Some good friends invited us along for an over-night trip to Aialik Bay on their fishing boat, as they were going to deliver some large water tanks out to the Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge. Now doing an overnight trip with good friends sounded like a great time, but it even got better! We were actually able to stay in our own cabin at the Kenai Glacier Lodge on the shores of Pedersen Lagoon, and were joined for dinner and breakfast by Kirk Hoessle who not only owns this remote lodge, but is the owner of Alaska Wildland Adventures, a company that has been offering unique Alaska travel packages for many years now.
First a bit of history. Years ago before I had a blog I would write an occasional piece for my website. Back then I wrote one about my favorite place where I selected Pedersen Lagoon / glacier area as my favorite place. Today, it is definitely still one of my favorite places.
So I must admit I was concerned when we were contacted by a developer looking to buy images of the area for a financing proposal to develop a lodge on a piece of private in-holdings within the National Park – the wrong development could really ruin the area. That deal came and went until finally Alaska Wildland Adventures came along and leased the land. This was good news as Alaska Wildland is an Alaska based (Girdwood) travel company with other lodges in the state and a reputation of doing things right – if it had to be developed, they were an excellent choice. They ended up building Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge a few years ago and I was eager to finally see in person how it turned out.
So how did they do? Frankly, they couldn’t have done a better job! I have always been pleased that you couldn’t see any sign of the lodge from Aialik Bay, but even from within Pedersen Lagoon the shoreline cabins are barely noticeable. The cabins have “peak a boo views” through the trees as they sit just back from the shoreline. This not only hides the buildings, but has maintained the historic paths used by the local bear population, and I think almost enhances the view as you feel like you are part of the forest looking out at the lagoon and glacier. They made every effort in keeping every tree possible, they even went to great lengths to protect the mossy ground cover by using special mats to move the limited equipment around the site for foundations. Really they couldn’t have done a better job!
The wonderful development is exceeded by the actual operation. Wonderful food, very friendly staff and nice, clean cabins and lodge. They offer a wide variety of activities including canoeing, hiking and kayaking. Like most nice remote lodges in Alaska that have to get by with a 100 day season, it isn’t cheap, but when you consider the price includes boat rides meals and activities, I think it is a good value. To stay in such comfort in such an amazing remote location looking at the amazing scenery and wildlife is an opportunity that I definitely highly recommend!