Sorting through transfer logistics between destinations in Alaska can be a big job. Distances are great and travel means are limited. But this is the reward : True Wilderness.
Ultima Thule Lodge sits 100 miles from the literal end of the paved and maintained road system.
Anchorage is over 350 miles due west of the lodge and McCarthy is an isolated, once abandoned, historic copper mining town within the boundy of the National Park about 50 airmiles from the lodge.
Anchorage (ANC) is the major hub for Domestic and International flights and offers good options for overnighting if necessary.
Transfer to and from Ultima Thule is provided from McCarthy. This is a tiny, end of the road village with limited services. However, for the adventurous traveler we can also suggest local options for overnighting or extending your stay.
McCarthy is reachable by charter plane or car.
FLYING: Flight time from Anchorage is 1 – 2.5 hours depending on type of aircraft. Shared and private flight charters are available, set departure times apply. We work with the best charter companies in our area and can arrange these bookings for our guests directly.
DRIVING: Expect 4.5 hours driving time from Anchorage to Chitina where the paved road ends. From Chitina a 60 mile gravel road takes you into the National Park to the village of McCarthy at the road's end. You can self-drive the additional 2 – 2.5 hours from Chitina to the airstrip near McCarthy where you meet the Ultima Thule transfer plane. OR with prior confirmation you can leave your rental car at Chitina and catch an Ultima Thule shuttle van down the historic dirt road to McCarthy.
Extra time in McCarthy – McCarthy and Kennecott are historic mining villages from the Alaskan Gold Rush Era which offer a range of accommodations and activity options. Some of our guests choose to add a night or additional hours in McCarthy to either end of their Ultima Thule adventure. Wrangell Mountain Air offers a regularly scheduled air service from Chitina to McCarthy daily. Whether you choose to spend extra time in McCarthy or not, you can avoid the gravel road from Chitina by booking a seat on one of these flights. You can leave rental cars at the Chitina Airstrip and meet your flight to Ultima Thule at the McCarthy Runway at 4:00pm on arrival day.
Transfer from McCarthy to Ultima Thule for all packages is 4:00pm.
Charter flights are arranged to depart Anchorage in time for guest to make this 4:00pm flight. Most charters will depart Anchorage about 2:00pm - 3:00pm. Keep in mind these flights may be subject to weather delays and you should allow a couple hours of extra time on either end of the flight before additional travel begins.
Departure times from Ultima Thule to transfer locations are:
Standard Packages - 3:00pm on departure day - Charter departs McCarthy at 3:30pm
Extended Stays/Custom packages - 10:00am on departure day - Charter departs McCarthy at 10:30am
Flight time between McCarthy and Ultima Thule - 25 mins
Alaska is our passion- we have been to all corners of the state and can give you great tips on other locations or take you there ourselves. Please let us know if we can help you out with your plans! Check out our Beyond Thule pages to learn more.
Because everything arrives onboard one of our small aircraft, we ask that you travel light when you come visit us. We have a detailed clothing list that you will recieve after you confirm your reservation.
If you have a question, don't hesitate to get in touch!