rooms & suites
our guests consider this a second home
on the edge of vast wilderness
Mission Lodge is located on the shores of Lake Aleknagik in the heart of the world famous Bristol Bay region of Southwest Alaska. This area offers unsurpassed trophy fishing for Salmon and Trout in a spectacular wilderness setting.
This warm, modern facility is an ideal site for small corporate meetings, business entertaining, or the highlight of any Alaskan vacation. The well traveled angler will recognize the extras that make a stay at Mission Lodge a trip of a lifetime.
Easy access, deluxe facilities and unsurpassed trophy fishing make Mission Lodge, the classic Alaska fly out lodge experience. Sauna, Hot tub, sumptuous dining, a comfortable lounge and recreation area are added features of Mission Lodge. A large deck surrounding the facility is just steps from the dock, float planes and boats. Large bay windows frame views of Lake Aleknagik and the beautiful mountains beyond. This is a rugged immense land of startling beauty – a great place to just step out of everyday pressures and relax. At the end of the day each guest retires to their own private room.
The main social area of the lodge is lined with windows looking out over the lake.
We are one of the only lodges in Alaska where a private room is standard. You will sleep on a real bed (not a foam pad on plywood), your window looks out over the lake and the bathroom is just steps away in the lighted hall. Most importantly, you don’t have to listen to Uncle Joe snore all night (or he does not have to listen to you).
For couples, we have special suites that have a private ensuite bathrooms.
We are often called the best restaurant in Bristol Bay Alaska. Given the remote nature of Bristol Bay that might not being saying much, however we go to great lengths to fly in the freshest produce and meats available in the Northwest. Even without a Whole Foods® or a Trader Joes®, much less a major grocery store near by, our chef creates some amazing fair we like to refer to as ‘Alaskan Gourmet’. You might even consider it high end comfort food. Regardless we suspect some of our guests come for the food and go fishing to pass the time between meals.
If you have dietary restrictions or allergies we will do our best to accommodate you within reason, just be sure to indicate this on your pre-trip questionnaire right after booking your trip. It takes months of planning to get things to magically show up in the remote bush of Alaska.
Massage offers you the unique opportunity to recover from long, full days of fishing. Relax, rejuvenate and reset your whole system for the next day.
For many of you, fishing, climbing in and out of boats and float planes in fishing waders and clompy boots aren’t part of your everyday activities. Muscles you may not remember you even have may suddenly and rudely remind you they are there. You may feel strain in your lower & mid-back or shoulders & neck. The ol’ casting arm may become sore and inflammed. One of the best ways to avoid stiffness, malalignment, reduced flexibility and potential injury is to prevent muscles from fatiguing and staying fatigued.
Massage can help with what the fish dish out. Stack the odds in your favor. Massage infuses muscles with “good stuff,” like oxygen-rich blood, which your muscles and your brain need for optimal performance. It also boosts your immune system, improves quality of sleep, increases mental clarity, reduces pesky nighttime calf cramps, soothes and calms the nervous system as well as lifts mood and spirits.
Remember to reserve your preferred appointment times early in the week by signing up in the Massage Sign-Up Book behind the bar or see management.
30 Minutes $85
Massage of a specific area, such as back & neck or legs & feet.
60 Minutes $150
Either a full body stress reduction massage or a concentrated treatment on a chronically tense or injured area.
90 Minutes $225
A full body massage, includes focused treatment of problem areas
Therapeutic Massage Offerings…
• Relaxation Massage- Nene’s signature massage. A blend of Swedish, Spa, Acupressure and Energy Balancing technics.
• Dynamic Massage- A blend of Sports and Deep Tissue techniques.
Please sign up as early as possible to reserve a time for your massage. The schedule book is located behind the bar. Nene or Sarah are also available to make an appointment.
It would not be a complete trip to Alaska without an authentic wood-fired sauna. Both the native peoples and the early Russian explorers enjoyed this relaxing tradition. Just a couple of steps from the lodge sits our spacious sauna, complete with rocks to splash water on for the steam room effect. After warming up enjoy an optional massage from our licensed Massage Therapist.
Adjoining the sauna is a covered outdoor hot tub (Jacuzzi) for further relaxing those achy muscles, tired from fighting all those fish! Both the sauna and the hot tub are available every evening.
The name “Aleknagik” comes from the Yupik native tongue meaning “wrong way home”. It seems that quite often fishing and hunting parties returning to their villages on the Nushagak from Bristol Bay would mistakenly turn and follow the Wood River. The surroundings of the Wood are so similar to that of the lower Nushagak, a simple mistake in navigation would go unnoticed until the parties turned the corner and found themselves at the lake. At this time the lead boat would declare “ALEKNAGIK!” (wrong way home).
For hundreds of years the village of Aleknagik was the hub of trade and culture for the Alaska native peoples who lived throughout the Bristol Bay region. The ideal setting along the shores of Lake Aleknagik and the safe haven this location provided from the harsh winters of Southwest Alaska, proved to be the reason many of the regions natives made Aleknagik their winter home. Fur was the main item of commerce along with dried fish, berries, and hides from the previous summers harvest. Lessons learned from fishing and hunting expeditions were shared, creating strong ties amongst the people who came here.
The longer days of spring and the break up of ice signaled the people to leave the village to hunt and gather food for their return to Aleknagik in the fall and winter. The lives of the people here were ones of complex simplicity. Survival of the tribe depended on their skills as hunters, fishermen, and craftsmen.There was little room for error in this land. The terrain in which they traveled was laden with hazards, and the weak or unwise didn’t last very long. This land also provided for its people with abundant fish, game, fowl and vegetation.
<img class=”size-full wp-image-452″ title=”cameron_nush_1938″ src=”http://www.missionlodge.com/wp-content/uploads/cameron_nush_1938.jpg” alt=”King Salmon at the mouth of the Nushagak River. Photo: Guy F. Cameron (great grandfather Guy Cameron Fullhart Mgr.)” width=”400″ height=”285″ />
In 1897 the first barrels of salted Salmon aboard the schooner Neptune arrive at the ports of the west coast. Life would never be the same for the natives of Aleknagik. The traditional ways of survival would give way to “commercial fishing” as the villagers were forced to yield to the demands of the canneries and their influence. Fishing quickly replaced trapping as the major source of income among the people of the region.
Spring of 1930 brought the Smith family from Seattle in search of a better life. The effects of the Great Depression had not reached the frontier towns of Alaska. In fact, if a man was willing to work, the north country held much opportunity and Snag Point (Dillingham) was no exception.
The Smiths established a camp at Snag Point. Here they began to carve a new life out of the vast southwest Alaska wilderness. Ray Smith and his brother-in-law, Frank ran tugs and barges for the canneries or anyone else who needed to move goods around the area. In the early summer the Smith family moved up the Wood River to Mosquito Point, on the south shore of Lake Aleknagik.
At this site the Smiths built their home. The following years a school house was built where they hoped to instruct the natives in the ways of Christianity and the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Every Saturday most of the villagers would travel the short distance across the lake to the schoolhouse to worship.
The church made a decision to expand their facility at Aleknagik in 1951. However, with suitable building materials in short supply, the Smiths bought a vacant building from a defunct cannery, put it on a barge and floated it up the Wood River to their settlement. This structure was one of the first at the Mission school site. The building which now makes up the main Lodge, was not constructed till 1965.
A gymnasium followed and became the focal point of the community. The villagers used this building for the major events of their lives. The marriages of their sons and daughter, celebration of a successful fishing season and the passing of a respected member of the clan. For 34 years the Mission prospered and became a completely self sustaining program. The residents generated their own power, grew their own food and taught the local population basic education, agriculture and mechanics as well as the foundation of Christianity.
The school was vacated in the fall of 1974 when the State of Alaska built new schools in Dillingham and in the other villages of the region. The church could no longer sustain the unused and quiet structure on the shore of Lake Aleknagik. In 1984 Dale DePriest and friends looked at this property and saw a new era for the Mission. The vision was that this is still a place of learning, celebration and reverence. The area that surrounds the Lodge is rich in history, natural beauty and is an abundant resource that is ours to enjoy and protect.
Mission Lodge has continued to provide the ‘trip of a lifetime’ for over thirty years and in 2012 the lodge has moved full circle with Bristol Bay Native Corporation purchasing it. While the operations remain the same, now we are much closer to the roots of the area as we now represent the shareholders of the region.
space is very limited
so get on our list… because some things are worth the wait
relax in comfort from the edge of remote wilderness
in the heart of bristol bay, alaska
F.A.Q.'s - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where does the trip start?
A: Dillingham, AK. The lodge provides van transportation from the
Dillingham (DLG) airport. Approximately 20 minutes from Dillingham to
Lake Aleknagik by van And then approximately 10 minutes in a covered boat to Mission Creek Lodge.
Q: What is included in the package price?
A: Transport from Dillingham as described above, all meals, beverages accommodations. Fully guided daily adventures (including float plane transportation), all necessary gear and equipment (including fishing gear , waders and wading boots), filleting, packaging, freezing of Salmon species.
Q: What is not included:
A: R/t air transportation to Dillingham, AK, gratuities (suggested 15-20% of package price) , Alaska Fishing License ($70 for 7 day , $45 for 3 day) , Alaska King Tag ($45 for 7 day, $30 for 3 day – only necessary during King Salmon season ends July 31) , items of a personal nature such as massage, gift shop and smoked fish.
Q: What airlines service Dillingham (DLG):
A: Alaska Airlines (www.alaskaair.com), Ravn Alaska (www.flyravn.com), Katmai Air (www.katmaiair.com).
Q: How much fish and what kind can I take home?
A: We ask that each client not take more than one 50 lb. box of SALMON ONLY
WE PRACTICE A STRICT CATCH AND RELEASE POLICY ON ALL RESIDENT SPECIES (Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden, Arctic Char, Grayling, Pike and Lake Trout).
Q: When does the day start and end?
A: A typical day starts at 7:00 am with breakfast (coffee is available at 5:30 am) with planes leaving between 7:30-8:30 am and returning between 5:00 â€“6:00 pm. Depending on the group size and scheduling for the day you are welcome to request a later start. Dinner is generally at 7:00 pm .
Q: What does a typical day look like?
A: 7:00 am full sit down breakfast
7:30-8:30 am depart for a full day of guided activities
5:00-6:00 pm return to lodge
6:00-7:00 pm appetizers are served and activities are scheduled for the next day
7:00 pm Alaska gourmet dinner is served
After dinner guides sit down with guests and talk about the next days activity
Q: Can I change my mind about what I want to do when I get there?
A: Absolutely, no plans are made before a guest arrives. Each night the head guide will talk to each guest about his/her desires for the next day and then prepare a plan for the following day. The plans will be posted on a guest board each evening.
Q: How old should a child be before bringing him/her to Mission Lodge?
A: Every child is different. Days are full and depending on the child and how engaged he/she is in the outdoors will determine the proper age – remember there are no price reductions for children. Our aircraft hold 6 passengers – no matter what the age.
Q: What kind of aircraft does the lodge use and what is the safety record?
A: The lodge operates three (3) De Havilland Beavers on floats. Our safety record is without injury incident in over three decades of operation.
Q: How far do you travel to daily destinations?
A: We have so many destinations it is hard to answer this question. Your destination travel time will be anywhere for 10 minutes to 1 and a half hours. Much of this depends on winds and weather. In a normal week you will generally only travel on average 20-40 minutes a day by plane (EACH WAY). Some of our destinations are close and only a 10-40 minute boat ride from the lodge.
Q: What about weather if we can’t fly?
A: We have several opportunities within easy boat access from the lodge.
On average in a season we only have approximately three (3) days in which the planes cannot fly at all. We never compromise customer safety EVER. If it is not safe we DO NOT fly.
Q: How will we travel once we reach our destination?
A: Mission Lodge has over 40 boats stashed throughout the Bristol Bay region. Many of the destinations you will fly in and meet your guide who will be waiting for you with a boat. Other destinations you will fly with your guide and will have a boat at your destination. Some destinations will be accessible only by foot, others will have a kayak waiting for you or you will bring a raft with you. All of this will be pre-planned the evening before and will be fully orchestrated by your professional guide.
Q: How bad are the bugs?
A: It depends on the month and the season – wet seasons are worse than dry seasons. Normally unless you are hiking in the tundra the bugs are not bad at all. They can be pesky at times in the evenings on the decks if the wind is still. A good bug repellent with deet is highly recommended. Mosquito netting is normally not needed but if you plan on doing a lot of hiking it may be a good idea. The lodge has bug repellent but you are always encouraged to bring your own.
Q: What is the best time to come?
A: Mission Lodge is only open during the prime fishing months and the prime weather months. Any time from June-September is excellent it just depends on your activity desires. If you are specifically seeking a certain species of fish or a particular animal then sometimes are better than others. Please refer to the fish and animal viewing chart.
Q: Can you accommodate special diets?
A: Yes, within reason. Because of our extremely remote location certain items may be hard to come by – please make sure to fill out the questionnaire and return ASAP to forewarn our chef of your special needs. If we cannot accommodate your needs, we will advise you in advance.
Q: How many people can the lodge accommodate?
A: 24 guests is our maximum most weeks host no more than 20 guests.
Q: Do all rooms have a private bath?
A: No , we have 20 guest rooms and can accommodate 20 guests each with a private guest room. However, three rooms have completely private baths, another four rooms share a bath in between each two, and thirteen rooms upstairs share three very large bathrooms complete with showers, stalls and vanities. We have found the majority of our male clients do not mind sharing a bathroom but enjoy having a private bedroom.
Q: Do we have to pay extra for a private bath?
A No (unless it is the ‘owners suite’) private bathrooms are given to couples first and then to returning clients. If you would prefer a private bath please make sure to make a note upon booking. Requests will be handled on a first come, first served basis given the above priorities.