Hatcher Pass Lodge (I missed you)
Time is running out on this trip, and I'm not going to stay at the Hatcher Pass Lodge this week as I had hoped to. However, having driven Hatcher Pass nearly 10 times last summer -- and seeing these cabins every time I drove by -- I can guarantee that if you ever visit the lodge you'll see some incredible scenery.
The lodge is in an area near Independence Mine -- and unlike Hatcher Pass itself -- the road that leads from Wasilla, Alaska up to the lodge is entirely paved, so there's no problem taking a rental car to get there. And once you're at the lodge, you'll be at least half way up the side of a mountain range, and hiking in this area is incredible, and all the scenery, including the river, the mine, and everything in the mountains, is incredible. All that, and you're also only about 30-40 minutes from Wasilla, home of grocery stores, restaurants, and (yuk) civilization.
Finally, although I've shown this picture before, should you have a car that can handle the unpaved, man-sized pothole laden road that is Hatcher Pass, you'll see many, many views like the picture shown below. (The place where I took this picture is on Hatcher Pass, but it would be a long hike from the Hatcher Pass Lodge.)