A chalet where tourists can spot the bright Northern Lights from within a snowy national park is one of the world’s most remote holiday spots – but it will cost you £26,000 to stay.
For those who dream of watching the colourful aurora light up the night sky it’s a dream destination – with an out-of-this-world price tag. Sheldon Chalet, in Alaska’s Denali National Park, will truly take wealthy holidaymakers away from the rest of the world for an extreme experience that’s only accessible by helicopter. The luxury cabin sits on a 'nunatak' – an isolated rock – on a 6,000ft ridge above the Don Sheldon Amphitheater
The amphitheatre is a giant natural landform shaped like an inverted dome. The nunatak is an ice and rock ledge above the dip which offers incredible views of the glacial landscape for those staying inside the cabin on the flanks of North America’s highest mountain the Denali.
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The Don Sheldon Amphitheatre is so incredible that Condé Nast Traveler dubbed it one of the Seven Wonders Of The World. It’s completed by jagged mountain peaks, incredibly clear skies where you can see thousands of stars and the enormous 40-mile long Ruth Glacier. Offering the ultimate isolation experience – perfect for surviving a zombie apocalypse – the chalet is only accessible by sky as there are no roads, railways or walking trails to the cabin. The nearest town, Talkeenta, is 55 air miles away.
The only way to get into your chalet is by a private helicopter owned by the Sheldon family who are the only people with permits to fly over the Denali National Park. The helicopter will land on the attached helicopter-pad where you’ll be dropped off for your holiday. The Sheldons are able to fly to the cabin because they own the 4.9-acre spot where the cabin is built and have done since 1966 when Don Sheldon became a famous bush pilot who was one of the first to land in spots around Denali Mountain.
He’s participated in many mountain rescues getting the Alaska Certificate of Achievement for his works. Don and his wife Roberta also built the close-by Mountain House to provide respite for climbers exploring the valley. In 2014, the Sheldon family built the chalet as a tribute to Don who passed away in the 1970s. Now, the gorgeous holiday spot is run by son Robert and daughter-in-law Marnie and their son Ryan.
Located on five private acres of land – the only privately owned land in the Alaskan park – the chalet runs on solar generated energy, and can house ten guests at a time on an exclusive-use basis, so you won’t have to share your space!
The five-bedroom chalet provides a one-of-a-kind experience for travellers, with each room providing spectacular views of the Denali mountains. Plus, you have the highest chances in the world of spotting the Northern Lights which can be elusive elsewhere. Sheldon Chalet guests can experience this phenomenon during the long Alaskan winter nights when there are just four hours of daylight. During the rest of the day and night any light come from the moon, the stars and the aurora borealis (plus the electric lights in the cabin).
Guests should take note though that there is no Wi-Fi in the cabin – it would be pretty impossible to connect – so you’ll be cut off from the world. Thankfully those staying probably spend their time watching the Northern Lights, going on full-moon glacier trails, ice climbing, enjoying glacier picnics and meteor shower gazing.
Guests also won’t be entirely alone up there! Two resident chefs will put together all meals using locally sourced Alaskan ingredients creating a special menu for each holidaymaker. Both chefs – and all Chalet Sheldon staff – are Alaskan born with one chef having cooked for U.S. presidents and Hollywood stars.
The other is a keen hunter and fisherman who will pull this into your meals. When you arrive at Sheldon Chalet lucky guests will be greeted with an amazing Alaskan seafood extravaganza, paired with Champagne. One guest who stayed at the chalet commented: "I felt so small. It was so massive. I felt completely inconsequential when I was there. I thought, how did I even get here? I had tears in my eyes". Another claimed that their stay was "spiritually intoxicating".
Stays at Sheldon Chalet start from £26,000 per night based on 1-4 persons. Minimum three-night stay required. For 5-10 persons, the rate is £3,495 per person per night. For more information, visit sheldonchalet.com.
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