Ultima Thule Lodge
Chitina, AK 99566, USA
Photo courtesy of Ultima Thule Lodge
Ultima Thule LodgeGuests at Ultima Thule can rest assured they’re in good hands: The lodge is run by the intrepid Claus family, particularly Paul Claus, the legendary bush pilot and adventurer who is known as much for his skilled glacier landings as his mountaineering exploits (he’s gone as far as Everest and as close to home as nearby Mount St. Elias). Hand-hewn logs from the original cabin built by Paul’s father, John Claus, still form a wing of the main lodge, though much has been added to create the world-class resort. There are now five private cabins outfitted with Craftsman furniture, plush featherbeds and bearskin rugs; a wood-fired sauna; and a large vegetable garden whose harvest—along with local game and fish—forms the foundation of many of the meals. But the real appeal here lies in the unscripted adventure excursions, some led by Paul himself in a two-seater Super Cub, which may take guests from exploring an abandoned gold mine one moment to viewing herds of Dall sheep roaming across vast Wrangell–St. Elias National Park the next.