Winterlake Lodge: Plan Your Stay

Located in South-Central Alaskan Wilderness, United States

How to Get There

By Air

The only way to reach Winterlake Lodge is by floatplane or ski plane (in winter) from Anchorage or Talkeetna. Flights are run by Rust’s Flying Service, a local family-run business that has worked with the Dixons for more than 30 years. Occasionally, guests may choose to use the lodge’s Robinson R44 helicopter to travel to the lodge (in summer).

What to Expect

Winterlake is in the remote wilderness, with no neighbors or nearby towns. The lodge can only be accessed via floatplane or helicopter during the summer season, and by ski plane during the winter season; all supplies are ferried in this way as well. The lodge runs on a generator from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wi-Fi is available to guests in the main lodge, but there is no cell phone service.

All lodge guides are certified wilderness first responders, and Winterlake Lodge serves as a first responder station for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, with an emergency transport arrangement with a medical center in Anchorage. Safety is taken seriously at the lodge, and guests will be advised on how to act in case of wildlife encounters, as well as given training for activities and adventure sports they may undertake.

Weather and Seasons

This close to the Alaska Range, the weather can be unpredictable, and bright sunshine can turn to wind and rain—and even a snow flurry—at any moment. During the summer, daytime temperatures range from the 60s to 70s Fahrenheit while temperatures can drop to near freezing at higher altitudes and at night. Summer is also the season of the midnight sun, with daylight lasting nearly 24 hours. Winter is spectacular but extremely cold, with highs in the 20s and lows sometimes falling to -40˚F.

What to Bring

Suggested Packing List

What you pack will depend entirely on what you plan to do and whether you’re visiting in the summer or the winter. We’ve provided a suggested list for each season below. Please note that flights to our lodge require soft-sided luggage (preferably duffel bags) weighing no more than 50 lbs. The lodge provides day packs, water bottles, and first aid supplies for hiking excursions; and a waterproof gear bag, a sleeping bag, and a thermarest mat for overnight river trips.

  • Sturdy, broken-in hiking shoes or cross-trainers
  • Sunglasses, sunhat, or cap
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Bathing suit
  • Personal toiletry items, mosquito repellent, and any over-the-counter or prescription medications that are needed
  • Comfortable clothing (lots of layers and/or garments made with polypropylene)
  • Long pants
  • Sneakers or camp shoes for walking around the lodge and camp
  • Lightweight jacket
  • Lightweight raingear (pants and hooded jacket)
  • Warm socks
  • Slippers
  • Lightweight gloves
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Camera with spare memory cards and batteries
  • Binoculars
  • Waders or hip boots and fishing gear (if you prefer to use your own gear)

Winter

  • Winter coat (such as a windbreaker shell with hood)
  • Pile jacket
  • Winter clothing, including long underwear, turtlenecks, sweaters or fleeces, and wool socks
  • Scarf or neck warmer and/or face mask
  • Snow pants or bibs
  • Ski goggles
  • Warm gloves and/or mittens and hat
  • Winter boots, preferably fleece-lined
  • Warm indoor shoes for the lodge and cabin
  • Hand and toe heat packs

Other ways to visit this lodge

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