Or hike through Moose Valley, surrounded by mountains and enormous, ancient Cottonwood trees.
Day at Ridgewood, Bear Viewing or Fishing
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Take off via floatplane for the Alaska Peninsula across Cook Inlet to watch and photograph brown bears in their natural environment. In June to mid-July, you might see mothers nursing their cubs, and bears feeding on the sedge grass. By mid-July, watch them fish for salmon. From mid-August through September you might see them browsing on berries and continuing to fatten up on salmon in preparation for winter.
Or, use the day to head out on a deep sea fishing charter targeting salmon or halibut!
Depart Ridgewood, Return to Anchorage, Fly Home
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Return to Homer by 10:30 am, to catch a return flight to Anchorage. Fly home, or spend a final night in Anchorage before your departure.