Winterlake Lodge is located 198 trail miles northwest of Anchorage along Alaska’s historic Iditarod Trail. The lodge sits on 15 acres, overlooking a finger-shaped two-mile lake where guests land by floatplane in the summer and ski plane in the winter. Behind the lodge, Wolverine Mountain offers intriguing hiking, helicopter-assisted trekking and wildlife viewing. Winterlake is home to many species of Alaska birds, wildflowers and berries that are difficult to see in other locales. Named one of the world’s “100 Great Adventures” by Men’s Journal Magazine and one of the “25 Best American Lodges” by Travel + Leisure Magazine, this remote Alaska lodge is also the starting point for neighboring adventures like floating the Happy River, fishing the Canyon Creek area and exploring the Upper Skwentna River and scenic Red Creek.
Winterlake Lodge is part of a series of three lodges including Redoubt Bay Lodge and Tutka Bay Lodge. Redoubt Bay Lodge, located at the entrance to Lake Clark Pass, is a small, rustic lodge that sits on a small hill. It overlooks Big River Lakes, a chain of lakes that teems with fish, bears and other wildlife, and whose waters lead to the Big River and on to Cook Inlet. Tutka Bay Lodge sits at the head of a splendidly rugged seven-mile fjord at the southern end of Kachemak Bay. The Tutka Bay area offers rugged coastlines, deep fjords, dramatic mountains, quiet beaches, old-growth Sitka spruce forests and amazing tidal fluctuations.
Winterlake Lodge Review
AdventureSmith Explorations’ Winterlake Lodge review includes a detailed description and photo gallery. Our adventure travel experts can help compare Winterlake Lodge with other wilderness lodging and Alaska land tours.
Choose the Winterlake Lodge for an immersive, remote experience only accessible by floatplane. Winterlake Lodge’s rustic ambiance, spread across six unique guest cabins, dovetails with classy wellness amenities including a hot tub, sauna and complimentary massage.
Kayaks and boats are available to explore the lake, or take to the water to swim. Tour the garden, or partake in the wellness program that features complimentary massage and yoga classes, daily cooking classes, cheese tastings and more. A hot tub on the deck showcases the view of the Tordrillo Mountains in the summer and the northern lights in the winter. A game area with ping-pong and darts offers indoor fun.
Winterlake Lodge operates a Robinson R-44 helicopter at the lodge during the summer months to allow access to the dramatic Alaska Range. At the high-mountain glacier camp, home to Winterlake’s team of sled dogs and a variety of on-snow activities, guests enjoy mushing and snowshoeing across the glacier in the long summer daylight.
Winterlake Lodge earns its place as an eco-lodge because owners Carl and Kirsten Dixon took an Alaskan leap in the early 1990s: They ceased all hunting operations at the lodge and focused instead on sustainable adventure and creating an Alaskan experience that praises animals instead of prizing them. Because of this change, wildlife like bears, wolves, moose and so many more have returned to the area, making Winterlake Lodge a prime destination for celebrating nature, wildlife and sustainability.
Winterlake Lodge Accommodations
The lodge offers five guest cabins, nestled along a mile-long lake that is home to nesting loons and swans. The Main Lodge, where guests socialize and take meals, sits near the middle of the property. There is a comfortable main room for relaxing by the fire and viewing the lake from its large picture windows, a dining area and large kitchen for the preparation of award-winning Alaskan regional cuisine. There are many diversions from the daily routine in the main lodge–cooking classes in the kitchen, games to play, an Alaskana library and stacks of stationery and postcards to write home.
This cabin sits at the far east end of the property and is connected to the main lodge by a rolling path. It is the old homestead site of Mr. Gene Leonard, who will be featured in lectures. The log construction is representative of most old Alaskan bush homes, and much of the furniture is handmade in the Alaska style. Imagine what life was like as a trapper here in the far north at the turn of the century. The cabin has a queen bed located in a separate bedroom, a simple private bath, additional sleeping for two people in single beds and a large spacious living room. Sit on the porch and watch eagles fly by–or the helicopter landing nearby for the start and end of mountain adventures. The cabin operates on its own generator, gladly managed by the guide.
The Red Lake Trail Cabin
This original log cabin sits near the lodge on the west side of the property. The cabin accommodates seven people in three separate bedrooms, each with a queen bed, two with additional single beds. There is a simple private bath and a small living room in this cabin with a lovely (particularly at sunset) view of the lake.
The Iditarod Cabin
The lodge managers cut dead standing trees, peeled the logs and built the cabin on site together when their daughters were young girls. Large picture windows look over the lake and the small deck is the place to be at sunrise. The cabin offers a queen bed and one twin in a loft area. This cabin offers a roomy private bath.
The Mountain Pass Cabin
This cabin is situated closest to the main lodge. It offers a log queen bed, roomy private bath, comfy open-style living room and a rocker on the deck.
The Happy River Cabin
Why name a cabin after a river? It’s one of the lodge managers’ favorite places to visit from the lodge. This cabin offers a nice lake view, artisan log bed and open-style living room area, and roomy private bath. This cabin sits next to the hiking trail to go see the swans on Red Lake.
The Fireweed Cabin
With spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountains, this is a two-bedroom, two-bath cabin with a living room adjoining the two rooms. Sleeps two-to-four with either two queen beds or one queen and two twin beds.