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“36th Wedding anniversary....” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Caribou Lodge Alaska

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Caribou Lodge Alaska
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P.O. Box 706, Talkeetna, AK 99676   |  
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Anchorage, ak
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“36th Wedding anniversary....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2011

This is the 3rd vacation that we have spent at Caribou Lodge but it is the first in the summer. Totally different in summer than in winter, but as always, magical. The lodge is simply set in one of the best views in the world. When there are no clouds, you see Denali, Hunter and Foraker. Of course, there are no northern lights in the summer but in the fall it is a great place to see them. To hear what absolute silence is, this is the place to go. There are 3 cabins, simply furnished, comfortable....No indoor plumbing...as this is a 20 minute flight from Talkeetna up into the mountains. Meals are in the lodge cabin and Pam is a fantastic cook. You can hike...with Mike as your guide, berry pick, fish, or just relax and listen to the birds and the honk of the Sand Hill Cranes as they fly overhead to their southern locale for the winter. This trip we saw caribou, white fronted geese, sand hill cranes by the hundreds and a curious river otter that flopped himself up on the float plane float.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Mike N, Owner at Caribou Lodge Alaska, responded to this review, January 8, 2013
As always, our pleasure to have you back! Many strangers arrive, who depart as friends, none more so than the two of you. We do not say good-by... we will see you next trip!
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40 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (4)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Korneuburg, Austria
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2011

This is the place where we learned how few things we really needed to be happy. It's so peaceful there and Mike & Pam are great hosts who make their home a paradise for those who want to enjoy nature - without ever being disturbed by any unnatural noise.
The cabins are nice and comfortable and kept meticulously clean. Pam's food is really great & wholesome (and plentyful) - just perfect after spending a lot of time outdoors.
There are walking trails from the lodge, e.g. around the lake, and some benches where we sat and simply absorbed the beauty of the landscape. Mike offers hikes for those who want a guide but would never impose if people just want to be on their own.
This was one of our best experiences during a 5-week Alaska trip!

Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike N, Owner at Caribou Lodge Alaska, responded to this review, January 8, 2013
Thank you for your comments, they are appreciated. We some times get so used living here in the silence...we can't hear it. However after a trip out to town...on getting home, the peace and quiet is renewed. Thanks for coming!
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Amsterdam
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2011

Staying with Mike & Pam was a great experience and certainly one of the most rewarding things we've done in our lives so far. In our four day visit we managed to completely forget about our busy lives and enjoy the beautiful Alaskan wilderness. Mike & Pam are perfect hosts, immediately making you feel like you're old friends, without imposing and respecting your privacy. Although the Caribou Lodge is pretty far from 'civilization', that doesn't mean it's primitive or without comfort. They manage to serve delicious meals, have clean and comfortable cabins and a cozy living room. It's impressive to see what they've built for themselves and how they manage to survive comfortably in the wilderness. Their entertaining stories and the hikes around the Lodge make the trip complete. It's a truly unique place where we'd love to come every year, if it weren't a two day trip with planes and cars from home...

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike N, Manager at Caribou Lodge Alaska, responded to this review, January 8, 2013
Wow! Are you sure this is our place? Just kidding! It was our pleasure to have you here and our pleasure to share a bit of our life style with you. It makes it easy with folks who have an understanding of what it takes to live out here, and appreciate it. Thanks!
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Bangkok, Thailand
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2009

This was our third visit to Caribou Lodge and each time it just gets better! This time we took my son and his fiancé with us. Our visit was once again fantastic. The proprietors, Pam and Mike Nichols, are great hosts with Pam being the chef and cooking fantastic meals and Mike being the guide and story teller. It is a fantastic place just chill out and enjoy the tundra and beauty of Alaska, especially seeing the sun rise over Mt. Denali. Our 4 day visit was fantastic and the weather was, for the most part, beautiful with the Fall colors in full display. My son and his fiancé went on an over night trek with Mike while my wife and I stayed back and did some day trekking by ourselves. The hospitality was overwhelmingly great. It is just a great place to stay and visit and feel at home.

Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike N, Owner at Caribou Lodge Alaska, responded to this review, January 8, 2013
Our lodge/home is yours, you are welcome here anytime...but we think you know that. The backpack trek was a pleasure, I enjoyed it as always, fine family. Pam will always have some biscuits and gravy for you! See you next time....
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zeist
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2009

Our first time to Alaska and we're most fortunate to have a tour operator that highly recommended Caribou Lodge.
So there we were,two Dutchies from far and away ,but we felt home right from the moment we met our two great hosts Mike and Pam.
It's hard to even describe the experience you find in Caribou Lodge;it must be this great mixture of true hospitality ,the wonderful surroundings,(wildlife abound and around,)great food ,the luxury of being disconnected from the rest of the world and meeting other people..
But the special treat are those breakfasts ,lunches and dinners where Mike and Pam bring you back to what really matters.Good fun ,great stories about Ed the mountain man,(no worries you probably are not going to meet him,)are mixed with some lessons in life.Live simply and don't mix needs and desires.
It is now more than 4 weeks and it's still coming back to us.
When we returmed to Talkeetna (great flight with a floatplane),we knew it .Caribou Lodge was the highlight of our holiday.And back home here in the Netherlands ,we think we understand it ,Caribou Lodge is no need but you desire to go back,once you've been there!
And before I forget great sleddogs,great pictures ,in our staircase,proof of evidence of a great 2.5 days in Talkeetna,thank you Mike and Pam

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Mike N, Owner at Caribou Lodge Alaska, responded to this review, January 8, 2013
Our thanks to you! Our pleasure to have you here and we hope to see you again someday. It is a bit rare to have folks understand as much about living in the Alaskan Bush and the two of you did. It's a good thing to know...even if you never need it.... Thank you1
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Philadelphia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2008

My family went here this summer and had an amazing time. You get to experience solitude and isolation in nature something hard to find in todays world. The lodge was my favorite spot I have ever visited. Be sure to go on a hike with Mike as you head off without a trail into the Alaskan wilderness. It is truly an amazing experience. We saw abundant wildlife (although no caribou) and great views of Mount McKinley. Also, the food was amazing! I was shocked as all the food has to be flown in and Pam does it all in the kitchen of their house. Not only is the food great but there is plenty of it, keeping you well fed for your long hikes. I agree with the one other post it is not for everyone, but if you want solitude, a chance to experience pristine Alaskan wilderness, and a unique perspective on life the lodge is the place for you.

  • Liked — Location, hosts, food
  • Disliked — Everything was great!
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike N, Owner at Caribou Lodge Alaska, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Our pleasure to have you! And after 20 + years in the Alaskan Wilderness I think we have things pretty well figured out, but I guess it still amazes us at times as well. You never know what nature is going to throw your way. Hope to see you again someday....
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SF Bay Area, CA
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2008

This was our second trip to Mike and Pam's Caribou Lodge--we initially went 3 years ago when our kids were ten. We have absolutely loved both of our trips. It's hard to put into words exactly why--there's just something that deeply nourishes our souls in this place with these people. It's a beautiful setting--the hiking, the scenery, the wildlife, the views of Denali, etc. But even more than that, it's the warmth and care of Mike and Pam, their commitment to the land, to sharing their world and values with others, and their good-humored, gentle way with one another and with their guests that makes our time at Caribou Lodge so renewing, so rewarding.

Our stay this time included 3 other couples/families--all of whom became fast friends despite being from different countries, different backgrounds and different regions of the US. Around the dinner table, one of the guests suggested we share our "top ten" list about the Lodge. One of the children said "Caribou Lodge is the best place to spend your time between past and future." That is so true. A place to be in the now. To delight in a game of horseshoes or badminton. To unabashedly reach for another one of Pam's homemade rolls. To trudge through the bush to pick blueberries. To giggle at Mike's stories.

It may not be for everyone--animal sightings are not guaranteed, the outhouses smell like outhouses, and there isn't a TV or way to recharge the Gameboy. But for our family, Caribou Lodge is paradise--
and we can't wait to go back.

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike N, Owner at Caribou Lodge Alaska, responded to this review, January 8, 2013
They say better late than never, again, sorry for being so slow to respond. As you have noted, electronics in the Alaskan Wilderness are slow at best. And our limited knowledge is not a big help. But...thank you for your kind words! We were pretty happy that the "kids" would consider us their favorite spot. Thanks for coming back again!
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Additional Information about Caribou Lodge Alaska

Address: P.O. Box 706, Talkeetna, AK 99676
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Alaska > Talkeetna
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 Specialty lodging in Talkeetna
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on a remote lake in a superb setting above timberline just S.E. of Denali Park and closer to Mt McKinley than the Park entrance or headquarters, Caribou Lodge is completely surrounded by Alaska's wild country. Owned and operated Mike & Pam who have spent the last the past 20 years living at the lodge in the Alaskan "Bush", as it is know to Alaskans. The Lodge offers a unique opportunity for guest to not only experience the awesome wilderness of Alaska, but to learn about living in it as well. From homeschooling, wolves in their huskies, grizzlies out the front door, it is all a learning experience and one enjoy sharing with a limited number of guests. Small and personal, a "Denali Park without the crowds", Caribou Lodge offers daily guided hiking, extended backpacking trips, and more, a relaxing learning experience in the Alaskan bush. Come join us! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Caribou Lodge Alaska Hotel Talkeetna
Caribou Hotel Talkeetna
Caribou Lodge Alaska Talkeetna

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