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“World Class!”
Review of Ultima Thule Lodge

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Ultima Thule Lodge
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 18 April 2013

I recently returned from a ski mountaineering adventure in the Wrangells w/ Wild Alpine. We were fortunate to stay at the Ultima Thule Lodge and become part of the family that so graciously shares their experiences with their guests.

The setting is pristine and like no other that i've seen anywhere. The cabins are cozy/quaint and super clean. Really luxurious, especially considering the setting. Outstanding, home-cooked meals w/ wine/beer each evening. We had a great fireside chat and marshmallow roasting session w/ Logan, their charming 17yo (going on 25yo!) daughter.

Getting a chance to fly w/ Paul and his crew is like none other. They have a fleet of planes and have access to the wilderness that is unparalled elsewhere.

I can really go on and on... I hate to rave too much b/c I'd love to have the place all to myself. Simply spectacular!

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank mtnras
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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36 - 42 of 46 reviews

Reviewed 24 March 2013

We just spent a week at Ultima Thule Lodge. We have been to many wilderness lodges and this one is the tops. The setting is spectacular, surrounded by mountains. Planes fly you out in the morning to different terrain everyday into the most untouched wilderness mountains in the world. The lodge itself is first class. We had a two room cabin for two of us, the rooms were spacious and deluxe. The staff is phenomenal, they care so much about the area and the guests. They anticipate every need. Paul, the owner, has so many great wilderness stories, it is worth going just for the dinner time banter. The food was fantastic. I cant reccomend UTL high enough for those who want a real adventure in the remote wilderness with the luxuries of a first class lodge.

We went in March for backcountry skiing. It was amazing. We had sunshine every day. We went to a different mountain each day to explore. It was the pinnacle of my ski career. A completely mind blowing experience.

Room Tip: There are only 10 rooms and they all looked great to me.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank tod f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2013

Ultima Thule lives up to its name in every way. Yes, it's a land remote beyond reckoning - and it's also the ultimate (defined as 'utmost, extreme, maximum') in terms of beauty and uniqueness. Ultima Thule is an amazing island of comfort and hospitality within the millions of untamed acres of the Wrangell-St. Elias Wilderness Everything here is extreme - the mountains, rivers, glaciers, wildlife, and volcanoes are among the biggest, tallest, fastest, steepest, deepest, and wildest in the world. The Claus family, owners and hosts of Ultima Thule – are warm and welcoming, and every bit as interesting and unduplicatable as the surroundings.

Room Tip: Even the cabins are one of a kind. The Claus family found the perfect fits for me. Each cabin is a w...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank lynn v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2012

It's very hard to say somewhere's truly unique, but like the previous reviewer I have no reservations whatsoever in granting such an accolade to this remarkable place. Further away from other human life than any establishment I know of (100 miles from the nearest house? 300 miles from the nearest road?), after a long trip to the edges of civilisation, you are flown out into the wilderness in one of the lodge's little propeller planes, with stunning scenery glistening all around you as you soar the skies: greeny tops of hills dotted by mountain goats, ice-cold springs which pump water from their origins, immense glaciers which stretch for miles and miles on end. Occasionally Paul Claus, the champion bush pilot, lowers you to spectate as a grizzly grapples with a salmon, or a herd of bison gallops across the plain. The lodge itself lies in a vast valley almost entirely engulfed during the winter months by a river which gushes past the tiny oasis. Upon landing we were greeted by the entire family, shown to a warm and welcoming cabin, and left to wonder. Donna, a former champion ski racer, spends her days looking after the family's vegetable patch and caring for the guests. The food is thus exemplary home cooking with a touch of charming innovation - one night we were treated to homemade Thai noodles. Nights are spent in utter tranquility, while the days are utterly exhausted! All activities involve being flown out to remote corners of the national park, and include fishing for salmon (with bait rather than flies!), ascending glaciers, flying out deserted beaches with rolling sand dunes, white-water rafting and venturing into ice-supported caverns. Wildlife seems omnipresent, and whilst there is enough danger from bears to engender excitement, the guides were well-equipped and versed with shotguns (indeed the youngest member of the clan shot her first bear at a mere 12 years!). We were delighted to be stranded for a few hours in the morning mist during our last day, and were more than saddened when it was finally time to leave. If this marvellous place is at all within the reaches of your budget, do not but a new family computer - come here now. It is an experience which you will never forget. Ever.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank js_m12_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2012

The Ultima Thula Lodge might very well be one of the very few truly remote and wild places in this world that are left. Set in the middle of a remote and beautiful scenery, this lodge is the right choice for adventurers. This place is accessible only by plane pick of the owners. Followed by a 30 minutes plane ride you will land on a short landing strip alongside the lodge. The little bungalows are very beautiful - with great attention to detail - surrounded by flowers. The programme is changing and will be suggested by host Paul - who is also known as one of the most experienced and certainly best bush pilots in Alaska. We have been enjoying a flying day into the great wilderness of the Wrangell Mountains. For us - this was one of the greatest adventures of our life. We landed on Glaciers for a walk - landed in the bush for bear viewing - landed just about anywhere you can or cannot land. The pilots here are amazing. The rooms are great and so is the cuisine that is freshly prepared and fully homemade by Donna and Ellie.

The stay in this lodge is not cheap - in fact it is expensive. One should consider - however - that operating something like this at such a place is very costly. Everything needs to be flown in - be it bed or decoration. Also - the days here - if you are lucky with the weather - they are basically priceless.

We thank the crew at the lodge for some of the greatest days in our life. We feel that if you want to enjoy the trip here, you must understand what true wilderness is all about. This is certainly no Disneyland and nothing for fearful people. For those who seek true adventure, however, there is almost no comparison.

Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
5  Thank R37O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Pomfret Ctr. Ct. 06259
14
Reviewed 25 March 2005

In 1996 , four of us landed in Anchorage, Alaska and were transported by van to a gravel runway in the small village of Chitina where we met John and Paul Klaus and were whisked away to our great adventure. When we were flying in , I thought that this place would be much like many fishing camps that I had flown into , meaning real rustic . I was in for a real surprise when we landed close to the Chitina River and exited the plane . and we were met by people who were very courteous, and, I found out as our trip progressed ,very helpful in making this trip a true adventure.
The cabins were neat and clean and there were flowers planted around , and , hanging on each building . Our meals were excellant with several
choices to please everyone , and , desserts were made on site. Every day was a new experience from the day before with all of us being on a constant natural high . We hiked , floated a river , landed on glaciers , had lunch in beautiful settings that most people will never experience. We landed near raging glacial runoff rivers , fished for salmon , which were part of the evening meal . We saw eagles , bears [from a distance] , sheep , moose , spawning fish . We spiralled above glaciers to reach the mountain tops , visited old miner,s cabins, listened to the silence and breathed the fresh air. John told us stories of trappers and miners from days past . In short, there is too much that can be said about this trip , and, if you were to ask us if we would do it again , the answer would be , IN A HEARTBEAT.
If you have ever wanted to do something like this , don't let life pass you
by , do it , and, it will be an experience that will live with you forever .

  • Stayed: July 1999
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4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2004

How nice to have home baked cookies delivered to you on the side of a snow covered volcano after two weeks of "expedition" food! That is the kind of warm surprise provided by Ultimate Thule Expeditions. And later, after getting part of our group stranded on same said Volcano, they flew in to help make sure we had gotten all of our gear out. This is Alaska and not a "theme park" so the "rides" and "sights" are not always available but I couldn't imagine spending a day or so weathered in with any better people.

2  Thank UpSkier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ultima Thule Lodge

Address: 100 miles upriver from Chitina, Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve, AK 99501
Region: United States > Alaska > Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve
Price Range: £707 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
"Alaska's most authentic and adventure centric wilderness lodge."Located in the midst of 13.2 Million Acres of the wildest landscape imaginable. The Claus family invites you to share their home in one of the most rugged, remote and hauntingly beautiful corners of the world.At Ultima Thule Lodge you will discover an outpost of civilized luxury to crown your experience in the heart of the largest National Park in North America. Come live the dream and discover the hidden beauty of Alaska! ... more   less 

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