Big Ku Lodge

Authentic Alaskan. All-inclusive. Remote.
A wilderness lodge for groups seeking an intimate wild Alaskan destination.

An exclusive, private, remote experience offering authentic wilderness adventures.


Welcome to Alaska’s most unique and strategically located, fly-in only, wilderness and wildlife photography lodge.

History of Big Ku

Our family has been flying and providing outdoor wildlife travel and adventures throughout Alaska for over 75 years. We know the territory around Katmai, and the best places to go, better than anyone.

The family pioneered many of the wild places, previously inaccessible, for clients to experience Alaska's remote, isolated wilderness. In the Bristol Bay/Katmai region, they established the first fly-fishing lodge, where the logs were cut by handsaw and brought in by dog team.

Every year for the past 50 years, the Branhams' have flown clients by float plane into the wilds of Alaska’s wilderness, in search of unsurpassed adventure. Few to none can match their experience, knowledge, and dedication catering to guests visiting the Katmai region.

The Branham family has built and operated remote lodges in Alaska since the 1940’s. Throughout that time, they have concluded that the most ideal location to continue their passion for wildlife travel is Katmai National Park. They hold three of the seven privately held pieces of property, plus over 10,000 acres of privately held leased land, which helps support their exclusive access to premier outdoor activities.

Bears are often feeding right out the door of your cabin.

Big Ku Lodge is a fly-in, fly-out only lodge and the round-trip flight from Anchorage to the Lodge in our state-of-the-art Cessna 208 Caravan is included.

Perched high on a bluff over 14-mile long Kukaklek Lake, Big Ku is the only operation with the ability to use boats to reach the numerous salmon streams flowing into the lake.

The rolling hills of the alpine tundra offer great hiking and wildlife viewing. The only trails are made by bears. There are no crowds, no platforms, no fences, just "National Geographic" quality chances to photograph brown bears and their struggle for survival.

Big Ku Lodge is located on private land belonging to the Igiugig (IG-EE-OG-IG) Native Corporation, and Chris and Linda Branham have exclusive use of over 10,000 acres along the lake shore and river, all within the boundaries of Katmai National Park.

Why not toss in a line while you're here?

Big Ku has fantastic fishing! If you are interested at all in fly-fishing for salmon or world-class rainbow trout, just let us know, and we can set you up with everything, from the necessary licenses to rods and waders.

For a trip that concentrates on world-class trout fishing, check out our sister lodge in Katmai.


The Main Lodge

Enjoy the comfortable, relaxed living and dining rooms and their breathtaking views.

Guest Cabins

Our two duplex-style guest cabins, hold two guests per room. Each room has a full private bathroom.


Hearty and healthy meals are prepared fresh daily by your hosts. Hot and cold breakfasts wait for you each morning. Lunch is usually taken in the field. Dinners are served in the main lodge, family-style accompanied by stories of the day's adventures.  Coffee, tea, soft drinks, water, and beer or wine are available.

We happily accommodate dietary preferences and restrictions.

Communications to/from the Lodge

Due to our remoteness, WiFi is only via satellite and is extremely limited. There is no internet surfing, photo upload/downloads, or texting. This can be very relaxing when you get used to it. We have radio communication with our sister operation, Royal Wolf Lodge.

Guests who absolutely must have phone contact with the outside world should consider renting a portable satellite phone.


Big Ku is powered by a diesel generator which runs from 6:30am until 10pm, with a break in between when guests are out in the field.  There are outlets in each room and the main lodge for your charging needs.

Guests are strongly encouraged to "power down" or "unplug" while visiting to enable maximum exposure to the rich environment and powerful solitude. Considering there is very minimal internet available, most find that being "unplugged" can be a good thing.

About Us

Your energetic, competent & knowledgeable hosts & guides will ensure your adventure is safe,  fun, and unforgettable.

Your Hosts

Sal and Laura are here from San Francisco, CA and have been married for 32 years. They have 4 wonderful children and 3 amazing grandchildren.

Laura has worked as a Pastry Chef for the past 12 years, as well as owning and operating a family daycare for 11 years. She is a graduate of Oregon Culinary Institute, in Portland, OR, and has spent many years fulfilling her passion in all aspects of the food & customer service industry.

Sal is a jack of all trades. He is a both a chef as well as a multi-talented contractor, working most recently as a superintendent in the construction field. Sal has severed our country in the US Army, as well as his community as a CDF Firefighter.

When Sal and Laura are not working, they love to simply spend time with their family and friends, baking, cooking, hanging out and just loving life.

They’ve recently decided to take on a new challenge and adventure and are now here in Alaska at the Big Ku Lodge. They look forward to sharing their delicious food and talents with the guests, while helping provide an unforgettable experience.

The Owners

Chris & Linda Branham

Big Ku Lodge is a private concession within the boundaries of Katmai National Preserve.  It was built several years ago on privately-leased Native Alaskan land, by Chris & Linda Branham.

The Branham’s own & operate Big Ku’s big-sister lodge the Royal Wolf Lodge, a world class Fly Fishing Lodge also located within the National Park & Preserve.