Are you ready for an adventure like no other? Look no further than Ultima Thule Lodge; nestled deep in the heart of the largest protected landmass on earth – the Wrangell St. Elias wilderness. Surrounded by a protected area larger than Switzerland and 100 miles from anywhere, guests to this remote and exclusive destination arrive by bush plane and experience a truly unique and quintessential Alaskan experience.
Guests of Ultima Thule Visiting a High Mountain Bluff By Bush Plane
Ultima Thule takes its name from the ancient Greeks who used the term to refer to the unknown areas that existed beyond the boundaries and capabilities of their maps and navigational instruments. A more fitting name perhaps does not exist as Wrangell St. Elias is pure wilderness with no formal road or trail systems. Once you set foot on this wild and untamed terra firma, you as well will feel as if you have found yourself in uncharted territory.
The Claus Family and the History of Ultima Thule Lodge in Alaska
When you think of Alaska, you might imagine rugged wilderness, glaciers, and wild animals. For the Claus family, these imaginations are reality and Alaska is home. The Claus family has been operating Ultima Thule Lodge for over three decades, offering visitors an unparalleled luxury wilderness experience in the heart of the Alaskan wilderness. But how did this all come about? Let’s take a quick peek into the history of the Claus family and Ultima Thule Lodge.
Ultima Thule traces its roots back to the 1960’s when John and Eleanor Claus took advantage of the Homestead Act to purchase a 5 acre tract of land tucked cozily between the towering cliffs of McColl Ridge and the banks of the Chitina River. Since that time, cabins have been built with native timber, the river has flooded, and children and grandchildren have been introduced to this land of promise and plenty.
The Claus Family
In the 1980’s, John and Eleanor’s son, Paul, took his new bride to his parent’s land and it was there that they saw the potential to create a unique and exclusive destination that would showcase the best of what wild Alaska had to offer. Paul and his wife Donna decided to put down roots and began building the lodge that today serves as the heart and soul of Ultima Thule. The construction and upkeep of Ultima Thule Lodge was and is no easy feat. The remote location of the lodge means that everything has to be flown in by bush plane, including building materials, equipment, supplies, and even you!
The Claus family worked tirelessly to clear the land, lay the foundations, and build the lodge which was designed to blend ancient and modern design, using sustainable materials and renewable energy sources. Their efforts resulted in a lodge that is in harmony with the environment, not just another development in the wilderness. After years of hard work, the lodge opened its doors to visitors and it quickly became a popular destination for those looking for a luxury wilderness experience in Alaska. Even now, some four decades later, guests to this remarkable property are still met and hosted by the multi-generational family that calls this land home.
Exploring Ice Caves
The Ultima Thule Experience
Imagine waking up and walking out to your cabin’s front porch to take in stunning views of the mighty Chitina River surrounded by majestic mountain peaks, while bison roam nearby and eagles soar overhead. As you look around your gracefully adorned cabin, you cannot help but imagine the time and effort that went into creating such a peaceful abode in the middle of nowhere. Miles away from the remotest hint of civilization, you have a true appreciation for the wilder side of Alaska and everything that an “off the grid” experience can mean to someone looking to truly escape from it all.
Only a handful of people at any one given time are lucky enough to get to experience the special touches that make Ultima Thule such a sought after destination. Whether you are enjoying a yoga session in the gathering yurt or letting your cares slip away in the wood fired sauna, you get the distinct impression that the experience is all yours to enjoy and relish.
Flying High In Bush Planes
The Lodge At Ultima Thule
While the cozy luxuriousness of Ultima Thule may whisper for you to stay, the expansive wilderness all around you beckons to be discovered. Consider going for a hike with your personal guide or even try your hand at mining for gold on the property! After, climb aboard one of Ultima Thule’s private bush planes and let Paul Claus, deemed the “King of Bush Pilots”, take you to some of Alaska’s most breathtaking destinations, including glaciers, mountains, and ice valleys. Fly over rolling tundra teeming with wildflowers and wildlife, soar over braided streams and land in one of the many jaw-dropping valleys carved by ancient rivers. The perspective from above affords unique and breathtaking views of a land that remains as primitive and undeveloped as almost anywhere in the world.
Hiking Across A Glacier
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to experience an unparalleled luxury travel destination in Alaska. Contact EXP Journeys today to arrange your next vacation at Ultima Thule Lodge and get ready for an adventure like no other!