I want to first thank the owners, Kathy, Lawrence and Deb for allowing us to get married on the observation deck at the Great Alaska Adventure Lodge. This was first set up to be a family vacation but we decided to tie the knot as well.
We flew into Anchorage and rented a car to drive out to the Lodge, so we could explore Anchorage before heading out. If you don't feel adventurous you can opt in for the shuttle that will pick you up and delivery you to the doorsteps of the Lodge.
Our first day we were taken out in the afternoon for a bit of catch and release. The lodge provides all equipment necessary, and will set you up with a license and a fish packing house.
Having fished for trout as a kid I was excited about reliving the fun. I was overwhelmed at the size of the trout we were catching, nothing like the stream trout in SoCal. We caught and released, trout, dolly varden, silver salmon and sockeye.
Day two and every day after that, we were awoke by our hosts with coffee in hand at 4am. I'm not much on early mornings but after the first day, no complaining from me. The chef had breakfast to order and a buffet to make our sack lunches to take out with us on what ever adventure we chose. Our guide the second day was Steve, who has been with the lodge for over 12 years. He is very knowledgeable and has done lots of research habits and areas that the various fish congregate. He instructed us on the handling of our tackle and how to best catch the eye of a big silver or at least how to piss them off enough to bite. We caught our limit in less than two hours after which we continued fishing on a catch and release basis. I was lucky enough to get a 20lb sockeye to bite on my hook and it was early enough in this salmons migration that we brought it home for dinner.
Every day after that (a total of 6 days fishing) we had a new guide taking us out. We fished spin casting with lures in a power boat and drift boat, back trolling in a power boat (have to say this was not my favorite way of fishing, I am more of a hands on fisher person).
Each night there was a hosted happy hour where you could share your days adventures and talk to your guide for the next day. Next was a sit down four course dinner that was delicious! The staff was incredible and made our stay comfortable and memorable. The fishing and adventure guides were knowledgeable of their sport and the history of the area.
The lodge does not do weddings, but they were kind enough to allow us to plan our celebration using their facilities. What's funny about getting married in Alaska is that ANYONE can marry you, all you need to do is submit their name and they become a justice of the peace for the day. We brought our champagne from Anchorage and ordered gourmet cupcakes from "The Cupcake Lady" sight unseen and without taste tests and were very pleasantly surprised at how yummy they were. The lodge accommodated our reception in their dining hall. Needless to say, being married overlooking the Kenai River, on a sunny August day in in Sterling, Alaska was better than anything my imagination could have dreamed up. Again, thanks to Kathy, Lawrence and Deb you guys will always be remembered for your kindness.
Would I recommend this place, OH HELL YES! At the end of our vacation we came home with over 145 lbs of salmon fillets. YUM!
We will be back, you can bet on it.
- Also Known As:
- Great Alaska Adventure Hotel Sterling
- Great Alaska Adventures Sterling