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“Terrific Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of North Face Lodge

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North Face Lodge
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Post Office Box 67, Denali National Park and Preserve, AK 99755   |  
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Sanibel
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Terrific Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

A terrific experience in a great national park. Denali is iconic, and this is the way to see it. We did get to see the mountain each of our four days--at least once. The lodge is very well-run. The rooms are fine (if you want a great view, you need to accept the outhouses up at Camp Denali). The staff is exceptional--knowledgeable, professional, friendly, helpful. There were options for activities each day-- I enjoyed the "moderate" ones--not too rugged, but a little challenging. Food is excellent, and they assign seating so you get to meet most of the others staying there, plus the staff sit with you which is a very nice touch. We got to see a huge caribou herd, lots of wildflowers, and lovely tundra. The bus ride was also a treat, with a stop for a grizzly bear and other wildlife sightings.

Room Tip: All are the same.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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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67 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (12)
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NewYork
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

My wife and I spent three nights at this outstanding lodge in Denali National Park as part of our 16 day Alaska vacation. We do not have enough good things to say about the North Face Lodge. It made our stay in Denali fantastic. The Lodge is one of only four lodges this deep inside the Park. The lodge is extremely well run and everything is well planned -- from the bus trip through the Park to the lodge, to the activities offered, to the meals, to, well , everything. The staff is sensational and the naturalists are extremely knowledgeable and make great guides for the hikes and other activities offered. The host and hostess are extremely friendly and are available to make suggestions and to help you select which activity is best for you. And there is something for everyone -- from the novice hiker to the expert mountain climber. The rooms are simply furnished but very fitting for the area and they are spotlessly clean. The food is very good and you eat with the entire group staying at the Lodge with the guests rotating tables so that you have a chance to co-mingle and to get to know the other guests. We highly recommend the North Face Lodge for you stay in Denali National Park.

Room Tip: The rooms are set up in a "motel style" and all of the (cabin-like) rooms are the same...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pequannock, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2014

North Face Lodge is a magical place. 90 miles or so into Denali and you feel privileged to stay there. The rooms are sparkling clean with comfortable beds and a private bathroom and plenty of hot water for showers. The food is excellent and served in the dining room at communal tables. The outings, as stated in other reviews are forays, moderate and strenuous. The naturalists who led our treks were extremely knowledgeable. The views of Mt. McKinley were awesome. North Face Lodge does its own baking. They have a greenhouse and grow vegetable and herbs. They compost. You will use reusable cloth bags for your lunch and reusable bottles for your water. You will be amazed at how well done everything is. The family has owned the property for about 60 years and they have hired staff who love the environment and love what they are doing, be it cooking, hosting, or leading treks.
We were there for the summer solstice and 22 hours of daylight was mind-boggling. At 10:30 PM, we were still outside taking one more walk to Wonder Lake.
The other reviews accurately describe other details, so I won't repeat them. My husband and I had a wonderful time at North Face Lodge and highly recommend it.

Room Tip: With all that daylight, I found an eye mask helped me to sleep. Silk tops and bottoms (long underwe...
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  • Stayed June 2014, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
australia
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2014

If you want to stay in the heart of Denali National Park with - on a good day - stunning views of Mt McKinley, close proximity to Wonder Lake and the beautiful sub-artic tundra you can’t look past Denali North Face Lodge. We spent three nights there and loved it. The North Face shuttle brings people from the train station at Denali through the stunning park - a 5 hour feast for the eyes drive, through the tundra, aboreal forests and the magnificent Alaska Range, where the knowledgeable driver makes the most of wildlife viewing, such as grizzly bears, moose (we had an angry moose do a mock charge towards our bus), wolves, dall sheep and caribou. The buses are not overly crowded and have good leg room, which allows easier viewing and photography of the park and the animals. Along the way you are provided with a delicious picnic meal. On arrival the manager John and his staff greet each individual as they alight from the bus. The accommodation is basic but comfortable and clean and with 3 qualified chefs the food is delicous and beautifully presented. There is a wonderful feel of community at North Face Lodge. Guests are seated with different people for each meal and the staff are very friendly, helpful and very good at their jobs. Activities are arranged for guests, such as hiking at either low, moderate or strenuous levels. You can hike any of the trails or make your own trail in the soft tundra. We were taken out on a photographic foray instead of a hike. Guests can use the Lodge pushbikes to discover the area or paddle around Wonder Lake in canoes. Or sit by the crackling fire and borrow a book from the Lodges Library. Come to North Face Lodge for the experience. You won’t be disappointed. September is reputed to be the best month for stable weather and vibrant colours in the tundra. But it can also be quite cold, so remember to pack warm clothes, gloves, hat and dress in layers.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vero Beach
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

It helps to understand the setup in Denali to appreciate choices and experiences.
1. Virtually no automobiles are allowed into the Park except for those with special permits. Forget any thoughts of driving around inside the Park.
2. Most lodging is outside the park and uses buses with special permits for day trips into the Park.
3. It is 90 miles and several hours on graded road surfaces with some steep drop-offs to the far end of the Park.
North Face Lodge is 85 miles via provided bus on this road. Much of the animal life will be seen from the bus. Bus drivers/guides are college educated in relevant natural sciences, many with graduate work and degrees. They work hard to help you learn about and appreciate the nature in the Park. Guided excursions from the Lodge accommodate easy, moderate and more difficult hikers. You pack your own lunch for the day after each breakfast. Meals are prepared by a real chef and respond to individual dietary requirements. Check the website for currently available hiking equipment like rain gear, day packs, hiking poles, etc. which the Lodge provides free of charge and could influence your packing of gear. My wife and I waited a year to get the four night option and feel it was a good decision.

Room Tip: All rooms face Mount Denali and are equivalent. No need to obsess over room location.
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  • Stayed August 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 26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Virginia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

My wife and I stayed at the North Face Lodge this August in conjunction with a Denali Photography workshop. The accommodations were Spartan (being on a par with some inexpensive lower 48 motels) but did include in-room bathrooms (a luxury for lodging so far within the Park).

What sets the North Face Lodge apart is the wonderful hospitality of the staff. They are extremely knowledgeable about the Park and its wildlife, most holding advanced degrees in the flora or fauna of the area. Each day, we drove via bus to locations that the staff considered prime wildlife habitats. During our 5-day stay, we saw bear, moose, caribou, wolves and numerous species of birds. These sightings were even more special considering that Denali Park consists of over 6 million acres.

The meals were delicious, whether served in the lodge, picnic-style on the Denali Road or boxed lunches eaten on the bus.

Was the stay expensive...yes. But it was worth every penny and I would recommend the experience highly.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ks
Top Contributor
198 reviews 198 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 78 cities Reviews in 78 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

It is so special to stay within Park Denali, and if you prefer to have a toilet en suite, then mortgage your home and make reservations a year ahead of time for North Face Lodge.

Yes, it's worth it!

The location and staff are incredible. The hikes/outings were fitted to everyone's interests and walking abilities. The food was sooo good.

I'm sure Denali is beautiful all year round. We were there in the fall and it is magical.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about North Face Lodge

Address: Post Office Box 67, Denali National Park and Preserve, AK 99755
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Alaska > Denali National Park and Preserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Denali National Park and Preserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located near the end of the unpaved, mountainous 90-mile road into Denali National Park, North Face Lodge is one of only two in-park lodgings in view of Mt. McKinley. It specializes in learning adventures for active travelers, featuring naturalist-led hikes and field trips for visitors who wish to explore Denali in-depth. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
North Face Hotel Denali National Park And Preserve

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