A sample itinerary that includes bear viewing, glacier trekking, fishing, hiking and paddling – not to mention excellent cuisine and plenty of time for dips in the hot tub – at each of our Alaska backcountry lodges
View each day:
You will be met at your hotel for complimentary transfer service to our air carrier at Lake Hood. Depart Anchorage at 9:00 a.m. (Departure time is flexible) for a scenic float-plane flight to Winterlake Lodge. You will depart from Lake Hood, the world’s largest floatplane lake and land on Finger Lake, the location of an Iditarod checkpoint. Winterlake Lodge is situated approximately one hour by air northwest of Anchorage.
Fly to Mt. Mount McKinley enroute to the lodge and see this spectacular mountain from a climber’s perspective. McKinley is the highest peak in North America.
Check in to your cabin and join your hosts Kirsten and Carl Dixon at the main Lodge for a brief orientation to the activities and facilities at the lodge, then plan your days with your guides. Options include:
- Hike the Iditarod Trail
- Canoe or kayak around Winterlake
- Extended hike to Red Lake
- Schedule your massage
- Take a hot tub
- Join in the stretch and yoga classes
- Cooking class in the kitchen
Luncheon is served at 1:00 p.m. in the main room. After lunch, join us for a stretch class, dog-lot tour, garden tour, or leisurely walk along the Iditarod Trail. In the late afternoon, we offer a cooking class in the kitchen with Kirsten, wine tasting in the main lodge bar area, and dinner at 7:00 p.m. After dinner, there is an evening education program on Alaska in the wellness room or fly-casting lessons on the lake.
Early morning gentle yoga class at 6:30 a.m. (optional, of course). Breakfast is served at 8:00 a.m. After breakfast, meet your helicopter pilot and guide for a day-long adventure outing via our Robinson R-44 helicopter. In the afternoon, you may enjoy lunch on the river or back at the lodge – your choice. Activity options include:
- Glacier trekking or ice climbing
- White-water rafting on the Happy River
- Sport fish for Alaska salmon and/or trout in season
- Hike the ridge for spectacular view of Mount McKinley
- Fly the Iditarod Trail by helicopter to the next checkpoint
- End your day of adventure with a nice soak in the hot tub and a dip in the lake!
If you are an earlier riser you can take advantage of the early morning serenity by observing our resident Swans and Loons on Winterlake by kayak. Breakfast is served at 8am. At 9am, join your guide for a hike to the ridge behind the lodge for a spectacular view of Mt. McKinley. In the afternoon, kayak or canoe around the lake.
After breakfast, board a floatplane to travel to Redoubt Bay Lodge. It’s a scenic 50-minute flight through glaciers and views of Lake Clark National Park.
Take a tour of our lake to photograph and view bears in their natural habitat. Spend as long or as little as you like watching Redoubt Bay resident bears from the comfort of your covered pontoon boat.
At 4:00 p.m. board another floatplane for a 50-minute flight down the coast to Tutka Bay Lodge. Arrive right on the dock. Check into your room with a view of the Grace Ridge and Tutka fjord. Appetizers are served at 6:00 PM. Dinner at 7:00. Don’t forget to book your complimentary massage.
Morning yoga on the deck before breakfast is optional. Today, perhaps explore the artist’s community of Halibut Cove, or go sportfishing for salmon. Your guide will have suggestions. Nearly all guests at the lodge enjoy hiking in the Kachemak Bay State Park. Kirsten recommends visiting a nearby oyster farm.
Today might be a day for a long exploratory sea kayak tour around the bay or, perhaps another expedition up Grace Ridge, a deep-sea halibut adventure, or just relaxing around the lodge soaking up the local scenery. It’s your choice. Don’t forget to join Carly in a yoga class or a massage before dinner.
After breakfast, catch the water taxi back to Homer and ERA jet flight back to Anchorage.