We love to drive and explore new areas and places. Along the way, we often find hidden treasures that tantalize
the taste buds. Some are tucked quietly away from the mainstream and can easily go unnoticed.
Nestled in the foothills of the Chugach mountains about an hour from Anchorage, we discovered this quaint little ice cream dream--a hidden gem of Eklutna!
The owner of Rochelle's Ice Cream Stop, Tena, was kind enough to give us a little history of her place. In the Spring of '82, Tena's daughter, Rochelle, was 14 years old and was wanting to find some work to help her earn a few bucks. Her father asked what kind of job she would like to do. He mentioned working an ice cream shop and Rochelle said the idea sounded "COOL!" . Well the idea turned out to be very cool indeed (and creamy!) when that
summer, her mother and father built the above ice cream shop and gave it their daughter's namesake. Every summer she would run the shop and when she was 16 it was helping her to pay for her car insurance and gasoline.
In the beginning the shop was only open on weekends and accessible by gravel road. But a few years later, the state opened a campground just a mile down the road on Eklutna Lake which made business at the ice cream shop boom! Three years ago, they also paved the road to get to the campground. No camper could get to the lake without first passing Rochelle's. Campers, fishermen, hikers and people four-wheeling have, for two decades, found refreshment and relaxation, along with helpful information, just up the road.
Aside from scooping up fresh 'Alaska Supreme' ice cream (locally made in Mountain View), Tena and her husband chose to further cater to this camping crowd. They added a public shower and laundry facility along with a General Store for any lastminute camping needs.
The ice cream shop serves tasty flavors, including a couple of Alaska flavors - blueberry, wildberry and birchwalnut!-- yum! They make their own vanilla and chocolate waffle cones (yes! we said chocolate waffle cone!) They also serve hot dogs/hamburgers, fries along with coffee and espresso, etc.
As far as Rochelle...well she's all grown up now and has a 14-yr-old of her own! Each summer, she and her son come up from Arizona to work the shop all of June and July. So...history repeats itself! We loved this place due to it's personal, friendly service, it's quality ice cream and its relaxing setting with a breathtaking view. Tena and her husband also rent out the upstairs room of their house, which is on the same grounds as the ice cream shop, along with three cabins across the street. Their business runs from Mother's Day weekend through the third weekend in September. Call them at (907) 688-6201 or visit www.goalaskan.com.