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“Extraordinary!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Ultima Thule Lodge

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Ultima Thule Lodge
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Colorado
Level Contributor
110 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Extraordinary!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2013

My wife and I have been blessed to travel widely and experience a multitude of adventures around the globe, but this place is truly exceptional. From the indescribable vastness of the landscape to the comforting "I'm home" feeling of the lodge and the Claus family and their staff, this place is an absolute must-do experience. Whether your after an authentic Alaskan wilderness experience or specifically focused on serious skiing or mountaineering or hunting, Ultima Thule offers it all in spades.

We stayed 10 days at Ultima Thule in September 2013, about 1/3 our time at the lodge and private cabin, and 2/3 our time in spike camps backpacking in various parts of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Paul and Donna run a first-class outfit, use top-of-the-line gear, feed you with fabulous food and provide an absolutely unforgettable bush-flying experience in the Super Cubs. My wife is not fond of flying, but she was absolutely comfortable with both Paul and Lonnie in our myriad Super Cub flights...and that speaks volumes.

The wildlife in this place is abundant. From Dall sheep, moose, and grizzly bears to wolves, bison and mountain goats, every day was an adventure in wildllife viewing. The fall colors in the tundra were breathtaking, and the plethora of flowers around the lodge a spectacular experience.

I particularly enjoyed the wood-fired sauna and bath-house. It was a noteworthy luxury in a most unexpected setting. The cabins are comfortable, warm and surprisingly well-appointed in this extremely remote place. And the food--well, let's just say this is the only extended backpacking trip on which I've ever gained weight. My hat goes off to Granny--she's a baker-extraordinaire!

The Claus family makes you feel like one of their own, and this is an experience you don't want to miss.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Steve D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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37 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2013

We have taken many adventure trips over the years. We put Ultima Thule at the top of our list. It was recommended by a well-traveled friend of ours who has lived in Alaska for many years. He said it was the most unique destination in Alaska. He was right!

Ultima Thule is home to three generations of the Claus family. The lodge reflects their respect and connection to the wilderness on which they homesteaded decades ago. Obviously, a lot of thought went into building the main lodge and guest cabins. All the buildings are well designed and charming. Our cabin was very comfortable, light, roomy, and had a beautiful view. The Claus women are avid gardeners and the grounds are brimming with English style gardens. They built a greenhouse for their kitchen garden. The food is fresh and top notch. And oh those baked goodies!

The Claus' and their crew are all bush pilots. The park has different micro-climates, so every morning we discussed the best excursion options. We were interested in seeing the wildlife and exploring the diversity of the wilderness. The pilots know every nook and cranny of the park. Every day our adventure was breathtaking and distinct.

The Claus' set the tone, which is warm, welcoming, and relaxed. We thoroughly enjoyed hearing about their lives and experiences in the wilderness. The lodge caters to a variety of interests --- skiers, hikers, mountaineers, fishermen, hunters, and people who just want an outdoor Alaska adventure (us).

We stayed four nights and wished we had reserved eight. Although I use TripAdvisor regularly, I have never written a review. I feel compelled to share such an outstanding and unique experience.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kathleen V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2013

Went up for my 30th birthday with my wife for a few days. This is a must do experience / place. The Cluas family are amazing hosts, the lodge and food is wonderful. The wilderness is spectacular. I can't recommend this highly enough and can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank lessin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirkland, Washington
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 2, 2013

I second what the assorted recent reviewers have said about Ultima Thule after having spend a short 3-night stay there. The setting is beyond amazing, photos cannot do it justice (one of the other guests called it a "sensory experience" and he was correct), the Super Cubs are WAY too much fun (the pilots can put you in places you cannot believe), and in a place with no other signs of human habitation for many miles, you get a comfy king bed with plush linens, bath with excellent amenities (and a private bungalow) and yummy food made right before your eyes. This is a place in true, pristine wilderness and you get to see it very personally - by plane and by foot (and ski/snowboard). Thank you Ellie, Paul, Lonnie, Donna, Steve, Ben, Piper, and the rest of the UT clan (including the pups!) - you guys are the best!

For anyone who wants an individual adventure trip - not a "theme park adventure", but a true wild, untouched wilderness adventure - check out Ultima Thule. You'll thank me for the recommendation!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank LB8001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UltimaThuleLodge, Manager at Ultima Thule Lodge, responded to this review, July 12, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts here! We really appreciate your kind words and want you to know that we enjoyed having you here just as much as you enjoyed your visit! Even though it was short, it was delightful and we're looking forward to seeing you again soon! There's so much more blue glacier water for you to enjoy.... : )
With thanks,
-Your friends in the Thules

PS. We're really sorry for disturbing your nap with the cabin remodel noise next door! That was really unfortunate timing on our end!!! Thank you for being so understanding!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mendham, New Jersey, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2013

My husband and I have just returned from Ultima Thule where we spent 8 days. This is a true Wilderness experience and the setting, the untamed Wrangell-St Elias region, is unlike any other we have seen. The cabins are luxurious and spacious; we had a very comfortable king bed, a separate well appointed living room and a bathroom with shower. There was also a small room with a bunk bed, so a family of four could comfortably be accommodated. There is a detached Alaskan Sauna which is ready in which to relax at the end of each days' adventure !
The food is excellent; a delicious and hearty breakfast each morning and an outstanding home cooked meal ( Dall sheep, Moose and Salmon on the menu) in the evening, complete with beer and wine. We were provided with a superb picnic lunch each day. All the staff are phenomenal, and the attention to detail unsurpassed.
The flight seeing experiences with Paul Claus (the owner) and his crew are the essence of a stay at the lodge. The fleet of airplanes allow access to every part of the area which is as wild as it is extreme. Landing on glaciers, in river valleys, on the beach and high tundra is an everyday experience for these competent pilots. Paul, an Alaskan born and bred, has many wilderness stories and historic anecdotes which he shares regularly with guests.
For anyone seeking the adventure of a lifetime in one of the most remote, untouched wilderness areas of the world, together with first class accommodation, we can highly recommend Ultima Thule.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Anne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
61 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2013

I recently returned from a ski mountaineering adventure in the Wrangells w/ Wild Alpine. We were fortunate to stay at the Ultima Thule Lodge and become part of the family that so graciously shares their experiences with their guests.

The setting is pristine and like no other that i've seen anywhere. The cabins are cozy/quaint and super clean. Really luxurious, especially considering the setting. Outstanding, home-cooked meals w/ wine/beer each evening. We had a great fireside chat and marshmallow roasting session w/ Logan, their charming 17yo (going on 25yo!) daughter.

Getting a chance to fly w/ Paul and his crew is like none other. They have a fleet of planes and have access to the wilderness that is unparalled elsewhere.

I can really go on and on... I hate to rave too much b/c I'd love to have the place all to myself. Simply spectacular!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank mtnras
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2013

We just spent a week at Ultima Thule Lodge. We have been to many wilderness lodges and this one is the tops. The setting is spectacular, surrounded by mountains. Planes fly you out in the morning to different terrain everyday into the most untouched wilderness mountains in the world. The lodge itself is first class. We had a two room cabin for two of us, the rooms were spacious and deluxe. The staff is phenomenal, they care so much about the area and the guests. They anticipate every need. Paul, the owner, has so many great wilderness stories, it is worth going just for the dinner time banter. The food was fantastic. I cant reccomend UTL high enough for those who want a real adventure in the remote wilderness with the luxuries of a first class lodge.

We went in March for backcountry skiing. It was amazing. We had sunshine every day. We went to a different mountain each day to explore. It was the pinnacle of my ski career. A completely mind blowing experience.

Room Tip: There are only 10 rooms and they all looked great to me.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank tod f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ultima Thule Lodge

Property: Ultima Thule Lodge
Address: 100 miles upriver from Chitina, Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve, AK 99501
Location: United States > Alaska > Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
"Alaska's most authentic and adventure centric wilderness lodge."Located in the midst of 13.2 Million Acres of the wildest landscape imaginable. The Claus family invites you to share their home in one of the most rugged, remote and hauntingly beautiful corners of the world.At Ultima Thule Lodge you will discover an outpost of civilized luxury to crown your experience in the heart of the largest National Park in North America. Come live the dream and discover the hidden beauty of Alaska! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ultima Thule Lodge Alaska/Wrangell-St Elias National Park And Preserve

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