An Alaskan Way of Life
You've read about people who pack up and move to a remote location to live a simple life in harmony with nature. In 1977, the Hack family purchased a lodge 50 miles northwest of Ketchikan and did just that. We invite you to step aboard your private DeHavilland Beaver and become an Alaskan for the day. Your float plane journey itself is a sublime immersion in the wild, pure frontier. Gaze at the shadow of your plane on the water below as you search for the telltale "V" of a whale, or bank gently to circle seals sunning themselves on a rocky outcropping. Your seasoned pilot will share fascinating stories and facts as you head towards the gorgeous Yes Bay Lodge. Two-way communication allows you to ask questions as he points out the geologic and nautical points of interest.
Your guide will greet the plane and begin your tour of the historical facility. Functioning as a fishing lodge and retreat, the Hack family's lodge has been welcoming guests since the 1970's. Examine photos dating back to the 1920's that show the cannery and hatchery that once stood on the site. As you meander through the inspiring building and its decks with commanding views of the bay, ask questions and learn how the land has been changed and restored over the course of the last century. When you have a good feel of the lodge, your next step will be to head outside and hike along the salmon-spawning river that makes Yes Bay a fisherman's paradise.
At the end of the day, when your plane touches gently down in sight of your cruise ship, you will truly understand the romance and hardships of the Alaskan way of life.
The Bush Plane: Alaska's Taxi
The DeHavilland Beaver is the most famous bush plane in the world. With its short takeoff and landing capabilities, it allows pilots to land in areas inaccessible to most other planes. Its large windows make it a flightseeing dream. Your trip to and from Yes Bay will take you over some of the most wild and breathtaking land on earth. Take off from the bustling Ketchikan waterfront and head north toward distant Yes Bay. Soar over true Alaskan homesteads, where families shape a living from the land. Learn about island retreats and historic buildings as your pilot narrates the captivating story of the land under your wings. Be amazed at the pure wilderness beneath you. When you touch down in the calm waters of Yes Bay and motor up to the impressive dock facilities, you will be eager to get out and explore — but already looking forward to the inspiring flight back.
The Lodge: Rustic Elegance with History
As you admire the tasteful, classic Alaskan décor of the Yes Bay Lodge, you might be amused to know that its original plans were to create a brothel and casino. Five eager entrepreneurs invested in the property and spared no expense in constructing the impressive building. However, with Alaska statehood in 1959 came the decree that gambling and prostitution were illegal, ending the lofty ambitions of the five investors. The Hack family happily purchased the gorgeous testament to Alaska's native timber in the late 1970s. Solid red cedar construction with open beams is complemented by the contrasting light color of local yellow cedar post and pier accents. Satisfy your curiosity about the lure of the Alaskan fishing lodge, while appreciating the results of three generations of attention to detail.
From the warmth of the lodge, step outside to investigate the rainforest. Wolverine Trail parallels a river thundering to the sea from distant McDonald Lake. Trek the impressive trail painstakingly carved under the rainforest canopy, a true work on wilderness art created by hand. Your experienced naturalist will describe the variety of plant life ranging from delicate goat's beard to astonishing giant Spruce. About a quarter mile in, the river makes an "S" curve, and you stand on a knoll overlooking the water directly in front of you, spilling over and around granite boulders mid-stream. A roaring fire awaits, with a fresh pot of coffee. Sit with your family… savor the moment, the extraordinary view. Perhaps your guide will capture the perfect image for your Christmas card.