Ultima Thule Bush Flying
Denali and Alaskan Wilderness, Alaska, United States of America
At a Glance
Remote location 100 miles from the end of the nearest paved road and can only be accessed by biplane
Just five private cabins accommodating a maximum of 12 guests
Incredible wilderness experience in the heart of Wrangell St Elias, North America's largest National Park
Luxurious and comfortable accommodation combined with friendly service makes Ultima Thule a real home from home
Best visited between June and September
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Ultima Thule is open for wilderness adventures from May until October, with June to September being the best time to travel. June offers almost 24 hours of sunlight whilst September brings with it the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights, as well as spectacular fall colors visible in the daytime. All activities are available throughout the entire season and vary day to day dependent on weather conditions.
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Reachable only by air, Ultima Thule is a remote and luxurious lodge in the heart of Wrangell St. Elias National Park which provides access to some of Alaska's most spectacular wilderness and the largest area of protected land in the World.
Ultima Thule is a luxurious, family-run lodge which benefits from an enviable location in Alaska's Wrangell St. Elias National Park. Jaw-dropping mountains and crystalline glaciers surround this remote haven, where adventures are plentiful and every day is completely unique.
Days here are spent making the most of the spectacular surrounding scenery and the lodge's biplanes, which owner Paul has been flying since the age of 14. A high staff to guest ratio means that adventures can be completely customized and the experienced guides know the area and its changing weather so well that there is no need for advance planning. Excursions into the wilderness include flight safaris, kayaking, fishing, sledding on glaciers and tucking into picnics in isolated mountain hideaway spots.
A stay at Ultima Thule is an experience in itself and the lodge has been designed with comfort in mind. The family are welcoming, the atmosphere is warm and the lodge and its cabins are inviting, giving it a real home from home feel. Bearskin rugs, plush sofas and plump cushions adorn each cabin, inviting guests to sink in at the end of a day of explorations and share their adventures with fellow guests over a hearty and delicious dinner.
There are 5 individual cabins at Ultima Thule, some boasting two bedrooms, accommodating a maximum of 12 guests. Each of the luxurious cabins is handcrafted using fine local timbers and provides a welcoming and cosy retreat after days spent exploring the wilderness. Mattresses are plush and the attention to detail is apparent from the unique furnishings, stained glass windows and beautiful writing desks.
Children aged 6 and over are welcomed at Ultima Thule.
Facilities include a wood-fired sauna which offers the perfect place to unwind before retreating to your cosy cabins. The main lodge at Ultima Thule houses the dining room, an open kitchen and a comfortable communal sitting area with floor-to-ceiling windows boasting spectacular views to the surrounding wilderness.
Everyday at Ultima Thule is unique and adventures are plentiful! Guests can indulge in flying adventures through the impressive scenery, glacier exploration and hiking, salmon and trout fishing, wildlife viewing, rafting, photography, glamping, downhill sledding on glaciers, visits to historic gold rush sites and picnics in hard to reach places with spectacular mountain views.
Camilla Swift (Staff)
Arriving here by bush plane, you are greeted by the lovely Claus family, settled into your cosy and beautifully appointed cabin, and instantly feel at home. As soon as you get your head around the fact that everything here was flown in by light aircraft - from food supplies and wood-burning stoves, to chunky furniture, and even a tractor! - you start spotting different things that astound you when you think of the incredible effort taken to set up and keep this place running.
Cabins range from the 'honeymoon suite' (just a king bed, with high vaulted ceiling), to three bedrooms perfect for adventurous families. Food is homely, but of an exceptional standard, and served family style in the main lodge, where guests, pilots and the family gather each evening for drinks and appetizers before dinner.
Guests see the best of Alaska by staying at Ultima Thule, and I have to say a lot of lodging options would only disappoint after having experienced this, so I would recommend this as a final stop on an itinerary. It does however come at a price, and guests do have to be up for the idea of flying around and exploring this incredible wilderness in tiny bush planes - Super Cubs - because, however beautiful the lodge is, it really would be wasted to pass on the flight safari. This place is seriously special, but has to be seen to be believed.
A day at Ultima Thule
Ultima Thule's daily adventure tours have no itinerary. When you wake and make your way to the main lodge, the Claus family and pilots are already studying the skies. The family and their experienced wilderness guides will help you create the perfect day.
Flight Safari at Ultima Thule
Although Alaska contains the largest protected wilderness on earth, most adventurers never get past crowded Denali. A flight safari with Ultima Thule will open your eyes to true wilderness, landing in wild places hundreds of miles from any other person.
Wilderness Hiking at Ultima Thule
With the Ultima Thule pilots and guides, you can push beyond the edges of your map and tread ‘paths’ (although much of this national park has no trails), where no other traveler has trodden.
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
Incredible Wrangell St. Elias National Park is the size of Switzerland and the second largest national park in the world – Plenty of space for visitors to escape the crowds, go where nature leads them and enjoy the vastness!
Location & directions
Denali and Alaskan Wilderness, Alaska, United States of America
Ultima Thule is a 20-minute flight from the old mining town of McCarthy in the Wrangell St Elias National Park, one of the largest areas of Alaskan Wilderness, surrounded by spectacular mountains, glaciers and rivers.