Q: I'm looking to take 30 to 40 people to Alaska for a two-week fishing/fun adventure starting in mid-June, 2002. The group will consist of some experienced Alaska fishermen, some city folks, and kids of all ages. Are there any lodges that can accommodate such a group? Thank you!
Greg Combs, Ojai, California
A: If you've done some asking around, you already know how tricky it is to find a quality lodge that can accommodate a large, diverse group at the peak of the summer travel season. This is the time of year when fishing fanatics flock to the sunny latitudes where they can dangle a line in salmon-packed rivers at any hour of the day. While lodge owners welcome this influx of anglers, the prospect of handling a bunch as big as yours would make most of them shiver in their waders.
One notable exception is the Great Alaska Adventure Lodge (www.greatalaska.com, 800-544-2261) on the Kenai Peninsula. Their riverfront cabins and safari tents can handle up to 50 guests at a time, and they specialize in itineraries that cater to a wide range of interests and abilities. The experienced fishermen among you can head downriver while the rookies learn to cast. Waterways teeming with halibut, rockfish, cod, and salmon are as sure to keep the old hands happy as they are to win over new recruits to the sport.
If you can stand to part with your rods for a day, plan to visit Lake Clark National Park, where Great Alaska operates a bear viewing lodge. They'll fly you into their lakefront camp for guided hikes through brown bear country. You'll spend the night on platform-raised tents and fly home the next day. Other non-fishing diversions include sea kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking, hiking and wildlife safaris. After 20 accolade-filled years in business, Great Alaska has proved itself one of those special outfitters you can always count on to show your group a good time.