Where in the world is Ultima Thule?

Travel to Ultima Thule typically involves a couple of stops, a few extra hours of travel, and also some of the most jaw-dropping Alaskan beauty along the way. Some say that they enjoy the extra time it affords because it allows them to disconnect and gradually settle into the moment. However, sorting through transfer logistics can be a big job.  Distances in Alaska are great and travel means are limited. Anchorage is over 400 miles due west of the Ultima Thule. The Lodge sits 100 miles from closest paved and maintained road system and is nearest to the town site of McCarthy, an isolated, once abandoned, historic copper mining town within the boundary of the National Park about 50 air miles from the lodge. The reward: True Wilderness.

McCarthy & Kennecott

Visit and Explore this National Historic Landmark

Established in 1903, Kennecott Mining Corporation operated 5 mines in the area. Kennecott quickly became a bustling community filled with thousands of miners and their families. Like many endeavors of its day, the boom was short-lived and by 1938, Kennecott was a ghost town. Today, the National Park Service is actively working to preserve and restore the rich history of the area. Contact us for recommendations on overnighting and extending your visit.

Getting here

A typical journey to Ultima Thule includes traveling from your home to Anchorage, Alaska. From Anchorage to McCarthy, and then McCarthy to Ultima Thule. Travel directions to Ultima Thule are easiest with using Anchorage as the starting point. Anchorage (ANC) is a major hub for Domestic and International flights and offers good options for overnighting if necessary.

Once you are in Anchorage, you will need to travel to McCarthy, where our planes will meet you. McCarthy Airstrip is reachable by plane or car.

Flying to McCarthy: We are happy to facilitate seats on shared charter flights between Anchorage and McCarthy at corresponding times to our arrival and depart schedule. Flight time to McCarthy from Anchorage is 1– 2.5 hours depending on the type of aircraft. Shared and private flight charters are available, set departure times apply.

Driving to McCarthy: Total driving time from Anchorage to the McCarthy Airstrip is about 7 hours. From Anchorage to Chitina, where the paved road ends, expect 4.5 hours driving time. Then, from Chitina, a 60-mile gravel road takes you into the National Park and to the village of McCarthy at the road's end where you will find the McCarthy Airstrip.  The drive from Chitina to the McCarthy Airstrip will take you an additional 2–2.5 hours. 

Drive and Fly to McCarthy: If you would like to drive but are not looking forward to 60 miles of gravel road, Wrangell Mountain Air offers regularly scheduled air service from Chitina to McCarthy. Book a seat on one of these flights and you can leave rental cars at the Chitina Airstrip. Wrangell Mountain Air will deliver you to the McCarthy Airstrip where you will meet our pilots for flights to Ultima Thule.

Other Travel Options: Private jets can be accommodated at local runways and airports, please inquire. Transfers from other locations in Alaska are available - Fairbanks, Homer, Seward, Denali, etc. Suggested routing from Juneau is via Anchorage due to weather restrictions along the coast. 

Ultima Thule is not responsible for any delays regardless of the reason.


Ultima Thule Transfer Flights


From McCarthy, flight transfers to Ultima Thule are included in your stay.   McCarthy is a tiny, end-of-the-road village with limited services and flight time is about 25 minutes to the lodge. For the adventurous traveler, we can suggest local options for grabbing a bite to eat or extending your stay in McCarthy. 

Arrival transfer: 4:00 pm McCarthy to Ultima Thule

Departure transfer: 3:30pm arrival back at McCarthy Airstrip

On arrival, our pilots will meet you at the McCarthy Airstrip and take you on the first flight of your stay en route to the Lodge. Charter flights are arranged to depart Anchorage in time for guests to make this 4:00 pm flight. Most charters will depart Anchorage between 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm. Keep in mind these flights may be subject to weather delays and you should allow a couple of hours of extra time on either end of the flight before additional travel begins.


Planning your trip


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!

Because everything arrives onboard one of our small aircraft, we ask that you travel light when you come to visit us. A 35-pound weight limit will apply to each person. We have a detailed packing list that you will receive after you confirm your reservation.

 If you have a question, don't hesitate to get in touch!

(907) 854-4500