Destination Moon

Built on North America’s highest mountain and only accessible by helicopter, The Sheldon Chalet luxury lodge offers guests an unparalleled winter escape.

by Sara Jarrell

Decades ago, legendary Alaskan bush pilot, Don Sheldon, acquired a plot of land within the Denali National Forest under the Homestead Act of 1950. He and cartographer Brad Washburn surveyed and mapped out the land. Sheldon dreamed of opening a vacation spot on the property. In 1966, he built the famed Mountain House, which quickly drew attention from the likes of National Geographic. 

He hoped to build additional structures, making the property a destination for tourists. He planned to fly guests from the nearest town to the property himself. Sadly, Sheldon passed away in 1975 of cancer before his dream could be realized. 

Sheldon’s wife Roberta held on to the land and the Mountain House but never developed the resort her late husband had envisioned. Following her death in 2014, the Sheldons’ children, Robert and Kate, along with Robert’s wife Marne, decided to pursue their father’s original plans. In 2018, they opened the Sheldon Chalet. 

The luxury lodge is only accessible by helicopter or plane as it is in one of the most remote places on earth. Located 6,000 feet above sea level, the Chalet sits atop a rocky area exposed within a glacier, called a nunatak

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