I've lived in Alaska for almost 40 years and spent the first 20 of them traveling in the "bush". Bettles is exceptional in providing a very pampered experience in a very remote location.
Hazel and Jaime run a tight ship that is all about guest comfort. If you want to experience the "real" Alaska it does not get more comfortable than this. The facility in the Old Lodge is on it's last legs but if you want ambience you can still stay there (on occasion). We opted for the newer Aurora Lodge which for many will be as rustic as they want to get. It's also more authentic since most places in Alaska now look like this not the old lodge. It's basic, shared baths which were always impeccably clean (we're in the building maintenance business), basic but good food (with a staff always willing to adjust and accommodate requests). The Arctic gear saves you hundreds in special equipment purchase and the lights....well...unless you live for weeks/months/years in the Far North this is as good as it gets.
Weather is highly variable and light displays are not on demand but if your going to place a bet on seeing them your best one is Bettles. Our three nights had three very different displays, good, better and best but the staff are on it and if there are lights you'll know about them and get several options for viewing.
Many will be content to walk out the Lodge door and see them. A walk of a hundred feet or two onto the runway improves them and a different perspective is out to take the 3 mile trip to the viewing cabin which,on the night we decided to go there, was the best display of our stay.
Wright Air Service and the staff at Bettles Lodge really are the best in my (considerable) experience. This is not a place for whiners. Its brutal weather in a remote location where the staff will make you as comfortable as possible but it's still a remote location in an extreme climate. If you're idea of "wilderness" is a hotel without room-service don't go. If you want an authentic Alaska experience with generous and hospitable staff the best place in North America to see Northern Lights is Bettles Lodge.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We offer food, aircraft fuel, and lodging 365 days a year. We still harbor wayward pilots just like when we opened in 1951 as a Wien Alaska Airlines Lodge. We offer world class Aurora viewing (235 nights a year possible here/weather dependent) during the Fall and Winter season, National Park Collecting & Flight seeing, fishing charters, and camping / hiking drop off and pick up in the Gates of the Arctic & Kobuk Valley National Park flights with our full service Air Taxi operation based in Bettles. We have officially the best weather in Alaska, here at Bettles Field. Come see the REAL, Arctic, Bush, Alaska! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Bettles Hotel Bettles