We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge to Wilderness Access...

Which Denali National Park and Preserve hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
georgia
3 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge to Wilderness Access...

We will be staying at McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge in a couple of weeks and want to go on the shuttle vs the Tundra Wilderness Tour to Wonder Lake (since the reviews say you do get more for the money and can take a picnic lunch). Does anyone know what the transfer fee is and how far is it from the Lodge to the Access Center?

Also, can you get the lunch from one of the restraunts near the lodge?

Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
6 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge to Wilderness Access...

Just returned from Princess Cruise and stayed two days at McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge - shuttle goes from hotel every hour and is free - will take you to access center where you can catch a bus into the park - buses go into the park so many miles then come back the same road (18 miles, 25 miles etc.) the Tundra Wilderness Tour is 120 some miles round trip - there is a Subway and a pizza shop right across the street from the Lodge

Chatsworth, Georgia
Level Contributor
21 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge to Wilderness Access...

I'm a bit confused. Denali Princess Lodge is at Denali National Park, not Mt McKenley Princess Lodge. We just returned from there also (Cruise Tour 5/20-5/30). The entrance to the park is a short distance from Denali Princess lodge and there are plenty of shuttles. If you are really gung-ho, you can even walk to the park entrance, but we didn't. We were only there overnight and only got to take the Natural History Tour which only goes a few miles in the park and we saw limited wildlife. Those that were there longer and took the Tundra Tour saw much more. I'd recommend going on it or the deeper shuttles, depending on how long you feel like you can stay on a bus.

Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
6 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge to Wilderness Access...

My mistake - my comments were about the Denali Princess not Mckinley - we were at Mckinley but don't remember a Tundra Wilderness Tour there

Chatsworth, Georgia
Level Contributor
21 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge to Wilderness Access...

2005CH,

When were you there? Did you do the train from Denali to McKinley, we thought this was a highlight of the trip.

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Level Contributor
37,522 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge to Wilderness Access...

Thought it might be good to clear up some confusion on this post. The Denali Princess is located near the entrance to Denali Nat'l Park, while the McKinley Princess is located near Talkeetna and Denali State Park, hundreds of miles south of Denali Park. People are often confused. You might check that reservation. :)

Denali Nat'l Park is the one offering bus tours. The one post was correct that there is lunch food available right across from the Denali Princess, and that the shuttles to the bus system is free.

Good luck! :)

Anchorage, Alaska
Level Contributor
492 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge to Wilderness Access...

I think the Mckinley Princess is about 108 miles from Denali Park Entrance. Bus service link-

www.alaskatravel.com/bus-lines/index.html

Looks like a $49.00 fee per person. Plus it leaves at 6:30 PM, no morning bus that I can see. How are you getting to your hotel? I think your best bet would be to rent a car in Anchorage unless someone knows of any other way to get there?

I don't know of any restaurants nearby, but Princess's prices are comparable to everyone else's. We stopped at a crappy looking place in Copper River Area and they had chicken strips and fries for $13. We decided to go on to the Copper River Princess where we were staying and I ordered a lovely crab cake dinner for about the same price. Much nicer! There are some general stores and lodges on the way to Denali that I'm sure would make you a picnic lunch though.

Here's the Differences Between Shuttles and Tours found on the Denali Park website for shuttle service.

>>>The Shuttle system is a mode of transportation allowing passengers to get off to go hiking or exploring (except in closed areas) and reboard another shuttle on a space available basis.

The shuttle bus drivers are not required to offer any narration or dialogue, however they are required to answer relevant questions to the best of their knowledge.

No food or beverage is provided on the shuttles.

Tour bus passengers may reserve any number of seats at a time, unlike shuttle passengers, who are restricted to a maximum of 8 per request.

Tour Buses pick up and drop off at several locations outside the park entrance. Shuttle Buses only pickup at the Wilderness Access Center.

If you are staying at a hotel and you won't have your own transportation and you would like to take an early trip into the park this is a consideration.<<<

I'm curious to know myself if you can go from McKinley Princess to the Shuttle access. I couldn't find anything on the Princess website or the rail site either. Please let us know.

Anchorage, AK
5 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge to Wilderness Access...

I've never heard of a transfer available from the McKinley Princess Lodge to the park entrance that would allow the passenger to take one of the tours into the park. The Park Connection Motorcoach leaves the McKinley Princess Lodge at 6:30pm and gets into Denali at roughly 8:30. However, if you were staying at the McKinley Princess Lodge you wouldn't want to take a 2 hour transfer to get on a 6-8 hour bus tour to take a 2 hour return transfer just to see the park in one day. I suggest at least 2 nights at the park entrance or you're really doing yourself a disservice.

The parks and lodges can be easily confused because the Denali Princess Lodge is at the entrance to the Denali NATIONAL Park and the McKinley Princess Lodge is at the Denali STATE Park. The McKinley Princess Lodge is only 35 miles from the base of Mt. McKinley though and on a clear day you'll have excellent views of the mountain, plus Talkeetna is only 30 minutes south of the lodge (the lodge will provide transfers to town for $15 roundtrip) and it has lots of personality.

Get answers to your questions about Denali National Park...