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“Very Remote but Super Nice” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kennicott Glacier Lodge

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Kennicott Glacier Lodge
2.0 of 5 Lodge   |   #15 Kennicott Millsite, Kennicott, Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve, AK 99588   |  
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The Explorer Package
Florida
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
78 hotel reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Very Remote but Super Nice”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2012

My Mom has stayed here before and told me I have to see this place. Okay, so you have to drive 33 miles off the hwy to Chitina, then a pothole/single lane bridges road (60 miles) to McCarthy, then walk a footbridge and then get the lodge shuttle but it's somehow worth it. Nice place. Room was huge and nicely furnished. The young girl driving the shuttle was really nice and seemed like a sweet person, especially to my Mom. She pointed out a lynx on our drive and we had never seen one in the wild before so we got some photos. Dinner was good, but I'm not a fan of dining with others and chatting and passing around the dishes (not that I'm mean I just want to eat). We had prime rib. Dessert was nice. We walked around the mine area-which is pretty cool. What was odd was after dinner they give you what looks like a bill (but mine was prepaid) where they put the amounts on it. I couldn't figure out if it was for a tip or not, then I read that you should tip after your stay. That was confusing. I did tip like I normally do. You do have to get the blowdryer from the lobby but that's okay. No tv, no phone but that's not what this place is about. Oh, we stayed in the lodge part with the private baths. Some rooms have shared baths, we opted for privacy.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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121 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 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
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English first
Royston, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2011

Over priced but in a wonderful location, and thats what you pay for here.

Basic accommodation, basic , overpriced food, and as soon as you have a dietary requirement, expect "the vegetarian" option. A talentless chef, a miserable russian waitress who, the next time she does smile, will break her face.

Everything extra here, and vastly over priced compared to similar activites elsewhere on the Northern American Continent.

But yes, a wonderful location, and nice to see the Guggemheim's legacy of a mountain of rotting steel drums, at the edge of the glacier being added to by the workmen working to save the National Heritage.. They certainly took all they wanted and left their rubbish behind.


A place of contradictions which if the service and room quality had been there, might have got away with the the average food at high price. but all in all , all three factors came together combined with the extortionately high activity prices, to leave us more or less disappointed...

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rich_Kirkwood, Owner at Kennicott Glacier Lodge, responded to this review, December 14, 2011
Thank you very much for your feedback. We appreciate and take all guest comments with the utmost consideration. We are pleased to hear that you were able to enjoy the beautiful location of our lodge. At Kennicott Glacier Lodge, we strive to create an unforgettable experience for each and every Guest and are very disappointed to hear that some of our services fell short during your vacation with us. We would like to invite you back in hopes that we can not only meet your expectations, but exceed them the second time around. Please feel free to phone or email us at the lodge to discuss any other questions or concerns you may have. Thank you again for your time and feedback.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2011

My wife and I stayed at Kennicott 15 years ago and loved it so much that when we were planning our family trip to Alaska with our two boys for this past summer, Kennicott was the one MUST DO location. We were not disappointed!

First off, it's not as remote as it used to be. 15 years ago, the road to McCarthy was very rough and you didn't pass anyone in or out. This time we passed several cars/trucks, a few more houses were along the way, a remote landing strip next to the road with a helicopter and a small store, even a campground near the end of the road - all new stuff since our last trip. The road is easily passable in a small suv, you don't even need 4wd. The road in is definitely the way you want to travel in. You see so much wild-life and incredible views. It only took about 2.5 hours to drive from Chitina and we took our time. The hotel has also improved in 15 years. They added the southern building, where we stayed. The rooms were great with a nice bathroom & shower! Not a large room but very comfortable for being 60 miles from nowhere. The food was outstanding! The staff were all friendly and very helpful. No internet, cell phone, or TV was available anywhere. While the kids and I had some technology withdrawl symptoms, my wife was very happy! She kept laughing at me because I kept my cell phone on me the whole time - "just in case"!!!

One big change in 15 years was the town. Last time we were here you couldn't go into the buildings (legally anyway). Now, the national park has taken over and you can go with a tour through the 14 story mill. Our two boys loved climbing down all the stairs and looking in all the dark spaces. It was a great tour. Another big change was the local adventure guides have gone professional! Last time we were here the guides were essentially hippies who camped out in the abandoned buildings and smelled something awful! Our two glacier guides were the most courteous and knowledgeable guides you could ever hope to find (and didn't smell!). One was even a former biochemical engineer who decided to drop-out of mainstream society and work in Alaska. They were just great guys! If you ask our boys what they remember most about Alaska or what they liked most, they will tell you "Walking On The Glacier!!!".

I don't think I could write enough about Kennicott Glacier Lodge itself. The place is simply awesome. If you like out-of-the-way places that are truly exciting, this is the place to go. Make sure you stay at least 3 nights (2 full days) and don't miss the half-day glacier tour, full day river rafting trip with the airplane ride back to McCarthy, and the evening Mill tour. If you stay longer, take some hikes up to the old mines. One Hint - Bring a second camera battery and extra data cards - you will need them! Lots of history in the area.... We'll be back again....Hope to see you!!!!

Room Tip: We have stayed in both the old section and the new South Lodge. I suggest staying in the new South...
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  • Stayed June 2011, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, Missouri
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2011

We stayed in Chitina the night before so we could get up early & do the 60 mile drive on the gravel/mud McCarthy Road to the footbridge across the Kennicott River, where we'd get a ride to the lodge. The road is an old railroad passage that went back to the historic Kennicott Mine.Found out rental agencies won't insure you on this road, but it was fine, for the most part; no altercations.
Once there, we checked into the newer part of the lodge with private baths. The main lodge was built in 1987, and the newer section in 2004. We loved this place. At night, you could hear the glacier moving. By day it was a stunning, mountainous vista. We took a tour of that amazing old mine and did a glacier hike; had our crampons on and a packed lunch and all enjoyed the day in a small group led by St. Elias Guides.
Dinner is European style seating, so we got to meet people from all over. The meals were all quite delicious, and the staff friendly and helpful.
The location is what makes this gem so unique and we would love to visit again someday!

Room Tip: the newer section has private baths; the main lodge has shared baths
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Denver, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2011

We did not stay in the lodge, but we ate lunches and dinners there. The food was great - rustic, wholesome and plentiful portions. The lunch menu is small but very tasty. We particularly enjoyed joining the regular guests for the large, family-style set menu dinners the lodge provides each night. During the day they will post the evening,s menu, and if space is available you can join them for the meal. Food is served family style and while is technically limited, we were able to eat several portions of everything. The long tables full of guests allow you to meet and mingle with other travelers and the atmosphere is congenial. A great place to eat and relax!

Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nolaqueen
Top Contributor
330 reviews 330 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 95 cities Reviews in 95 cities
184 helpful votes 184 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2011

This is the most beautiful place. Surrounded by mountains and glaciers and must drive 60 miles on a gravel road that takes 3 hours each way. There won't be many people there. Its rugged yet beautiful. We have been to every state and couldn't decide where we wanted to get married. Didn't want the cliche beach wedding on an island and when we spent the summers in Alaska, we knew this would be the place. In Alaska, anyone can marry you if you fill out the paperwork and we had a lady that works at the lodge marry us. It happened to be a day she was supposed to do the cooking and when she was going to change, we told her no...and she married us in her chef's clothes! They even have a huge rock on property called the marraige rock..it's shaped like a heart. There is communal dining and you definately want to stay the night here and get the meal package. The food is very good. The next day, they will pack you a very nice lunch if you are going hiking or if your leaving or you can eat in dining room. Very laid back and attentive staff. In Main Lodge, you share a bathroom/shower and as soon as we walked out, they were inside cleaning it up. I would go back again and again. The Ghost town/old copper mine is just icing on the cake. Which the chef made us a nice carrot cake for dinner to share on the day we got married and when we return on anniversary, she did the same. Can't say enough good things! Just go experience it yourself!

  • Stayed July 2011, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2011

We knew what we were getting into when we booked at the older part of the Kennicott Glacier Lodge - basic room, no phone, no TV , cold water at the sink in the room and shared toilets and showers. So, the accommodations were no surprise. If you feel that you need more amenities, book a room in the new section that has private baths.

Luckily, we were there early in the season so there were never any waits for the shared toilets and showers. I suspect that this might be a problem later in the season if the place were full as there are not many toilets or showers.

The reason that the place worked for us is that you are in Kennicott for the surroundings, the glacier, the historic town and the mill and there are no alternatives unless you want to stay in McCarthy.

Meals are served family style and were very tasty but are not cheap and the choices are limited. However, when you consider that all supplies have to be brought into the lodge over a long distance, the high food prices are understandable.

Service was good and the staff was very friendly.

We did the Mill tour which was excellent. It is also the only way that you can get in the inside of the mill. I also did the half day glacier hike which I enjoyed.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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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Additional Information about Kennicott Glacier Lodge

Address: #15 Kennicott Millsite, Kennicott, Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve, AK 99588
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Alaska > Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve > Kennicott
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty lodging in Kennicott
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Kennicott Glacier Lodge 2*
Also Known As:
Kennicott Glacier Hotel Kennicott

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