The Planes

Although Alaska contains the largest protected wilderness on earth, most adventurers never get past overcrowded Denali or at best McCarthy. The Wrangell Mountains are notoriously dangerous and difficult to navigate on foot, even in summer. The Chitina is a braided river, a network of intertwined currents and sandbars miles across. In most places, hikers can’t ford it on foot.

It was love of this wilderness that led John Claus to the cockipt in 1959. In the 1980’s John’s son Paul Claus pioneered the art of landing bush planes with tundra tires on ice glaciers. Airstrip? Who needs it?

Now Paul and John have been joined by a third generation of Claus family pilots – raised in the cockpits like their dad.

The Planes of Ultima Thule

These planes are the physical expression of the Claus family’s love of wilderness. For all of time most of this wilderness was unexplored. Now, with the Claus family’s celebrated gift for landing gently in the wild, you can actually interact – actually touch a part of this vast wilderness.

These planes, and this remarkable family of pilots, are the heart of Ultima Thule. There is no added or hourly charter cost for flying – it’s part of the experience. There is really no other way to see this land.


Your pilot starts the propellor and the engine roars to life. The moment you climb into this zippy 2-seater you can feel it: Alpha wants to be in the sky. “It is the closest thing,” Paul says, “to a pair of wings that you strap on.”

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Tango, the yellow Super Cub, has traveled across the northern world from Alaska to Siberia, and appeared in a Charlton Heston film. It’s brilliant at landing on mountaintops.

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Bravo Kilo "BK"

Welcome BK! - The newest member of the estemed fleet of Ultima Thule Super Cubs.

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The Otter

One of the world’s premiere bush planes, the Otter will take you and your group across the sky in comfort.

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The 185

Cherry red and chromium steel, the Cessna 185 is undeniably sporty. But this little plane is more than just a pretty face.

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