An isolated wilderness, Alaska is home to some of the world’s largest national parks and most pristine natural beauty. An Alaska adventure is perfect for enthusiasts of all ages willing to forge through its wild terrain.
Travel photographer Austin Mann recently explored the raw nature of Alaska capturing its beauty with his lens. Mann stayed at the remote Winterlake Lodge, accessible via floatplane, helicopter, or dogsled. He also visited its sister property, Tutka Bay Lodge, which is accessible primarily by boat.
Winterlake Lodge is open from June to October and from mid-January through April. Tutka Bay Lodge is open June through mid-September.
The New Frontier
Here, Austin shares his Alaska adventure in his own words.
The untamed landscape around Winterlake Lodge is rich with wildlife and outdoor activity. Perfect for an Alaska adventure. Guests can go fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, paddleboarding, canoeing, and hiking.
In the middle of the summer at Winterlake Lodge, you can board a helicopter to fly to the top of a glacier. You might catch a glimpse of the Iditarod dogsled teams training below as you fly overhead. Once you arrive at the top you can go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and even mush the dogs — a popular term meaning to ride and lead a dog sled — over the glacier. The lodge provides all of the equipment needed making the entire experience comfortable on this Alaskan adventure.
Tutka Bay Lodge
The beauty of Tutka Bay Lodge is its intimate atmosphere. With only six guest cabins, there’s a very high level of service and the itineraries are flexible. One rainy, cold evening during my stay we learned of some reported whale activity nearby. The lodge quickly organized a boat to take us to where the whales were last seen. Though the weather was damp and chilly outside, we were warm and cozy inside the boat throughout our whale-watching expedition. The staff provided everything needed to protect us from the elements from parkas to boots.
Katmai National Park
From Tutka Bay Lodge, you can go on a bear-viewing adventure to Katmai National Park. You will board a small plane to an undisclosed location before landing on a black beach. In fact, this location is so remote, the pilot hides the plane so no one flying overhead can see it. Your private guide will lead a hike around the peninsula to view the bears. Though we were sometimes no more than 30 feet away from a bear, we felt very safe in the hands of our knowledgable and experienced guide.
I snapped this portrait of a young coastal brown bear in Katmai National Park. He was very curious about us and moved slowly toward our small group. It was fascinating to observe our guides stand their ground and literally speak to him — almost like a pet dog. Soon enough the little fella turned around to go play with his friends instead.
The unique, vast beauty I experienced during my Alaska adventure was profoundly moving. There is nothing else like it in the world.
Pro Tip! Layer up for a busy day of hiking in the wilderness. The mornings are often chilly while afternoons are comfortable. — Catherine Brown, Luxury Travel Expert
Our Suggested Itinerary: Alaska Adventure: Wild Frontiers // 9 days, 8 nights through Anchorage, Iditarod Trail, Kachemak Bay State Park, and Girdwood
To book your Alaska adventure, contact a Ker & Downey destination specialist.