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200 Miles North West of Anchorage western edge of the Alaska Range, Skwentna, AK 99667
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About

#3 of 12 Specialty lodging in Skwentna
Location
5.0
Cleanliness
4.9
Service
5.0
Value
4.6
Winterlake Lodge is located 198 air miles North and West of Anchorage, along the historic Iditarod trail. Located next to Denali National Park and in the midst of the wildest landscape imaginable. Views of the Tremble and Hayes glacier, the Tordrillo Mountain Range and Denali are accessible right from the lodge. The Dixon family invites you to share their home in one of the most rugged, remote and dramatically beautiful places in the world. At Winterlake Lodge Lodge you will discover sophisticated luxury and amenities such as complimentary massage, yoga classes, helicopter adventures and award-winning cuisine in the heart of wilderness, Alaska. Come join us- Within the Wild!
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Hot tub
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room
Free breakfast
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Airport transportation
Business Center with Internet Access
Wifi
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Breakfast available
Shuttle bus service
Conference facilities
Banquet room
Meeting rooms
Spa
Non-smoking hotel
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Room service
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
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HOTEL CLASS
HOTEL STYLE
Romantic

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200 Miles North West of Anchorage western edge of the Alaska Range, Skwentna, AK 99667
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Anchorage Intl Airport89 miSee all flights
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KI-NRT wrote a review Jul 2021
Ashiya, Japan1604 contributions323 helpful votes
+1
Remote. Wild and untamed. Gorgeous mountains, valleys, lakes and glaciers. Fresh air. This is what we were looking for in our Alaska trip, but we also desired two additional aspects: comfort and a bespoke, private experience. This is what brought us to this property, and to say that Winterlake Lodge met our expectations would be a massive understatement. The Lodge is about a one-hour flight from Anchorage via a float plane (a great experience, definitely avail yourself to this transfer option!) It's nestled deep in the Southern end of the Tordrillo Mountains (Susistna Valley, to be more precise) on the shores of picturesque Finger Lake, accessible only by air, and many, many miles away from the nearest town. As the chartered floatplane flight (operated by Rust's Flying Service) lands on the lake and arrives at the dock, you're greeted by the lodge staff, along with the guide that is assigned to each group of guests. Our guide was Amory, and she was full of energy, enthusiasm and all smiles. We spent three nights at the lodge, which is the standard amount of time that most guests spend there. The standard itinerary consists of activities around the lodge (mainly hiking or kayaking on the lake) the day of arrival, followed by a half-day helicopter outing the following day - one such outing is included in the rate. The third day is somewhat open - you can opt for another helicopter-based adventure, which costs extra but is highly recommended since the majority of interesting activities require a flight to get there. Whether it's glacier trekking, mountain ridge hiking, dog mushing (sledding) at a glacier camp, rafting, fishing or numerous other excursions, you'll be a bit constrained in your options without the ability to fly. Three nights / 2 full days sounds about right, although we would've been perfectly happy staying there for 4 or 5 nights, if not for the fact that we had two other lodges to visit. The morning we arrived, we went on a short hike with our guide Amory before lunch. We did the Red Lake Trail / Iditarod Trail loop, which was about 90 minutes in duration. While the scenery was nice, and it was a great way to stretch our legs, the area was quite mosquito-infested and paled in comparison to other areas we visited during our excursions. In the afternoon, we went kayaking on Finger Lake - the water was calm with wonderful reflections of the trees and surrounding mountains, and we saw Ospreys, Bald Eagles, Loons and other birds during our time on the lake. For our first full day, we opted for a glacier trek for our first heli outing. We've visited glaciers before, most prominently the Athabasca Glacier in the Columbia Icefields of Jasper National Park. We loved Athabasca at the time, but the glacier trek at Winterlake takes it to a whole new level - there's no comparison. First of all, you are given crampons (spikes) to wear over your shoes so you really can really explore the inner bowels of the glacier. Secondly, there are NO OTHER people there. And the glacier is spectacular, with gorgeous blue pools, spooky crevasses and glacial waterfalls that appear to be frozen in time. By comparison, most other glacier experiences in more touristy spots restrict the area you get to walk around, and you're surrounded by hordes of visitors. It's still awesome, but having a glacier to yourself, with a guide to yourself, is really the ultimate form of luxury in our book. The following day, we had an all-day excursion - in the morning we started by visiting the dog camp, which is located on a different glacier than the previous day (there are many, many glaciers, by the way.) The lodge owner Carl Dixon accompanied us to the dog camp, and joined us in the dog sledding. The dog camp is semi-permanent during the Summer months, and needs to be on a glacier - otherwise, it wouldn't be a snow sledding experience. At the camp is a small tent that is set up to house a staff member; someone needs to be there at all times (even in the evening) to watch over and tend to the dogs. For those with concerns that the dogs might be mistreated or induced into harsh, forced labor, fear not. They were super excited to see us, and it was obvious that they were the ones urging us to get on with the mushing. Even after one long loop around the glacier, they couldn't seem to get enough of it. Carl turned to me and said, "looks like they're still eager to run; let's have another go at it!" Overall, it was a truly memorable experience, and something that very few places offer in the Summer. Not to mention, we were the only guests there at the time. In fact, Winterlake deliberately allows one group of guests to visit the camp at any given time, resulting in a very private activity. After the Dog Camp, the rest of the day was spent flying around with no real set itinerary. We simply explored the amazingly picturesque area by air, with the pilot (Tyler) landing wherever he felt it was a cool place to do so. We visited glaciers, mountain ridges (where we did some light trekking), trekked to two massive waterfalls, and a beautiful meadow to gawk at the amazingly beautiful wildflowers. The entire day was bespoke, spontaneous, otherworldly and adventure-laden. What about the lodge itself? In a word - wonderful. The rooms are comfortable, warm and clean, the common area is spacious and appropriately furnished and adorned, the grounds are manicured but not in a way that detracts from the amazing environment that it's a part of. We stayed in the Iditarod Cabin, which was reasonably spacious and was a charming place to pass the time between outings. We're a bit spoiled in our travels, and would have preferred a separate bedroom/living room, but that's really a first world problem. Besides, we spent most of our time in the common areas or out by the lake, and really only went back to our room to sleep at night. One thing to note: the property is generator-powered, meaning that hair dryers are not usable (a demerit in Mrs. KI-NRT's eyes), and internet is only accessible from the main lodge area. Also, the generator is shut off between (around) 11PM and 6:30AM, so make sure you time your showers accordingly. The food is as good as one can expect in such a remote location (everything has to be flown in - even the trash gets taken back to Anchorage.) Food wise, it's not super fancy, but rather a fresh, innovative take on healthy comfort food using local ingredients... just what we were looking for at a wilderness property. The staff were friendly and accommodating, and everything appeared to be operating like clockwork when we were there. Our guide Amory, as mentioned earlier, was knowledgeable, flexible in adjusting itineraries based on our interests, and seemed to have a permanent smile on her face. She was a real sweetheart, and really enriched our experience at Winterlake. Given the tailor-made experiences that Winterlake Lodge is able to offer, combined with comfortable accommodations, good food, wonderful hospitality and the gorgeous environment it's situated in, it's unquestionably one of the premier wilderness lodges in all of North America.
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Date of stay: July 2021
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Beth K wrote a review Aug 2020
18 contributions2 helpful votes
We had not known about or planned to go to Winterlake. However, our intended lodge was unable to open because of COVID. We took those days and divided between Winterlake and Tutka. Absolutely first rate in every respect--food, guide, helicopter, service, cabin, staff. We will go back.
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Date of stay: August 2020
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Pamela D wrote a review Mar 2020
Palmer, Alaska11 contributions
+1
This is an all inclusive adventure you will never forget! The Winterlake Lodge is conveniently located by Finger Lake, the 4th Checkpoint for the Iditarod! If you arrive during this time or not, you have the unique opportunity to learn dog-mushing. They have their very own dog team! It was an incredible experience! Go snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing or just visit with the dogs. My favorite was snowmachining for the fun and to photograph breathtaking scenery. Owners Carl and Kirsten have perfected the skills of being compassionate hosts and finding exceptional staff. The elegance and quality of their gourmet cuisine is unequaled. This 15-acre lodge is located 198 trail miles northwest of Anchorage - a sweet 50-minute flight into the wilderness. Although this was enough to entice me to vacation here, you definitely want to treat yourself to a wonderful massage, customized yoga classes and relaxation in the hot tube!
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Date of stay: March 2020Trip type: Traveled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Ty H wrote a review Aug 2019
Aberdeen, United States26 contributions41 helpful votes
We discovered Winterlake Lodge in a travel magazine. We had never visited the state so we decided on this location. Everything from booking, to the connections, to the Lodge via Rust's float planes went smoothly. We were greeted on the dock by the kind staff and lunch was waiting for us in the main lodge. The cabins are quite adequate for the remote location. Readers should know that all power is supplied by generator which is on from 6:30AM-11:30PM. The true hidden gem of this property is the culinary program. We had no idea until we arrived for our first dinner (served at one time with all other guests "family style" in the main lodge) what a special treat we were in for. You would struggle to find such talented and friendly chefs in many large cities. Two of our days were guided off-site excursions. Tom took us to the glacier and Eli, one of the managers, took us fishing. Both of these men are gems. Tom also took us hiking on our last day. We also participated in the yoga classes and each had massages. Finally, there are cooking classes which I guess are for the average skill level guest at the Lodge. However, since I was the only one to sign up on our last day Chef Mike arranged a special class for me. I really appreciate his kindness in doing this. Our only suggestions would be to place the activity sign in sheets out at a routine time. We would have participated in yoga on Sunday. However, there was no sheet so we assumed Summer was off for the day. We showed up for breakfast only to find her conducting the class. Next, we would recommend the staff not allow guests to play darts during happy hour. It was quite awkward as two other guests crowed the bar while throwing darts. This made trying to get up to the bar quite difficult during the short duration of happy hour. Moving the bar stools far away from the bar would also de-congest the area and facilitate guests enjoying happy hour. I would also suggest offering more cooking classes based on skill level and group size. These are talented chefs and I would have loved to spent time with them. There could even be a class that starts in the morning that ends in making lunch. Overall a wonderful experience that we will compare every other place in Alaska to. We are excited to visit the sister Lodge in Homer next. Finally, our Helicopter pilot Martin was a very safe and outstanding pilot.
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Date of stay: July 2019
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Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Room Tip: the cabin in front of the lake is the best.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
2 Helpful votes
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frisbee wrote a review Apr 2019
3 contributions9 helpful votes
Rode 150 miles by snowmachine from Willow to get here, during the iditarod race to spectate. I was promptly told that I was not welcome there. Refused to sell me food. The owners are incredibly rude to locals and snowmachiners. They threw a fit when I parked OFF the trail on the lake near the lodge. They also threw a fit when I moved it ON to the trail. Tried to kick me off a public lake that they don't even own. I understand this is a high end "lodge" but there is no price to excuse the level of rudeness displayed by the owners.
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Date of stay: March 2019Trip type: Traveled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
6 Helpful votes
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Response from withinthewild, Owner at Winterlake Lodge
Responded Apr 8, 2019
Dear Frisbe111 - You were not a guest at our lodge. You do not have the ability to review our services. As you know, your first email regarding this experience has been deleted by TripAdvisor. We are answering you because we know by taking the time to post yet again, how strongly you must feel about your experience on the trail. Winterlake Lodge is a private full-service lodge, not a for-public roadhouse, unfortunately. There has never been any indication on our part that we are able to offer any public services. We are confused why you might assume we could offer you public service. The Iditarod is an exciting time and once the trail is put in by the hard-working iditarod trail breaking crew, we understand it is interesting to travel along it. But, for us, we do not have the resources to offer public meals, lodging or sell gas. As you can guess, we fly all our food into our lodge by airplane and it is carefully planned. We care deeply about our cuisine and our food is fresh prepared, mostly organic, and takes time and consideration to prepare. You can imagine at our remote location, the difficulty this would make for us in terms of logistics. We know that Rainy Pass Lodge, 35 miles to the west of us and Shell Lake Lodge, 20 miles to the east of us and Skwentna Roadhouse further on, offer fantastic public service (and delicious burgers) so we were confident that you would not starve or die. We support these businesses and don't wish to compete with them. We have helped many travelers in need over our 40 years of living in the back country. We have never refused help to those in serious need. We have saved the life of a man in an airplane crash and a man who was suffering from hypothermia on our lake. We housed 35 stranded tourists one year for four days and fed them because weather was too bad for their air taxis to fly in. We certainly respect the spirit of the Iditarod. The reason why the person you interacted with may have been concerned about where you parked was for 1. Safety for the mushers and dogs. If snow machines or spectators are too close, it poses hazards for the mushers. 2. Air traffic - there was an incidence some years ago when a person walking along was struck by a landing aircraft. So, safety is certainly a concern during this big event. Of course, camping on the trail makes travel difficult for others. We wish you might have called us ahead of your travel so we could discuss with you who we are and what we do. We may have been able to work out some custom options for your visit. We have dedicated our entire lives to our guests and to our hospitality. The fact of the matter was you weren't a guest at our lodge. You expected services we didn't offer and made assumptions about what we could provide for you. We, the owners, did not meet you personally nor speak with you. You engaged with an Iditarod volunteer who was looking out for the best interest of the race. Please call us and speak personally if you wish to clarify your experience. 907-351-5496 Regards, Kirsten and Carl Dixon
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WROC wrote a review Apr 2018
Surfers Paradise, Australia59 contributions5 helpful votes
You read reviews and you say to yourself how can it be possible that a place is so perfect. Winterlake is one of these rare places. The package just works - great accommodation - only six cabins all stunning, the culinary delights and the activities - as little or as much as you like. I think what makes this place so special is the staff. You can have all the physical trappings you like but unless you feel welcome and you get the feeling that they actually care about the individual little else matters. This is where Winterlake excels. We travelled from Australia - five nights at Winterlake - this is a big call. From the very moment we landed on frozen Finger Lake and greeted by Carl, Eli and Jay we instantly felt at home. Being towed to reception behind a snowmobile with the dogs running beside us easily beats a bellboy opening a glass door in a City Hotel. McKenzie, Tony and Ellis were there to welcome us and were there everyday to ensure our comfort and wellbeing and helping with the planning of our daily activities. All the winter activities are available at no additional cost including dog sledding - amazing, snowmobiling - such fun, tobogganing - managed to crash !!! snowshoeing - hard work in deep snow and cross country skiing - didn’t participate worried about falling. The activities team were there to encourage us - teach us - and keep as safe - no easy task when all of this was new to us. The meals are amazing. The skill level had you believing you were eating in some up market restaurant in the City. Suddenly you realise you are some 150 miles north of Anchorage and everything is flown in. To Geoffrey and Eve simply thank you. Yes Eve we are now enjoying flat bread at home thanks to your cooking class. I think it is very clear from other reviews that this place is unique and has been recognised by National Geographic as one of their “Unique Lodges” of the World - and rightly so. We travel extensively and this place is so special that you want to keep it as your secret location but although very tempting it would be unfair not to share the sheer joy of our stay at Winterlake. I’m not one to write reviews and to motivate me to write my third review in some ten years of travel is amazing in itself. To the whole team keep up the good work and I can only offer encouragement to continue to provide a remarkable guest experience in a world that is constantly changing.
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Date of stay: March 2018
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Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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E B wrote a review Oct 2017
Naples, Florida8 contributions7 helpful votes
Recently returned from 4N at the WInterlake Lodge and wish we stayed longer! The property itself is beautiful, but the staff and their customer service puts it over the top! You must reach Winterlake Lodge by float (or ski) plane...so it is a very exciting experience just to get there! We had two AMAZING helicopter days where we went glacier trekking and salmon fishing (well, it was more like salmon catching :) Our guides were spectacular. They were extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and wanted us to have a good experience. They would always go out of their way to make sure that we truly enjoyed our time and activities. The food at the lodge was also exceptional, and I particularly enjoyed the daily cooking classes. I honestly can't say enough good things about Winterlake Lodge...just go!
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Date of stay: September 2017
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Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Balmirals100 wrote a review Aug 2017
Singapore, Singapore58 contributions94 helpful votes
When we stayed there, we got to do a wide range of activities ranging from helicopter assisted activities to other stuff on site. We saw a Caribou 30 feet away at the end as well as a brown bear, 2 black bear and 3 moose. We also went rafting which was amazing, where we saw 8 or 10 doll sheep and 2 bald eagles. In addition, the food was exquisite and the fly fishing on site was very enjoyable.
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Date of stay: August 2017Trip type: Traveled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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dkassoy wrote a review Aug 2017
Los Angeles, California1 contribution
My husband and I have been to many lodges around the world. This is the friendliest, with the most beautiful views and incredible caring staff and knowledgeable guides. The food is gourmet and the log cabins are cozy and authentic. It's expensive but worth every penny. Don't miss the helicopter ride. We took it up a glacier and hiked with our private guide. Every party has its own guide and can choose to go fishing, kayaking, animal watching (we saw the largest moose near the lodge's lake when we were kayaking.) The wildflowers were gorgeous. We plan to try their other lodge next year.
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Date of stay: August 2017
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Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Karyn C wrote a review Feb 2017
Bloomsbury, New Jersey23 contributions15 helpful votes
This place is the best! A wonderful lodge on the banks of Finger Lake in Alaska, nestled in the foothills of the Alaska Range. The folks are the most friendly and warm people in the planet and the food was simply to die for! In the middle of winter and off the grid - the place was toasty and luxurious. I cannot recommend t his lodge highly enough!
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Date of stay: January 2017Trip type: Traveled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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ALSO KNOWN AS
winterlake hotel anchorage
LOCATION
United StatesAlaskaSkwentna
NUMBER OF ROOMS
12
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Frequently Asked Questions about Winterlake Lodge
What are some of the property amenities at Winterlake Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and an on-site restaurant.
What food & drink options are available at Winterlake Lodge?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Winterlake Lodge?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Winterlake Lodge?
Yes, guests have access to a fitness center during their stay.
Does Winterlake Lodge have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Winterlake Lodge offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Winterlake Lodge have airport transportation?
Yes, Winterlake Lodge offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Winterlake Lodge offer any business services?
Yes, it conveniently offers a business center, meeting rooms, and a banquet room.
Is Winterlake Lodge accessible?
Yes, it offers reduced mobility rooms. For specific inquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.