By Plane (on Wheels) Late May to Early Oct
Yukon River Lodge is located approximately halfway between Fairbanks and Nome, right on the Yukon River. Direct flights from Fairbanks to the airstrip in Ruby take about an hour and twenty minutes, depending on wind direction (sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less). Our guests can fly in via private charter flight to the Ruby airstrip or on regular commercially scheduled flights. Please note, we use Wright Air Service as our preferred air service for flights from Fairbanks to Ruby. The round trip commercial flight from Fairbanks to Ruby with Wright Air is priced at $300/per person/round trip as of summer 2019. Space on commercial flights can be limited and space limitations or time preferences may require our guests to charter flights in order to obtain the dates that they are interested in.
Yukon River Lodge is located about 15 river miles upriver from the Ruby at the base of the Kokrine Hills. To help our guests get to the lodge from Ruby (if they are flying in on commercial and chartered flights), we offer a separate river boat shuttle service (see shuttle cost details below).
For guests purchasing our full service guided packages, pickup & drop off at the airstrip in Ruby and shuttle to/from the lodge are all included in your total package price. We can quote airfare for guests with Air Service Companies flying to/from Ruby but cannot confirm flight availability until we have received payment in full from you for your flights. We quote airfare options separately on an individual basis as they can vary depending on availability & how you would like to fly.
For our bed & breakfast guests (who are not purchasing a full service guided experience package), the cost of the round trip boat shuttle from Ruby to the Lodge and then return to Ruby is $400 total for the shuttle (price for summer 2019). We can haul up to 6 passengers in our boat.
Our B&B guests can ride with the Air Service agent down to the Campground at the river where we will be waiting. We can also arrange a local private pickup/drop off for you from the Ruby Airstrip to our boat on the river for an additional fee (depends on agent availability).
By Plane (on Floats/Skis/Tundra Tire) Seasonal
Lodge guests can also fly direct to the lodge via private float plane, ski plane or tundra tire charter depending on the time of year. For more winter info see "Winter Months-By Plane below". Our guests flying to the lodge in March for our Forest Health Retreats fly in by ski plane from Fairbanks and land directly in front of the lodge on our frozen Yukon River airstrip. If you've never landed on the Yukon River in a ski-plane--you've got to have this experience - it's pretty incredible!
By Boat Late May to Early Oct
The lodge is located between the Novi (Nowitna River-about 30 miles upriver) and the Melozi (Melozitna River-approximately 14 miles downriver). We are approximately a 30 minute boat ride from the village of Ruby, an 8 hour boat ride from the Yukon River Bridge (making us the perfect layover stop for people headed to the Koyukuk, Yuki, Innoko or other river systems further down the Yukon). **During the summer and fall months we sell unleaded fuel to boats at the river. Please call ahead in September, if you can, to confirm availability (907) 347-1616. Lodge guests have also arrived by canoe, kayak and paddle board.
In addition, we can arrange pickup/drop off for guests by charter boat from other locations (such as Galena) to the lodge with alternate location drop points (including the Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge for non-hunting drops)-- see our Charter Boat Hourly Rates on our Rates & Services page for more info.
By Helicopter Year-round
We have two main landing pads right by the river and a separate parking area onsite for helicopters at the lodge. Additional landing areas may be available along the Yukon River during certain times of the year. Please contact Sam for more information about aviation fuel availability & options. We now sell Jet-A. Please contact Sam directly at 907-347-1616 for Avgas information and future availability.
Winter Months-by Plane roughly Oct to April
Once the Yukon River has frozen over and there are safe landing areas in front of or near the lodge, guests can fly directly to the lodge on a ski plane. Alternate locations for tundra tire landings are also available nearby during the fall and at certain other times of year, depending on water levels. Please contact us for details and for Air Charter recommendations. Travel from Ruby to the lodge and back, to meet commercial flights during the winter months, is limited to snow machine travel and depends highly on safe river conditions, snow pack and ice conditions.
By Snowmachine Early Dec to Early April
We are about a 30-40 minute snowmobile ride (with good trail conditions) from Ruby. If you’re traveling on a longer distance snogo trip from Fairbanks or Tanana, let us know ahead of time and we’ll mark the trail turnoff to the lodge for you. On the years that the Iditarod trail leaves from Fairbanks, the Iditarod Race passes directly by the lodge as does the Iron Dog Snowmobile Race. The river trail, in mid-March, is usually a pretty hard and fast trail although conditions can vary greatly. If you’re traveling and wondering what trail conditions are like we may be able to give you local information. In good trail conditions, lodge guests who are extreme cross-country skiers and/or winter fat-bikers have skied and biked the 15 miles from Ruby to the lodge. If you’re coming in by dog team, let us know ahead of time and we’ll set things up for you. We’re retired dog mushers, with 3 huskies of our own, and in addition to understanding dog teams, we absolutely LOVE sled dogs.
"A river does not just happen; it has a beginning and an end. Its story is written in rich earth, in ice, and in water-carved stone, and its story as the lifeblood of the land is filled with colour, music and thunder."
(Andy Russell, The Life of a River)