Taku Glacier Lodge Hop aboard a seaplane, soar over five glaciers and visit this historic lodge

The Proper Function

Taku Very Much 

Climb aboard this Proper Function in a classic deHaviland seaplane to reach the historic Taku Glacier Lodge. Not only is this function include soaring over five breathtaking glaciers, but a savory feast of Fresh Wild Alaskan King Salmon awaits you. By the way, all drinks will be chilled with taku glacier ice!

This rustic hunting and fishing lodge was constructed in 1923 and used as a base camp for many expeditions. The Taku Glacier Lodge was cared for by a woman named Mary Joyce, who is truly inspirational and well ahead of her time! Mary was romantically involved with the owners son, who in 1934 passed away from a heart attack while on a hunting trip. Because Mary deeply loved the lodge and Taku area so much, it was gifted to her. Later, she would convert the lodge into a tourist resort which was called the ‘Twin Glacier Resort’.

During this time, Mary was also training and raising first-class sled dogs. These dog’s were far from ordinary and became known as the “Taku River Huskies”, which were and highly sought after in Alaska and Canada. She continued to operate the Taku Glacier Lodge until 1942 when she finally sold it and moved to Juneau. Maintaining her entrepreneur spirit, she opened two bars, one of which is still open and called the “Lucky Lady”, which she lived above until her death in 1976.

“To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is the most wonderful countries in the world”

– John Muir

Juneau This Trip Is Special When…

The adventure begins when you touch ground at the Juneau International Airport. As you arrive to the waterfront by car, you can see why water based aviation has thrived here since the 1920’s. Wings Airways is the premiere floatplane business in Juneau and the one I recommend to reach the beautiful Taku Glacier Lodge. Each seaplane is setup so that each passenger has a window seat as you soar over five amazing glaciers to reach the historic lodge.

As your seaplane drops into the Taku river and glides up to the dock, you will be greeted by the people who reside there during the operational months. While you aren’t able to stay the night, the proper function would be to stay at the Taku Glacier Cabin which you can reserve through reservation.org. This barebones 14×6 cabin is open year round and is a prime location for wildlife and glacier viewing. Wings Airways will offer flights for you to reach this remote destination should you choose to brave the Alaskan wilderness.

While visiting the Taku Glacier Lodge, rest upon the lawn as you gaze at the beautiful Taku Glacier or go on a nature walk. As you sit and admire the glacier, know that the Taku Glacier is the largest in this icefield and one of the few glaciers still advancing. This glacier has advanced 4.82 miles since 1890 and at some point may block the Taku River, which ultimately would form lake. You can hike the ‘Sometimes a Waterfall’ trail which is a short hike guiding you towards a rock wall which ‘sometimes’ produces a waterfall. We did come across a black bear when the salmon was placed on the grill, so be bear aware!

After exploring, you will enter the cabin and feast upon fresh king salmon, baked beans, coleslaw and fresh herbed biscuits. I am not a fan of seafood, but I skipped the chicken substitute to try the salmon and glad I did. After an amazing dinner, you are escorted back to your seaplane where you’ll soar back to Juneau.

Gather Ye Rosebuds

“You must strive to find your own voice because the longer you wait to begin the less likely you are to find it at all” – Dead Poets Society. As I gazed into the black and white photos hanging slightly crooked upon the cabin walls, it was that quote that arose in my mind. I’ve always been intrigued by old black and white photos of people, but why? Looking into Mary’s eyes I can see the hints of the future, confidence and promise that inherits us while we are young.

As the late Robin Williams whispers, “You can hear them whispering their legacy to you….hear it?” “Caaarpe….caaarpe ….carpe diem! Seize the day boys!” Afterwards, one student exclaims, “That was weird!”. Don’t let it be weird. Take the time to gaze into the photos and be sure to receive a message moving forward before you hop aboard the plane. Someday we all will be “fertilizing daffodils”, what is your legacy?

Proper Resources

 

ReadingViewingCitations
  • http://www.wingsairways.com/taku-lodge-feast-and-five-glacier-discovery
  • http://www.nichols.edu/departments/Glacier/juneau%20icefield.htm
  • http://juneauicefield.com
  • https://www.recreation.gov/camping/taku-glacier-cabin/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=71762
  • Taku Glacier Lodge Photo Usage : Permission Granted by Wings Airways
This Proper Function
(Approximate Data)
Alaska
36°
overcast clouds
humidity: 93%
wind: 5mph NW
H 41 • L 31
40°
Thu
42°
Fri
39°
Sat
49°
Sun
41°
Mon
Weather from OpenWeatherMap
F
Party Cloudy
2,315ftElevation 13.7hrsDistance From You
LocationTaku River
State, RegionAlaska,Northwest
Coordinates58.490462°, -133.942101°
DirectionsView on Google Maps
DifficultyEasy
WaterAvailable
DogsNo
HistoricYes

TPF

Dan is an explorer for The Outbound and founder of The Proper Function, an outdoor editorial. He is passionate about exploration and can’t stay put for more than a week.