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200 Miles North West of Anchorage western edge of the Alaska Range, Skwentna, AK 99667
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#3 of 11 Speciality lodging in Skwentna
Winterlake Lodge is located 198 air miles North and West of Anchorage, along the historic Iditarod trail. Located next to Denali National Park and in the midst of the wildest landscape imaginable. Views of the Tremble and Hayes glacier, the Tordrillo Mountain Range and Denali are accessible right from the lodge. The Dixon family invites you to share their home in one of the most rugged, remote and dramatically beautiful places in the world. At Winterlake Lodge Lodge you will discover sophisticated luxury and amenities such as complimentary massage, yoga classes, helicopter adventures and award-winning cuisine in the heart of wilderness, Alaska. Come join us- Within the Wild!
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Hot bath
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
Free breakfast
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Airport transportation
Business Centre with Internet Access
Bar / lounge
Breakfast available
Shuttle bus service
Conference facilities
Banquet room
Meeting rooms
Non-smoking hotel
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Room features
Room service
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
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200 Miles North West of Anchorage western edge of the Alaska Range, Skwentna, AK 99667
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KI-NRT wrote a review Jul. 2021
San Jose, California1369 contributions267 helpful votes
Remote. Wild and untamed. Gorgeous mountains, valleys, lakes and glaciers. Fresh air. This is what we were looking for in our Alaska trip, but we also desired two additional aspects: comfort and a bespoke, private experience. This is what brought us to this property, and to say that Winterlake Lodge met our expectations would be a massive understatement. The Lodge is about a one-hour flight from Anchorage via a float plane (a great experience, definitely avail yourself to this transfer option!) It's nestled deep in the Southern end of the Tordrillo Mountains (Susistna Valley, to be more precise) on the shores of picturesque Finger Lake, accessible only by air, and many, many miles away from the nearest town. As the chartered floatplane flight (operated by Rust's Flying Service) lands on the lake and arrives at the dock, you're greeted by the lodge staff, along with the guide that is assigned to each group of guests. Our guide was Amory, and she was full of energy, enthusiasm and all smiles. We spent three nights at the lodge, which is the standard amount of time that most guests spend there. The standard itinerary consists of activities around the lodge (mainly hiking or kayaking on the lake) the day of arrival, followed by a half-day helicopter outing the following day - one such outing is included in the rate. The third day is somewhat open - you can opt for another helicopter-based adventure, which costs extra but is highly recommended since the majority of interesting activities require a flight to get there. Whether it's glacier trekking, mountain ridge hiking, dog mushing (sledding) at a glacier camp, rafting, fishing or numerous other excursions, you'll be a bit constrained in your options without the ability to fly. Three nights / 2 full days sounds about right, although we would've been perfectly happy staying there for 4 or 5 nights, if not for the fact that we had two other lodges to visit. The morning we arrived, we went on a short hike with our guide Amory before lunch. We did the Red Lake Trail / Iditarod Trail loop, which was about 90 minutes in duration. While the scenery was nice, and it was a great way to stretch our legs, the area was quite mosquito-infested and paled in comparison to other areas we visited during our excursions. In the afternoon, we went kayaking on Finger Lake - the water was calm with wonderful reflections of the trees and surrounding mountains, and we saw Ospreys, Bald Eagles, Loons and other birds during our time on the lake. For our first full day, we opted for a glacier trek for our first heli outing. We've visited glaciers before, most prominently the Athabasca Glacier in the Columbia Icefields of Jasper National Park. We loved Athabasca at the time, but the glacier trek at Winterlake takes it to a whole new level - there's no comparison. First of all, you are given crampons (spikes) to wear over your shoes so you really can really explore the inner bowels of the glacier. Secondly, there are NO OTHER people there. And the glacier is spectacular, with gorgeous blue pools, spooky crevasses and glacial waterfalls that appear to be frozen in time. By comparison, most other glacier experiences in more touristy spots restrict the area you get to walk around, and you're surrounded by hordes of visitors. It's still awesome, but having a glacier to yourself, with a guide to yourself, is really the ultimate form of luxury in our book. The following day, we had an all-day excursion - in the morning we started by visiting the dog camp, which is located on a different glacier than the previous day (there are many, many glaciers, by the way.) The lodge owner Carl Dixon accompanied us to the dog camp, and joined us in the dog sledding. The dog camp is semi-permanent during the Summer months, and needs to be on a glacier - otherwise, it wouldn't be a snow sledding experience. At the camp is a small tent that is set up to house a staff member; someone needs to be there at all times (even in the evening) to watch over and tend to the dogs. For those with concerns that the dogs might be mistreated or induced into harsh, forced labor, fear not. They were super excited to see us, and it was obvious that they were the ones urging us to get on with the mushing. Even after one long loop around the glacier, they couldn't seem to get enough of it. Carl turned to me and said, "looks like they're still eager to run; let's have another go at it!" Overall, it was a truly memorable experience, and something that very few places offer in the Summer. Not to mention, we were the only guests there at the time. In fact, Winterlake deliberately allows one group of guests to visit the camp at any given time, resulting in a very private activity. After the Dog Camp, the rest of the day was spent flying around with no real set itinerary. We simply explored the amazingly picturesque area by air, with the pilot (Tyler) landing wherever he felt it was a cool place to do so. We visited glaciers, mountain ridges (where we did some light trekking), trekked to two massive waterfalls, and a beautiful meadow to gawk at the amazingly beautiful wildflowers. The entire day was bespoke, spontaneous, otherworldly and adventure-laden. What about the lodge itself? In a word - wonderful. The rooms are comfortable, warm and clean, the common area is spacious and appropriately furnished and adorned, the grounds are manicured but not in a way that detracts from the amazing environment that it's a part of. We stayed in the Iditarod Cabin, which was reasonably spacious and was a charming place to pass the time between outings. We're a bit spoiled in our travels, and would have preferred a separate bedroom/living room, but that's really a first world problem. Besides, we spent most of our time in the common areas or out by the lake, and really only went back to our room to sleep at night. One thing to note: the property is generator-powered, meaning that hair dryers are not usable (a demerit in Mrs. KI-NRT's eyes), and internet is only accessible from the main lodge area. Also, the generator is shut off between (around) 11PM and 6:30AM, so make sure you time your showers accordingly. The food is as good as one can expect in such a remote location (everything has to be flown in - even the trash gets taken back to Anchorage.) Food wise, it's not super fancy, but rather a fresh, innovative take on healthy comfort food using local ingredients... just what we were looking for at a wilderness property. The staff were friendly and accommodating, and everything appeared to be operating like clockwork when we were there. Our guide Amory, as mentioned earlier, was knowledgeable, flexible in adjusting itineraries based on our interests, and seemed to have a permanent smile on her face. She was a real sweetheart, and really enriched our experience at Winterlake. Given the tailor-made experiences that Winterlake Lodge is able to offer, combined with comfortable accommodations, good food, wonderful hospitality and the gorgeous environment it's situated in, it's unquestionably one of the premier wilderness lodges in all of North America.
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Date of stay: July 2021
1 Helpful vote
Beth K wrote a review Aug. 2020
11 contributions2 helpful votes
We had not known about or planned to go to Winterlake. However, our intended lodge was unable to open because of COVID. We took those days and divided between Winterlake and Tutka. Absolutely first rate in every respect--food, guide, helicopter, service, cabin, staff. We will go back.
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Date of stay: August 2020
Sleep Quality
Pamela D wrote a review Mar. 2020
Palmer, Alaska11 contributions
This is an all inclusive adventure you will never forget! The Winterlake Lodge is conveniently located by Finger Lake, the 4th Checkpoint for the Iditarod! If you arrive during this time or not, you have the unique opportunity to learn dog-mushing. They have their very own dog team! It was an incredible experience! Go snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing or just visit with the dogs. My favorite was snowmachining for the fun and to photograph breathtaking scenery. Owners Carl and Kirsten have perfected the skills of being compassionate hosts and finding exceptional staff. The elegance and quality of their gourmet cuisine is unequaled. This 15-acre lodge is located 198 trail miles northwest of Anchorage - a sweet 50-minute flight into the wilderness. Although this was enough to entice me to vacation here, you definitely want to treat yourself to a wonderful massage, customized yoga classes and relaxation in the hot tube!
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Date of stay: March 2020Trip type: Travelled with friends
Ty H wrote a review Aug. 2019
Aberdeen, United States26 contributions41 helpful votes
We discovered Winterlake Lodge in a travel magazine. We had never visited the state so we decided on this location. Everything from booking, to the connections, to the Lodge via Rust's float planes went smoothly. We were greeted on the dock by the kind staff and lunch was waiting for us in the main lodge. The cabins are quite adequate for the remote location. Readers should know that all power is supplied by generator which is on from 6:30AM-11:30PM. The true hidden gem of this property is the culinary program. We had no idea until we arrived for our first dinner (served at one time with all other guests "family style" in the main lodge) what a special treat we were in for. You would struggle to find such talented and friendly chefs in many large cities. Two of our days were guided off-site excursions. Tom took us to the glacier and Eli, one of the managers, took us fishing. Both of these men are gems. Tom also took us hiking on our last day. We also participated in the yoga classes and each had massages. Finally, there are cooking classes which I guess are for the average skill level guest at the Lodge. However, since I was the only one to sign up on our last day Chef Mike arranged a special class for me. I really appreciate his kindness in doing this. Our only suggestions would be to place the activity sign in sheets out at a routine time. We would have participated in yoga on Sunday. However, there was no sheet so we assumed Summer was off for the day. We showed up for breakfast only to find her conducting the class. Next, we would recommend the staff not allow guests to play darts during happy hour. It was quite awkward as two other guests crowed the bar while throwing darts. This made trying to get up to the bar quite difficult during the short duration of happy hour. Moving the bar stools far away from the bar would also de-congest the area and facilitate guests enjoying happy hour. I would also suggest offering more cooking classes based on skill level and group size. These are talented chefs and I would have loved to spent time with them. There could even be a class that starts in the morning that ends in making lunch. Overall a wonderful experience that we will compare every other place in Alaska to. We are excited to visit the sister Lodge in Homer next. Finally, our Helicopter pilot Martin was a very safe and outstanding pilot.
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Date of stay: July 2019
Sleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: the cabin in front of the lake is the best.
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2 Helpful votes
frisbee wrote a review Apr. 2019
3 contributions9 helpful votes
Rode 150 miles by snowmachine from Willow to get here, during the iditarod race to spectate. I was promptly told that I was not welcome there. Refused to sell me food. The owners are incredibly rude to locals and snowmachiners. They threw a fit when I parked OFF the trail on the lake near the lodge. They also threw a fit when I moved it ON to the trail. Tried to kick me off a public lake that they don't even own. I understand this is a high end "lodge" but there is no price to excuse the level of rudeness displayed by the owners.
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Date of stay: March 2019Trip type: Travelled with friends
6 Helpful votes
Response from withinthewild, Owner at Winterlake Lodge
Responded Apr. 8, 2019
Dear Frisbe111 - You were not a guest at our lodge. You do not have the ability to review our services. As you know, your first email regarding this experience has been deleted by TripAdvisor. We are answering you because we know by taking the time to post yet again, how strongly you must feel about your experience on the trail. Winterlake Lodge is a private full-service lodge, not a for-public roadhouse, unfortunately. There has never been any indication on our part that we are able to offer any public services. We are confused why you might assume we could offer you public service. The Iditarod is an exciting time and once the trail is put in by the hard-working iditarod trail breaking crew, we understand it is interesting to travel along it. But, for us, we do not have the resources to offer public meals, lodging or sell gas. As you can guess, we fly all our food into our lodge by airplane and it is carefully planned. We care deeply about our cuisine and our food is fresh prepared, mostly organic, and takes time and consideration to prepare. You can imagine at our remote location, the difficulty this would make for us in terms of logistics. We know that Rainy Pass Lodge, 35 miles to the west of us and Shell Lake Lodge, 20 miles to the east of us and Skwentna Roadhouse further on, offer fantastic public service (and delicious burgers) so we were confident that you would not starve or die. We support these businesses and don't wish to compete with them. We have helped many travelers in need over our 40 years of living in the back country. We have never refused help to those in serious need. We have saved the life of a man in an airplane crash and a man who was suffering from hypothermia on our lake. We housed 35 stranded tourists one year for four days and fed them because weather was too bad for their air taxis to fly in. We certainly respect the spirit of the Iditarod. The reason why the person you interacted with may have been concerned about where you parked was for 1. Safety for the mushers and dogs. If snow machines or spectators are too close, it poses hazards for the mushers. 2. Air traffic - there was an incidence some years ago when a person walking along was struck by a landing aircraft. So, safety is certainly a concern during this big event. Of course, camping on the trail makes travel difficult for others. We wish you might have called us ahead of your travel so we could discuss with you who we are and what we do. We may have been able to work out some custom options for your visit. We have dedicated our entire lives to our guests and to our hospitality. The fact of the matter was you weren't a guest at our lodge. You expected services we didn't offer and made assumptions about what we could provide for you. We, the owners, did not meet you personally nor speak with you. You engaged with an Iditarod volunteer who was looking out for the best interest of the race. Please call us and speak personally if you wish to clarify your experience. 907-351-5496 Regards, Kirsten and Carl Dixon
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United StatesAlaskaSkwentna
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Frequently Asked Questions about Winterlake Lodge
What are some of the property amenities at Winterlake Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and an on-site restaurant.
What food & drink options are available at Winterlake Lodge?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Winterlake Lodge?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Winterlake Lodge?
Yes, guests have access to a fitness centre during their stay.
Does Winterlake Lodge have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Winterlake Lodge offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Winterlake Lodge have airport transportation?
Yes, Winterlake Lodge offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Winterlake Lodge offer any business services?
Yes, it conveniently offers a business centre, meeting rooms, and a banquet room.
Is Winterlake Lodge accessible?
Yes, it offers reduced mobility rooms. For specific enquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.