About

Alaska Wildland Adventures is Alaska’s leader in lodge-based adventure travel. Our goal is simple: to share Alaska’s wilderness with a few people who want a high quality, true Alaska vacation experience without compromising comfortable accommodations. Our focus on small groups ensures each and every one of our guests will have a unique, personal interaction with the natural environment that surrounds them.

Over the years we’ve built three Alaska lodges, each with its own personality and unique setting, yet all with the same commitment to service and the environment: Kenai Riverside Lodge, Kenai Backcountry Lodge and Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge. All pay tribute to our commitment to sharing authentic Alaska with a light footprint in an interactive style.

Company Background

The company began operating trips in 1977, first under the name Alaska Campout Adventures. In the early years, the company felt fortunate to take fifty to sixty people a year on adventuresome camping safaris throughout Alaska. In 1987, we changed our name to Alaska Wildland Adventures. There was a surge in interest in travel to Alaska, and more people wanted to vacation in a participatory style. Over the years, one small group at a time, we were able to grow and provide unique Alaska travel options.

In addition to operating our own trips, we operate trips for Lindblad Expeditions, the Nature Conservancy Legacy Club and a number of national and international tour companies, such as International Expeditions and AdventureSmith Expeditions. We have also hosted a number of affinity groups, including the National Audubon Society, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, St. Louis Zoo, Harvard Museums of Science and Culture, MIT Alumni Association, Stanford Travel Study, Yale Educational Travel and more.

Our main office is in Girdwood, Alaska, a scenic mountain community 40 miles south of Anchorage. We maintain a two-building office on two scenic acres that adjoin an undeveloped greenway. From our office windows, we view beaver ponds, nesting waterfowl, occasional moose and bear viewings and a snow-clad mountain backdrop.

Kirk Hoessle is the President and CEO (Chief Exploration Officer) of Alaska Wildland Adventures. He currently is a member of the Board of Directors for the Alaska Travel Industry Association (ATIA), Alaska’s 1,000 member travel trade association. From 2012 through 2016, he was one of 32 travel industry leaders appointed to the US Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, advising the US government on issues and policy related to travel and tourism. In October 2015, Kirk was awarded the 2015 Stan Stephens Stewardship Award by ATIA. This award commemorates the passion and dedication that Stan Stephens lived by in his commitment to safeguard Prince William Sound after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and it honors Kirk’s work in protecting wild Alaska and sharing its beauty in a responsible and sustainable way. Kirk began leading trips in 1982, when the company only operated one trip. His involvement grew into a managerial role, and then to the role of owner/operator in 1987. Prior to his involvement in Alaska tourism, Kirk directed the Youth Conservation Corp program in Tanacross, Alaska; was a partner in an interpretive planning and design firm; and he also helped direct and formulate environmental education programs for elementary and high school students.

Letter from our CEO (Chief Exploration Officer)

Dear Alaska Traveler,

It’s been over 40 years since we started Alaska Wildland Adventures (AWA)! Our simple goal back then was to share Alaska’s wilderness with a few people who wanted a high-quality, “true Alaska” vacation experience without compromising comfortable accommodations. Today, we proudly continue this tradition as Alaska’s leader in lodge-based adventure travel.

There’s one other thing that hasn’t changed over all these years: the uniqueness of Alaska’s wilderness just can’t be mass-produced. We believe that smaller groups mean a bigger experience, and it gets you closer to the Alaska you seek. You can lose your thoughts (and worries!) amidst the vastness, and you can find yourself at home and at ease in a wild place few people know well.

We are proud of the accomplishments we’ve made as a company over the years, and our efforts in wilderness preservation and ecotourism so Alaska can be enjoyed for generations to come.

We’re honored to share our wonderful state with you, be this your first or fifteenth visit to Alaska. We look forward to helping you select the trip that is just right for you whether you choose to travel with us for two days or two weeks. We’ll help you find the authentic Alaska experience you seek.

We hope you can join us this summer!

Happy adventuring,
Kirk Hoessle, President and CEO

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