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“Amazing place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Camp Denali

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Camp Denali
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Mile 89 Denali Park Road, Denali National Park and Preserve, AK 99755   |  
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Kingsport, TN
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Amazing place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

We really had a great time! It would be difficult not to give the place 5-stars...as you see from other reviews. They just do a fantastic job. Food was excellent. The staff absolutely do "everything possible" to insure you enjoy your time there. We were there for 4 days (3 full "adventure" days)...We took the guided "difficult" tours two of the days and explored on our own the 3rd full day. If you were looking hard for something negative, the mosquitoes were out...but they even provided this "stuff" you could burn to drive away the little buggers.

OK...one negative thing (note I gave it 5-stars)...they claim that "every" outhouse has a view of Denali....and our cabin did *not*....it was facing 90 degrees the wrong direction....If I were in charge of the camp, I'd move that one outhouse just so that I could stand behind the claim :-)

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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113 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
MD
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

Our trip started off on a sour note while anxiously waiting on our bus to head out to Camp Denali, watching the other buses be on their way while we waited for a family that was running late. We were told 15 minutes, after 30 minutes we were told they were 8 miles away, after an hour and 15 minutes they finally showed up. We felt we were rushed getting there and they even told our driver upon arrival she did a great job making up lost time, NOT WHAT THE REST OF US REALLY WANTED TO HEAR. Since most of us paid to stay close to the entrance to make sure we were on time, it was frustrating to have a family from Anchorage not follow the same instructions. Other arrangements should have been made so the rest of us didn't sit on the bus for over an hour before beginning a SEVERAL hour trip back to the Lodge.
We did see wildlife on the way into the Park as everyone said we would. We all had such a great time once we arrived. We apologized to each other, and the rest of our trip was one we will never forget. The weather was perfect, the food was fantastic, and the views were breathtaking ! It truly is an amazing experience and I highly recommend it . We chose to take the 35 minute flight back to the entrance and we were told by others it was the smart thing to do since the bus ride is much more hurried leaving and the ride is rougher. But either way you decide to travel, just do it ( You won't regret it).

Room Tip: Request a room closer to the lodge if you are not able to do uphill walking or need to be close to i...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hull, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

We stayed at Camp Denali in mid July and had a wonderful experience. My only regret was not staying a full week. It's a long ride in from the park entrance, but a beautiful one full of breath taking vistas and wildlife sightings. The camp itself is idyllic. Very comfortable cabins (much more comfortable than I was expecting) a really well organized operation with thoughtful structure in place to ensure that the guest can maximize the opportunity to get to know the park. The experience includes family style dining with the chef announcing each meal and staff members joining the tables to add an extra special touch. It was really nice. Some of the meals were excellent. (they serve a Kale salad that is OUT OF THIS WORLD) There were one or two meals which did not impress me that much (the hollandaise sauce over the eggs benedict was way too heavy on the vinegar and the short ribs over sticky rice was a little too "comfort foody" to be considered gourmet) With that said generally speaking, it's an overall very good quality. These are young chefs who work seasonal jobs, so set your expectation appropriately. The guided hikes are super informative and the naturalists are all extremely knowledgeable on a wide range of topics. There are also lots of great independent activities you can take advantage of if you choose (they really have this down). The staff at Camp Denali are all there because they love the park, and they all LOVE Camp Denali. I believe this is one of the greatest strengths of the property. There are few places you can stay that have been able to secure so many people who genuinely love to be there. As with most things, this strength is also one of the weaknesses of the camp because there's a little bit of a sense that the staff are so focused on the incredible experience they are having as individuals (and as a staff community), that they forget to focus on the guest experience. It's seemed as if they had lost some focus on how much we all paid to be there. It was still an incredible experience, and they are all very nice, it's just something that I noticed. Also, the camp splits all of the staff gratuities equally, so there isn't a huge incentive for any one staff member to step up and give excellent service, because they can't be directly rewarded for it. That's a bit of a bummer in a setting where the guests are high end enough to be expecting superior service. All in, I would go back in a heartbeat and I recommend this experience hands down! - I would call it a "must do"

Room Tip: If you're deciding whether you want the lodge or the cabins, I would recommend the cabins. The v...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

After reading several other reviews before our visit, it seemed obvious that everyone has a great time at Camp Denali. We were there in early July 2013, and our experience was wonderful as well.

I will say up front that the mosquitos can be overwhelming, depending on the time of day, how much breeze is blowing and where you happen to be. We were unable to use our outhouse due to it's location in the woods...... the mosquitos had firm control of the space and weren't about to give it up. It was only a short walk to the shower house, so we got used to hiking there instead. If your schedule is flexible, you might want to consider going earlier or later in the season, when the little buggers aren't so active. We were told that this has been a particularly bad year for mosquitos.

We met several wonderful people during our stay. The camp staff picked up three busloads of campers at the train station and drove us to the camp, which takes several hours. We stopped halfway to the camp and had a fantastic picnic next to a river. You start to make friends with everyone as the bus ride progresses, and the following day everyone seems to start settling in at breakfast.

We took the hike to the ridge behind the camp on our first day. Our guide explained that we should prepare for tons of mosquitos on the first third of the hike, but it would get better as we approached the top. That was exactly as it happened, so you should listen to the staff....as they
know what to expect.

The second day we drove back into the park and hiked in an alpine meadow.....without following a trail. Normally you're told to stay ON the trail when hiking in a National Park, so it was fun and different to hike through fields of alpine flowers in all the colors of the rainbow. Didn't see a single mosquito that second day, which was great. We did see lots of caribou.

At each meal there's a clothespin with your name on it, so you know where you and your party are sitting, and you're always seated with your spouse, kids or group. This allows one to move around at subsequent meals and meet most of the other guests, which is quite nice. Even if you get a dud, you're moving on for the next meal! (didn't meet any duds!) Most of the other guests were fantastic and there's lots to talk about as you discuss the days events.

The staff who led us on those adventures is amazingly well-versed in the flora and fauna of the area. Some are more knowledgeable than others, but most really know their stuff and the newer staff members still knew volumes more than I. The staff numbers approximately 48, and there's a sheet in each cabin with the names of all the staffers and the city they're from...which was kind of cool.

The views of Mt. McKinley are fabulous as advertised. We sat in our cabin and watched the mountain for almost four hours the first night we were there. Sounds kinda nuts, but go there and see if you don't end up doing the same thing....assuming Denali is out.

Camp Denali isn't cheap, and it's not easy to get to. But, as they say, if it was....everybody would go. I hope you get a chance to experience it, and hope this was helpful.

Room Tip: The "Discovery" cabin has the best view and is close to the showers and the dining hall.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LANGLEY
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

It’s rare when my wife Ann and I both rave about a vacation spot, but Camp Denali deserved that reaction and more. We both love great food, superb service, congenial fellow guests and knockout views--all of which Camp Denali has in abundance. But Ann likes a quite place to read and write and she found that, looking up from her book at the massive north face of Denali, or perhaps a moose in a nearby pond. I like a nice outdoors workout and the Camp’s trained guides took small groups of us out onto the tundra and up nearby ridges (there were also less strenuous options) to gape in awe at the enormous vista of the Alaska Range and to savor the flowers and wildlife. Camp Denali is very comfortable (and yes, I mean that even with outdoor plumbing!). It is also a wonderful adventure for those who want more--way more--than the normal tourist experience.

Room Tip: Close to the showers is best.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

Recently stayed for 3 nights at Camp Denali and had a great experience. Breakfast is at 7:30 each morning, and after that you choose from 3 different hikes (foray, moderate, strenuous) and all are led by knowledgeable and friendly guides (we had Jeff and Drew, and both were great.) The first day we went up into the hills behind the Camp, and the next you take a 1.5 hour drive back into Denali which was my personal favorite. We saw a short stand-off between a bear (you keep quite a distance from them) and a moose which was interesting! Meals were excellent. Word of warning: they ask your age at booking, and we've since learned (or guessed - perhaps we're wrong) that they seem to assign cabins based upon your age and fitness level due to the very long walks from the furthest away cabins to the dining/shower areas. Our friends and I were probably the youngest pairs there and we were assigned to the cabins farthest out (40 Below and Bergschmid) - those walks got to be a bit old multiple times a day. A final word of advice if you go at this time of year (we were there the first few days of July) - bring mosquito headnets (they also have these available on loan if you don't want to bring your own.) Mosquitos were out of control on our first day of hikes and we found ourselves even wearing the headnets on our walks to meals!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jan T, Manager at Camp Denali, responded to this review, July 17, 2013
Thank you for taking time to write about your visit to Camp Denali. We're glad that you enjoyed your stay.

We would like to offer clarification about how we make our cabin assignments at Camp Denali. No two of our guest cabins are exactly alike. We strive to provide the most suitable cabin that we can for each party, based on a variety of factors. We do not solicit ages and fitness levels when making a reservation. We do note other factors such as mobility concerns, bedding requests, and party size. We always do our best to accommodate requests, but because last minute changes can arise, we do not promise specific cabins in advance.

Camp Denali offers 18 well-spaced guest cabins on a sloping ridge overlooking the Alaska Range. Each cabin has a view of Mt. McKinley and features the same traditional Alaskan appointments: Alaskan artwork, handmade quilts, propane lights, a wood stove, outdoor running water, a propane hotplate and kettle, and a private, well-maintained outhouse nearby. The distance from each cabin to the main buildings (dining room, lodge and showers) varies. The furthest cabin requires a 6 to 8 minute walk each way. For those guests preferring traditional rooms, dining and common areas all under the same roof, we offer North Face Lodge a half-mile away.

We are sometimes asked whether Camp Denali is more "rustic", and North Face Lodge is more "upscale". We feel strongly that the programming, staffing, meals, and attention to detail are of the same caliber at both facilities. The primary difference is in the style of accommodation. We are always pleased to discuss the options by phone to help guests determine which lodge is appropriate for them.

-Simon and Jenna Hamm, Owners
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

We were luck to spend 4 nights at this lodge. Te staff made you feel as if you were family, from the time they picked us up at the train station to the time we were safely returned. The setting is the best in the park. The entire place looks at Denali.
The guests during our stay ranged in ages from 6 to 80. Each person was accommodated and made to feel special.
The food is all homemade and a great amount is grown on site or locally produced. Tables were planned so that you were able sit with each guest.
Each day we were offered a variety of hikes. The small groups were led by highly qualified and knowledgeable naturalists. The day ends with a talk given by an expert on a topic related to the park or mountain. We will remember the friends we made.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Camp Denali

Address: Mile 89 Denali Park Road, Denali National Park and Preserve, AK 99755
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Alaska > Denali National Park and Preserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 30 Specialty Lodging in Denali National Park and Preserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Camp Denali, with sweeping views of Mt. McKinley, is located deep inside Denali National Park. Offering active learning vacations since 1952. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Camp Denali Hotel Denali National Park And Preserve

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