Gakona Lodge

The Lodge

Come join us at The Historic Gakona Lodge this summer!

The Historic Gakona Lodge is a small family owned and operated hotel, restaurant, and tavern. We have 10 guest rooms in the lodge and 3 cabins. Our restaurant and tavern also serve a loyal local population. Lots of places to explore and places to go fishing which is a favorite past-time for some of our workers. Gakona Lodge offers you a summer experience you will cherish forever!

Our historic lodge is on the banks of the Gakona River where it flows into the Copper River across the road from Wrangell St Elias National Park.

About Gakona Lodge

The Historic Gakona Lodge is located at the confluence of the Copper and Gakona rivers, at Mile 2 on the Tok Cutoff to the Glenn Highway, 15 miles northeast of Glennallen and 200 miles north of Anchorage.  Gakona Lodge is one of the only original remaining roadhouses and is the oldest continually running roadhouse.

Gakona Lodge was originally called Doyles Roadhouse, after Jim Doyle, and was constructed in 1904.  In 1910 the roadhouse became the main stop for the Orr Stage Company.  Between 1912, when Doyle sold out, and the late 1920's, the property had several owners, including a mining company.  The last of them was Arne Sundt.  In 1929, when the Alaska Road Commission widened the Eagle trail for easier access to gold mines in Chistochina and Nabesna to the east, Sundt built the larger Gakona Lodge which is in use today.

In 1942 the Army Corps of Engineers put a garage at Gakona to house gear used to build the Glenn Highway.  After the war, the garage became a store and in 1962 it became the "Trappers Den Tavern" which is still in use to this day.

In 1976 Jerry and Barbara Strang purchased the lodge from Henra Sundt.  In 2004 it was purchased from the Strang's by Valori and Greg Marshall who in turn sold it around 2013 to Clif and Rebecca Potter.  In 2023 the lodge was purchased by my wife and I, Wayne and Michelle Rowe, from the Potters.  We are excited to be part of the history of this historic lodge and hope you'll be inspired to join us and be a part as well!

The Employee Experience

If you looking to work at a location with a rich history then this is the place for you!  Employees live on-site in the lodge with the Gakona River right in our backyard.   The views of Mt. Sanford and Mt. Drum are beautiful on clear days. 

We only have a small number of employees so we usually get to know one another well during the season.  Things usually get pretty busy in July and when we all work together it's a very beautiful thing.   

We are remote in the interior of Alaska so if you can't live without being 30 min away from a larger city then this job isn't for you.  We are located about 20 min from a small community called Glennallen, about 4 hours north is Fairbanks, and about 3.5 hours to the south is Anchorage.  Valdez is about 2 hours away and there are rivers and trails not far away for those who like to explore on their days off.  We also have a couple of bicycles for employees to use for exploring.  We are working on getting a vehicle available for staff use on your days off. 

Our guests like to meet and ask questions about the lodge so you may get the opportunity to interact with them.  If that's not your thing, no problem!    

We are pretty laid back but value honesty, integrity, and clean language from our employees and expect our staff to be responsible for being on time and completing all tasks given.  We want our staff to feel at home while staying with us and to take pride in knowing that they are now a part of the history of the Historic Gakona Lodge.

Ideal Candidate

Our ideal candidate is: 

  • Respectful
  • Responsible
  • Helpful
  • Flexible
  • Honest
  • Easy to get along with
  • Enjoys adventure
  • Easy to communicate with 
  • Has good time management skills 
  • Isn't intimidated by a fast-paced schedule
  • Loves being part of a team but can also work independently 

Room and Board

We offer housing and meals to all our staff as part of the compensation package.  At present, we have shared rooms and shared bathrooms.  Please be aware that ALL buildings on the property are non-smoking buildings including the tavern.  We are looking into improving the rooming situation for the 2025 season but for the 2024 season, it will be shared rooms with a roommate.  We have a living room and kitchen area in the lodge where staff can hang out if you're not out sitting by the river, fishing or enjoying the beauty around.  We also have a fire drum by the river which is a favorite of employees and guests alike when we are permitted to burn.  We are upgrading our routers for improved internet (we have fiberoptic) so Wi-Fi should be running with no problems.  

Employee Perks

Family members who come to stay will also receive a 25% discount on rooms available if they'd like to come visit. (It's necessary to book ahead of time to take advantage of this perk.)  A bonus & a travel stipend are also provided upon completing the full season with us.

Getting Here and Getting Around

Since we are in a remote location, we coordinate with you and other staff members so that your group will all arrive on the same day at the Anchorage airport, where we will pick you up and take you to the lodge.  There is also a shuttle you can schedule if you prefer.  We have a couple of bicycles for employees to use for exploring around the area and we are working on getting a vehicle available for staff use on your days off. 

For Fun

Activities around the Lodge include biking, hiking, raft floats, fishing, visiting with the locals, as well as our domestic and foreign guests, attending concerts in the bar when scheduled, relaxing by the river, and enjoying the beauty offered in the Gakona area.

How to Apply

Please email your resume to  We will review it and contact you to set up a phone/zoom interview.

Contact Gakona Lodge