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Sourdough Sue's Bear Lake Lodging is one of several different campgrounds that are located in Seward, Alaska. There are three available cabins that can be found close to the southern end of Bear Lake, which is also near the national park called Kenai Fjords.
Seward, Alaska, is a small town that is further away from the bigger and more busy cities with a wide array of things to do and see in the Alaskan forests. The surroundings include large mountains, dense forests, and, just to the north, Bear Lake. To the south, less than a 20 minute drive away, one will find the airport as well as another part of the city that is right on the waterfront of the Gulf of Alaska.
There are a total of three separate yurts—which are portable round tents which serve a similar purpose to cabins—that are located on the two acres of land that make up Sourdough Sue's Bear Lake Lodging. The establishment accepts reservations year-round, but the lodging is only available from May 1st to September.
Every cabin comes with amenities such as running water, a refrigerator, a microwave, bedding, and coffee and tea fixings to assist their guests in feeling "at home." Outside of the yurts, there are firepits as well as grills that can be used for barbequing when there isn't an excessive amount of snow on the ground.
Sourdough Sue's Bear Lake Lodge derives the second half of its name from Bear Lake, which is a short walk from the property. Bear Lake is unique in that it gets warm enough to enjoy a variety of water activities over the course of an extended season. Guests have the opportunity to go paddle boarding, canoeing, and swimming, among other things. The area that makes up Seward can have notably heavy winters, too.
According to the Sourdough Sue's Bear Lake Lodging website, the locals have seen a total accumulation of 18 to 25 feet of snow in previous winters. In fact, the yurts are built four feet off of the ground to account for the amount of snow that the area normally receives. In the surrounding area, guests can find several noteworthy places that are generally local favorites, a few of them being Bear Creek, The Iditarod Trail, and The Kenai Fjord National Parks. For those who wish to see the ocean, a 20-minute drive south will take travelers to Waterfront Park, which is located at the edge of the water that leads into the North Pacific Ocean. Here, there are several activities offered that guests can enjoy, such as Whale Watching and sea kayaking. There is also a wildlife preservation and aquarium that goes by the name of Alaska SeaLife Center, where many different animals and creatures that are native to Alaska are on display for the public to learn about and view.
Sue Maurice, one of the owners of the property, says that the atmosphere they try to give off at the Sourdough Sue's Black Lake Lodging is a tranquil and family-friendly environment. Since it is based in a small town, it is very close to nature, and guests tend to find it much easier to get in touch with the outdoors, making this an ideal spot for people looking to get out of larger cities. Due to the location of the yurts, guests have mentioned that it is very easy to slip into the surrounding forests and find some alone time.
Additionally, Sue explains that Seward is known for its lakes and rivers, which are described as notable fishing spots. The area offers a wide variety of red and silver salmon that can be caught in the nearby waters.
Sourdough Sue's Bear Lake Lodge is open from the beginning of spring to about mid-fall, with their busiest months typically being July and August. There are several noteworthy events that happen at specific times of the year. One such seasonal event being Bear Creek Salmon Run, where thousands of salmon are released into Bear Lake during the months of May and June, then from July through to September, the salmon will swim up Bear Creek. According to the owner, the best spot to watch the salmon run would be at the Bear Creek Weir, which is within walking distance of the lodging's cabins. Another seasonal event that guests have the opportunity to take part in is the whale watching tours. March, April, and May are the best times of the year for this event, where visitors can go on a tour to the Gulf of Alaska and look for the whales that migrate from the Mexican Coast to the Bering Sea. Regarding the location and how close it is to everything, one recent guest posted on a review: "The yurts are conveniently located near Seward in a quiet neighborhood."
The original owner of the property has maintained ownership of Sourdough Sue's Bear Lake Lodging since it opened its doors about 16 years ago in 2004. The owner's name is Sue Maurice, which is part of what the property is named after. Sue owns the various yurts with her husband Greg.
Before Sourdough Sue's became a lodging enterprise and received its name, it was a 40-acre homestead with a mill. When the mill burned down, the owner of the land at the time subdivided the property, so Sue bought three acres of it. The Sourdough Sue's Bear Lake Lodging is run on one of those three acres. Sue has been in the lodging industry for a long time. She says that about fifty years ago, she ran one of the only hotels that could be found in Seward. She has had a great interest in tourism ever since then.
The name of both the lake and the lodge holds true to this day, as there are many sightings of bears. Black bears and brown bears can, on occasion, be found roaming the area, most commonly found during the month of June, and have roamed the area for a very long time. They are especially more common around the rivers and lakes during the salmon runs. Another notable location that has history would be the Iditorad Trail. In the past, it was a mail and supply route that begins a few miles to the north of Seward that covers over 1,000 miles. It was most used during Alaska's Gold Rush.