Wings Over Alaska, Bush Flying At It's Best

Wings Over Alaska, Bush Flying At It's Best



Settled by some of the hardiest of all frontier explorers, Alaska is a land of great extremes and immense and unspoiled beauty. This 5-day air safari is the best way to see it.

from $8,775 pp    5 Days/4 Nights     $1,755/Day

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Settled by some of the hardiest of all frontier explorers, Alaska is a land of such great extremes and immense and unspoiled beauty that it takes a very special kind of person to operate a world-class lodge and adventure-guiding company here. And in this case, it takes an entire clan of such exceptional people. 


Founders of the Ultima Thule Lodge, the Claus family, have a backyard composed of 13 million acres of the most remote wilderness on earth. Three generations have grown up here. This land is in their hearts and running in their blood. They know it, they love it, and they love to share it with adventurers of all stripes and nationalities.

select photos by Arturo Polo Ena

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Day 1

McCarthy, Alaska



As the light bush plane descends from the Alaskan sky you'll learn the first crucial rule for this journey: Bush planes and their intrepid pilots are absolutely crucial to this adventure.  Itineraries are rarely set, and even then, they're rarely adhered to.  You're completely at the whim of Mother Nature, but that's a good thing: you can rest assured your bush-pilot guides know best.  Alaska demands improvisation and rewards with serendipity.  Half the fun is in the journey!  Your pick-up spot?  A tiny settlement where you'll watch a buzzing dot in the sky become a shiny red De Havilland Otter aiming for a strip of gravel - likely the last gravel landing you'll see until your return.  You'll be welcomed on your first night at Ultima Thule with a hearty dinner, showcasing true Alaskan cuisine.  After your scrumptious dinner, a cozy cabin and a luxurious feather bed wait to greet you to your first night in the Alaskan wild.

The unique and timeless Lodge has adopted a style of "no roughing it" luxury that only enhances the already indescribable setting.  Yet the lodge is simply the basecamp in a place where adventure begin anew each morning.  Each day the weather is considered and safari flight adventures begin.  The light bush airplanes are specifically designed to access off the beaten path places while ensuring minimal impact to the natural world and a heightened level of personal experience.


Days 2, 3, 4, 5

Explore the Great Land of the Aleuts



After your tea, coffee, and breakfast has sufficiently woken you and they day's adventures have been decided you'll be led to the ultimate safari vehicle, a bush plane. Only a bush plane can give you a true bird's eye view of this majestic territory just before it takes you down for the up-close and personal experience, landing in otherwise inaccessible spots, with unspoiled nature at your feet.  With expert guidance on hand, you may find yourself ice-climbing, fly-fishing, or rafting glacial lakes and pools. 

You’ll have every opportunity to experience all aspects of this mesmerizing glacial landscape—from snowy expanses and icy blue pools to boulder-strewn moraines and deep caverns of age-old ice. One day, you might be on the Pacific Coast watching massive chunks of ice calve off gigantic glaciers and into the ocean. The next, you might learn about snow travel while on a sledding excursion. All activities will involve hiking, scenic overlooks, and spectacular lunch spots, with one night reserved for a nice candlelit dinner—on a glacier.

A fly-and-drop adventure is the best way to experience the sheer magnitude of Alaska, and what better way to round out this epic journey than with a vista-rich floatplane flight to stunning Turquoise Lake?  Amid hanging glaciers and the mountains reflected on the lake's surface awaits a pure wilderness camp.  Here, the tundra provides perfect cover for black bears, sheep, grizzlies, caribou, moose, birds of prey, and all manner of migratory fowl.





"Paul Claus is indeed the undisputed king of the bush pilots, that venerable and righteous crown, bestowed by general acclamation and bringing with it glory, hatred, money, jealousy, and occasionally a premature demise. It's why the world's badass buckaroos—software millionaires, Fortune 500 CEOs, famous lawyers and actors—are beating a path to this remote valley. Because they know that in a world that's been gridded and shrink-wrapped, Claus isn't simply selling his skills as a pilot; he's offering access to one of the last living incarnations of unalloyed American freedom. He's the lone cowboy, soaring in blue-eyed glory through God's own backyard, his iconic wings framed against high prairies of clean ice, going where no one else can or will.” 

— Daniel Coyle, “The First Law of Gravity,” Outside, August 1998



  • Beachcombing

  • Wilderness discovery and immersion

  • Year-round glacier sledding

  • Visits to historic Gold Rush–era sites

  • Wine and cheese on the icefield, in the middle of the world’s largest non-polar glacier

  • Comfort camping: you can choose to sleep in a cozy camp separate from the lodge

  • Skiing & snowboarding

  • Air-safari adventures

  • Glacier exploration and hiking

  • "Flight-seeing"

  • Hiking and trekking alpine tundra, glaciers, and boreal rainforests

  • Fly-fishing for salmon and trout

  • Wildlife-viewing, including bear

  • Birdwatching

  • River rafting

  • Photography

  • Education on wildlands protection and conservation




Wings Over Alaska

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