Winterlake Lodge is located on the western edge of the Alaska Range, 198 trail miles northwest of Anchorage and 100 miles from the nearest road. Most of the land surrounding Winterlake is either state or federal protected land. With Wolverine Mountain rising directly behind, the Alaska Range to the north, and the Tordrillo Range to the south, the lodge is framed by mountains on almost all sides, and many of the activities offered to guests take place among these slopes and peaks. The finger-shaped lake on which Winterlake is perched is also an important component of the lodge experience: guests land here by floatplane and later explore by kayak and canoe or go fishing in its clear waters. Rivers and creeks split mountain valleys in every direction, offering plenty of opportunity for adventure.
Alaska’s historic Iditarod Trail runs along the property at Winterlake. Originally built as a means for transporting supplies and gold to and from pioneer settlements deep in the wilderness, the trail is now known for its annual dog sledding race, in which upwards of 100 mushers and their teams of huskies run about 1,100 miles through two mountain ranges. Guests at the lodge have the opportunity to learn about the colorful history of the trail and its role in the development of dogsledding in Alaska.
Covering more than 7,000 square miles in south-central Alaska, Denali National Park and Preserve is a vast wilderness of tundra, thick boreal forests, glaciers, and sky-scraping peaks, including the tallest mountain on the North American continent, Mount McKinley (also known as Denali), which tops off at 20,320 feet. The park was named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the 1970s and continuesto showcase a pristine and breathtaking display of Alaska’s natural treasures. The park is geographically close to Winterlake, but there are no roads that link the two areas. Travelers can access the park by plane or by road via the Alaska Highway 3, which links Anchorage to Fairbanks.
With mountaintop glaciers, forested canyons, and countless rivers where salmon and trout spawn, numerous ecosystems coexist here. Visitors often come for the large populations of brown bears, which flock to the rivers to fish, but many more species can be observed, including moose, bald eagles, beavers, otters, migrating birds, and wolves and caribou on the tundra.
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