Ultimate Thule Lodge, Alaska Photographer: Arturo Polo Ena,
Ultimate Thule Lodge, Alaska Photographer: Arturo Polo Ena,

...The review

Ultima Thule Lodge, Alaska

Far beyond the 'end of the road' sums up Ultima Thule, a wilderness lodge deep in the heart of Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

With no roads or maintained trails and access only via a private bush plane fly-in, family-run Ultima Thule Lodge is about as remote as it gets, with your arrival just the start of the adventure. Located in the largest national park in North America, within the biggest protected land mass on Earth, habitation and people are amiss while pristine nature and wildlife flourish unbound. This is an unparalleled opportunity to explore one of the wildest places on the planet, all under the warm hospitality of the owning family – the friendly Claus’ who’ve been here for three generations.

Images © Arturo Polo Ena

“Perfect for adventure-seekers who love time in isolated wilderness, Ultima Thule Lodge is the ultimate get-away-from-it-all destination and truly America’s Last Frontier.”

Things to do

‘Majestic’ and ‘epic’ don’t do justice to the endless acres of untouched mountains, rivers and glaciers you’ll explore in the vast Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. With no paved roads, your access is either on foot or by lifting off in one of Ultima Thule’s fleet of bush planes. Each day is different based on the weather, and the small planes that can land almost anywhere mean few destinations are off-limits. Usually, you’ll be out for the whole day with an al fresco lunch in between paddling a raft on an alpine lake, spotting bears and moose with regularity, hiking across mountain ridges and glaciers and exploring ice fields that sit in the shadow of the world’s largest mountain massif, Mount Logan.

Sleeping

The luxury of Ultima Thule is really your utterly remote location in the wilds of Alaska, and the five cosy cabins have everything you need but are not conventionally luxurious. Made from locally sourced wood, the timber cabins come furnished in simple Alaskan elegance with sheepskin rugs, feather beds and leather armchairs, overlooking wildflower plains, the glacier river and mountains beyond.

Food & Drink

Lunches are always out in the field as you hop between glaciers and mountain ridges; come evening everyone gathers in the main lodge to catch up on the day’s news and satisfy the insatiable hunger that comes from all day in fresh air and nature. The Lodge has a large amount of its own homegrown fruit and vegetables and an endless supply of fish from the rivers and game from the plains, all served in homecooked recipes that have run down the Claus family tree.

What We Think

Alaska is an adventure, but Ultima Thule takes it that much further – firstly its remote location is way beyond the usual tourist stops of Denali or the Kenai Fjords, and your access by small plane mean you may be where no human has ever stood. Secondly, aside from the cabins at the lodge, there is no sign of human impact here. Nature is pristine and untouched; rivers have not been fished in and wildlife roam without boundaries.

Best For

Nature and wildlife are the main draw but Ultima Thule also suits those wishing to go off-grid, away from the trappings of modern life and far, far away from habitation and life as we know it. Active types and wildlife lovers will get the most out of Ultima Thule, as will photographers fascinated by geology and vast landscapes.

The Verdict

The owning Claus family believe that no one will leave Ultima Thule unchanged – it’s the kind of place that will make its mark on you if you let it, revisiting you when you need it most. Nature as it was meant to be defines Ultima Thule and if you’re lucky enough to come here, you’ll never forget it.

Sarah Ward Hedges

Personal Travel Designer

01488 689700 Read Sarah’s profile

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