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Denali Backcountry Lodge
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Reviews (370)
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All reviewsthe busday trippersgold panningcold cutsopportunity to meetserved family styletwo nightsdenali backcountrymosquito nettingmountain bikinganimal sightingsgreat picturesfishing polesthe riverbike ridepan for goldsix hours
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Reviewed August 18, 2008

We were fortunate to see most of Denali on the road to the lodge, as well as quite a bit of wildlife. Our driver, Mark Jordan, a local science teacher, was terrific.

The reviews I read and the lodge website did not explain that the lodge provides bug spray, rainpants and headnets for hikers to shield themselves from the weather and mosquitoes. We had brought repellent with Deet and head nets, but not rainpants, so we were graetful for that and have since returned the unused items.

The website does not say that there are two free hikes easy and moderate each morning and afternoon. If you want a more challenging hike, they will arrange that also.

We took the moderate hike up Willow Creek and enjoyed the commentary of Miles, the naturalist, who explained what every plant was, where he grew, how it could be used for food or medicine.

The food was good and plentiful (vegetarian option came in handy one night) but not gourmet for 80 people.

We did see people who took the long-day tour and had lunch at the lodge. That ride is not my idea of fun.

If you want to see the wildlife of Denali and get a chance to sleep in the middle of nowhere, in a bed, this is the place.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank NYC_Family_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2008

Our 2-night visit to this "Wilderness" area was very disappointing. Alhough the cabins were lovely, we found the food very average in terms of both quantity and quality. They serve instant coffee, and the juices and iced tea were watered down. However, our biggest disappointment was when we returned from our morning hike to find three busloads of people had descended on the property! These are day-trippers who come in for lunch, a one-hour activity, then leave. It quite destroyed any sense of wilderness that being at the end of a 92-mile, 6 hour ride might have created for us.

We found the young naturalist-staff to be very knowledgeable and eager. The bus drivers were interesting to listen to, and we saw many animals on the drive.

Overall, however, this was not worth the exorbitant cost.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with friends
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4  Thank naturelover1050
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2008

I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical of our trip here after reading reviews. I'm glad I didn't take it to heart. We had a wonderful time at the Backcountry Lodge. The bus ride was great, very informative. We saw Mt. McKinley the whole way in. The food was good, well balanced, very tasty and the optional vegetarian dishes were delicious (and I'm not vegetarian). The cabins were ok, granted they are all that you need but for the price better mattresses and maybe down comforters would be a nice touch. The staff was wonderful. Hiking trips were available for all levels and ages of people. There was no pressure to do or not do anything. Staff was very friendly and attentive. The best part of the lodge though were the people we met. Everyone was wonderful. We had great times and conversations with people from literally all over the world. It was a very relaxing and friendly environment. You felt like you were at home with long time friends. You could be very busy with activities or very relaxed chatting with a new acquaintance. It was all wonderful.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank WisconsinKim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2008

We had read some unfavorable reviews about Denali Backcountry Lodge, mainly about the food. We decided that we were going for the views and not the food. We were VERY pleasantly surprised. Everything was wonderful-the food was very good. First night, salmon, second night, roast pork, third night, shrimp & scallops. Each night, a vegetarian entree is offered, and every dinner is accompanied by salad, fresh baked bread, vegetables, unlimited lemonade & iced tea or coffee, and dessert. There is always a cookie jar full of homemade cookies and a large bowl of fruit available. Breakfast was full of options, and the lunch buffet was great! The staff was very attentive and helpful and truly love what they do. We had an absolutely wonderful time-we even saw the mountain unobstructed by any clouds, which only occurs for 1% of the visitors who come to Denali. We took a flightseeing trip with Kantishna Air Taxi-superb experience. I would definitely recommend this place.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank DonnaPNaperville_IL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2008

This lodge was wonderful. We had a great time while we were there. The cabins were quiet and very clean. There were black out curtains (which were very necessary) and the bathrooms were very nice. The food provided was "ok." They have a constant supply of "snacks" which consists of cookies. (I never thought peanut butter cookies could get old, but they can!) The staff was wonderful.

The lodge provides mosquito headnets which was, unfortunately, needed. When we went on a nature hike the mosquito's swarmed! We had on bug repellant (100% DEET) and I only got bit once. Our guide had on the 40% stuff and was COVERED. If you are coming out to the back of Denali, you really need to bring the 100% DEET stuff, we were the only people who weren't covered with mosquito's.

The bus ride to and from the lodge was very scenic and beautiful, however scary... at least for me. If you are deathly afraid of heights, sit on the opposite side of the driver going in, and behind the driver coming out. Unfortunately, the best views (of wildlife and Denali) are opposite of this.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank OSU9s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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