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).
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.
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 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.
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