Winterlake Lodge

Winterlake Lodge sits at the entrance to the Alaska Range, just on the edge of an ancient valley. The Iditarod Trail runs through the property, through the woods, down to the frog pond and on to Nome. The main lodge at Winterlake is the heart of the lodge. Join fellow guests here for meals, entertainment, ping pong championships, guitar singalongs, or just reading a good book by the fire. You can also find wi-fi here if you need to check-in. Winterlake Lodge sits nestled along the edge of the Alaska Range. Surrounded by forest to the north and facing a quiet and lovely lake to the south, Winterlake offers the opportunity to explore the dramatic mountain life that dominates us to the west. Utilizing our on-site helicopter, hike along vast and endless ridges, raft a stunning river or fly-fish for rainbow trout or wild salmon. Enjoy our rustic luxury ambiance on the edge of nowhere. Six guest cabins (a total of 10 bedrooms).

Winterlake Lodge is opened June 1 to September 30 for the summer season and January 20 to April 30 for the winter season fun.

You’ll be greeted by a carefully trained staff, and the extremely personal service continues throughout your stay. Within the Wild’s Carl and Kirsten Dixon have a reputation for employing some of Alaska’s best staffers, each of whom have their own specialty to share, whether about flowers, photography, or how to cast a fly-rod. Winterlake Lodge has just unique five units with private bathrooms—huge, hand-crafted log cabins that feature handmade furniture and thick carpets. Relax inside, or sit outside and soak in the fields of rare chocolate lilies against the alpine view of Trimble Glacier and the shimmering lake.

3-Night Sample Itinerary

Day 1: You will be met at the airport or hotel for a complimentary private transfer service to nearby Lake Hood, the world’s largest floatplane base. Depart Anchorage at 9:00 a.m. (Departure time is customizable) for a scenic float-plane flight to Winterlake Lodge. You will land at Winterlake, the location of an Iditarod sled dog race checkpoint. Winterlake is situated approximately one hour by air northwest of Anchorage. There are opportunities to see Mount McKinley en route. Check in to your cabin and join lodge managers at the main Lodge for a brief orientation to the activities and facilities at the lodge, meet the staff, and then plan your days with your guides.

(If you prefer quietude and seclusion, meals may be served in your guest room and lodge staff can be requested to offer minimal interaction).

Options include:

Hike the Iditarod Trail

Canoe or kayak around Winterlake

Extended hike to Red Lake

Fish for arctic grayling

Take a hot tub

Join in a wellness class

Cooking class in the kitchen

Luncheon is served at 1:00 p.m. in the main room.

After lunch, take a tour of neighboring waters via helicopter and possibly some fishing in a neighboring stream. At the lodge, join us for a stretch class, dog-lot tour, garden tour, or leisurely walk along the Iditarod Trail. In the late afternoon, we offer a cooking class in the kitchen, wine tasting in the main lodge bar area, and dinner at 7:00 p.m.

After dinner, there is an evening education program on Alaska in the wellness room or fly-casting lessons on the lake.


Day 2: Breakfast is served at 8:00 a.m.

After breakfast, meet your helicopter pilot and guide for a day-long adventure outing via our Robinson R-44 helicopter.

One option; fly to a majestic glacier – or float down our nearby trophy rainbow trout river for the day. Enjoy fly-fishing, wildlife viewing and hiking. In the afternoon, you may like lunch on the river or back at the lodge – your choice.

End your day of adventure with a nice soak in the hot tub and a dip in the lake!


Day 3: Take advantage of our beautiful wellness room for a morning stretch with views of the surrounding Alaska Range.

Breakfast is served at 8:00 a.m.

Today, go on a leisurely hike to the saddle of Wolverine Ridge or, if you are up for an adventure, trek all the way to the summit for stunning views of Denali, the Tremble and Hayes glaciers and the entire valley.

Enjoy a gourmet lunch at the lodge served at 1:00 p.m. – homemade snacks are available at all times.

Dinner is served in the main lodge at 7:00 p.m. with activities available before and after dinner.

After dinner, perhaps enjoy an evening bonfire on the edge of the lake.


Day 4: After breakfast, return to Anchorage via a private floatplane arriving at 9:00 a.m. We will provide transportation to your Anchorage hotel or airport.

River Rafting by Helicopter

Carl’s lifelong love of rivers and rafting is never more evident when you travel down our scrappy Class IV river with him at the oars. Every turn of the river offers a new view and a new opportunity to see a part of the hidden Alaska backcountry. There is an opportunity to stop and pick wildflowers or wild berries, fish, or have a hot lunch along the clear, cold river.

Natural History

Winterlake Lodge offers seclusion and spectacular scenery. Views of the Trimble Glacier and Hayes Glacier, along with a view of the entrance to Rainy Pass, are visible from the lake. Behind the lodge, Wolverine Ridge offers intriguing hiking and wildlife viewing. This area has a turn of the century gold-rush history.


Winterlake Lodge is situated on a lovely lake (hence our name) that is the summertime home to nesting loons, Trumpeter swans, and lovely views of neighboring mountains. Paddle around and listen to the silence.



At Winterlake Lodge, we use helicopter support to explore small streams surrounding the lodge to fish for all five species of salmon, rainbow trout, and Arctic grayling. Packages can be designed to try your luck for one day or fish every day of your Winterlake stay.


Glacier Trekking

To the south of the lodge lie the Tordrillo Mountains. This rarely visited segment of the Alaska Range is the location of two accessible glaciers – the Trimble and the Hayes. The mountains surrounding the glaciers and the lodge, born of volcanic activity as recent as a 1992 eruption of Mt. Spurr, provide the backdrop for our glacier explorations.

Depart Winterlake Lodge with your guide via helicopter and after a 10- minute scenic flight up the Hayes Valley, we land on the glacier itself! Dwarfed by the peaks and awed by the alien surroundings, we begin our trek. Depending on your interest, we can take a brief 30-minute walk to explore the crevasses, moulons, icefalls, snowfields, and other glacial features. The glacier here is nearly flat affording easy walking.

Fat Tire Biking
We fat tire bike down the rugged Iditarod Trail or we sling-load the bikes to Wolverine Ridge behind the lodge for some fantastic views. Guests can ride bikes on the snow during the winter or hit trails along the alpine peaks or through the tundra in summer. Some trails, like the Iditarod Trail, can be accessed near the lodge. Guests can also seek out more remote trails, such as the Denali Lookout loop, and get a lift on the lodge’s helicopter to the trail head, where they’ll find their bikes waiting.

Bike adventures allow guests to travel through more of the remote areas around the lodge at a faster pace — and in the winter, they’ll enjoy the sensation of floating on the snow. Excursions can last anywhere from one to four hours.


Take a quick helicopter flight to visit our beloved sled dog family and spin around our ancient-icefield trail on your own dog sled for a mushing experience with an outrageous view.


At Winterlake Lodge, we fly into the neighboring 1,000-acre Alaska Range playground where we hike and explore ridgelines and blueberry fields, caribou country, and ancient glaciers. Pick up some glacier ice for cocktails back at the lodge. We hike along the famous Iditarod Trail looking for wild flora along the way.

From Winterlake Lodge, guests enjoy hiking with their guide to the top of Wolverine Peak, elevation 3,900 feet. Helicopter packages are available to explore into the Alaska Range and surrounding glaciers.

The Iditarod Loop is approximately 1 1/2 hours of easy walking. On this section of the famous National Historic Iditarod Trail, we discover and identify local flora, examine animal tracks, investigate an historic turn-of-the-century cabin site, and more. Commonly seen wildlife include Black bears, moose, beaver, loons, Trumpeter swans, otters, and our famous little wood frogs. The hike leads to the lovely and peaceful Red Lake and a canoe for those wishing to explore further.

With a maximum altitude gain of three thousand feet, the Wolverine Ridge hike offers a variety of panoramic views of the surrounding valleys. Our trail crosses an active beaver pond, traverses a wildflower meadow, travels through a cottonwood forest, and gradually gains altitude. Edible berries and unique alpine flowers line the way. Frequently seen wildlife include black bears, moose, and occasionally wolves. Once on the summit, we can see to the north the rest of the Alaska Range Mountains including Denali, at 20,310 feet and Mt. Foraker, Russell and the Kichatna Spires! Looking south we can see the Hayes Glacier and valley and the wide Skwentna/Yentna valleys.

Winter Fun

We invite your to visit our Winterlake Lodge in the wintertime! Open from mid-November through April, the lodge is located at mile 198 along the historic Iditarod Trail.

Winter is a favorite season at Winterlake Lodge. We offer sled dog tours and instructions on driving your own team, cross country ski excursions, snowshoe expeditions and exploratory trips through Rainy Pass. Comfortable log cabins and a cozy main lodge offer the perfect setting for a romantic weekend. We partner with a helicopter ski company to offer heli-ski adventures in the Tordrillo Mountains during March and April. We are an official checkpoint for the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.

Winterlake Lodge is airplane accessible only. We fly in small "bush" floatplanes from Anchorage or the village of Talkeetna.