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“Great for families who like outdoor activities & wildlife”

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Denali Backcountry Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Northern California
Level Contributor
58 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Great for families who like outdoor activities & wildlife”
Reviewed August 8, 2014

Read the other reviews. I agree with most comments. There are "day-trippers", but that shouldn't be a problem for you to enjoy your time. We were there for two nights and a third would have been better. Hikes and biking enjoyed. Kids liked gold panning. Food good and plentiful. Don't expect gourmet... the kitchen staff will accommodate as much as possible. We were a large family, so we were seated together. We were fortunate because we saw: Dall sheep, moose, grizzly bears (2 very close), golden eagles, caribou, and wolves (5) - one the first day and 4 the third day. Their leader was howling to get them together for a hunt and they were close enough to get good photos. And on our day out, the sun broke through and the mountain was in full view. Chris (mgr) was friendly and welcoming. Accommodations comfortable.

Room Tip: You are assigned a room. You can get a key if you want one, but we didn't and felt safe. Most ro...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BirdingMaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christopher H, General Manager at Denali Backcountry Lodge, responded to this review, August 28, 2014
BirdingMaven,

We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay at Denali Backcountry Lodge and we hope that your entire Alaska vacation was a pleasure! What a treat, to see and hear wolves in the park and to view all of the other wildlife as well, not as common as you might think.

Each and every day is something completely new and exiting for our guests while traveling and staying in Denali National Park. Although you only stayed for two nights, it sounds like you took full advantage of the activities and the nature that surrounds us here in Kantishna. I trust that the entire family enjoyed whatever it is they chose to do, and I hope that the kids were able to find some gold in Moose Creek.

The "Day Trippers" represent a minute number of guests that enter the park each and every day (2%). You and your family represent an even smaller number of guests that have the opportunity to stay in the backcountry (1%). It is so nice to be so alone in the middle of the wilderness and we realize that the "Day Trippers" do impact the solitude that we all come to experience. We try to manage the overall affect that these additional people have on our overnight guests by limiting their time on property. As you know they are here for only 2 hours and we separate the daily activities that we provide for overnight guests, from those activities that we provide for the day tippers. This allows our overnight guests to have more exclusive time with our Naturalist Guides, and to experience the additional activities in a much more personal way.

We wish you safe travels wherever you may go, and thank you for your review. We hope to see you in Alaska again soon!
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306 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (81)
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Front range Colorado
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2014

What a great experience to stay inside the park, far removed from everything. The accommodations were very comfortable cabins. Not large but they don't need to be as you go there to be outdoors and enjoy the amazing scenery. Staff was excellent and attentive. We enjoyed the food and its preparation. This is Alaska and a wilderness lodge. It was worth the 6hour bus ride inside the park or the 13 hours of travel from Anchorage. Getting there is not for the weak. It was fun to meet the other guests as meals are together and people often congregate in the main lodge. We stayed 2 nights and had rain the first night but it cleared for our full day there which was good. They offer light and moderate hikes with guides and there is opportunity to hike by yourself and they do have bear spray to borrow for your hikes. Bike rides was fun activity with my 17 and 11yo. Unfortunately didn't see the top of Denali but did get some great photos on bus rides and at Wonder lake.
Saw 4 out of the 5 big animals in Denali on the bus rides, mostly on the early am ride leaving the park.
They do offer other activities including flight seeing over Denali, fishing, etc.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DocNCol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beth B, Director of Sales at Denali Backcountry Lodge, responded to this review, August 8, 2014
Thank you for your review! We are thrilled that you and your family enjoyed your stay with us at the Denali Backcountry Lodge, and had an opportunity to explore the area!
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Philadelphia
Level Contributor
324 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2014

We enjoyed our 3 days at this lodge and can't say enough about the young dedicated staff who really seemed to care that we had a good experience. We liked our hikes and other activities, and thought the food was quite good. However, here are some things we would have liked to know before we invested the considerable $ to stay here. (1) This is not an experience that affords relative isolation. You will eat meals and take hikes with throngs of people. There will be mobs of day trippers circulating through each and every day. You will be called upon to make a lot of small talk unless you stay in your cabin. (2) Do be prepared for any weather. Bring gloves, rain gear, and waterproof hiking shoes/ boots (a must). Sign up for flight-seeing right away and take the nearest opportunity to go. (Alas, we couldn't ever go, due to the weather.) (3) Don't expect to see more wildlife at the lodge compared to the bus, as the opposite pattern holds true most of the time. (4) Be assertive in asking about opportunities for activities you can do within your stay that go outside of botanical walks and gold panning demonstrations and the like.

Room Tip: Creekside cabins are worth the extra expense if you like the sight and sound of rushing water.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
19 Thank Snarth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beth B, Director of Sales at Denali Backcountry Lodge, responded to this review, August 8, 2014
Thank you for taking time to write a review about your experience!

We are glad to hear you enjoyed your stay with us at the Denali Backcountry Lodge. Our entire team is dedicated to provide the best experience possible. Feedback like this provides us the opportunity to focus on areas where we can improve.

We hope you had a great time during your trip to Alaska!
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Richmond, Australia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2014

We were the first couple in after the floods. We'd lost a day as result but the guys put us on a 6am bus instead of the 1pm bus so we could get more time there. The weather was pristine and we had 3 days of mountain bike riding, hiking and wildlife viewing. We saw bears, moose, caribou, fox and Dall sheep. The staff were incredibly helpful and friendly. We bumped into a friend of the manager out at Wonder Lake and we'd mentioned in passing that my wife couldn't get the lower gears on her bike. Next thing we know a new bike turns up for her. Fantastic job under trying circumstances.
Well done.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christopher H, General Manager at Denali Backcountry Lodge, responded to this review, July 22, 2014
Chris,

We are thrilled to hear that your Alaska vacation included a trip to Kantishna, and even more thrilled to hear that you were our first guests after the flooding. We worked very hard as a team at Denali Backcountry Lodge; and as a company with Alaska Denali Travel, to ensure that the property was back in fantastic condition for the reopening.
What a pleasure for you and your wife to be able to visit Denali National Park when the weather was pristine. This is an otherwise added bonus to what sounds like a wonderful stay, full of activities and adventure, and the opportunity to see some of remote Alaska.
In addition I am personally grateful to my friend for passing on your incident at Wonder Lake with one of our bicycles. We work hard to ensure that all of our equipment is running smoothly, and this gave us a chance to fix a piece of equipment that was not functioning correctly, and to bring you a new bicycle to further enjoy your trip.
Thanks for your thoughts and recommendations about your tour away from Australia. We certainly hope that the time you spent in Alaska will entice you to come back and visit us again soon!
Regards,
Chris Hudson
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Westminster, Maryland
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2014

At 65 I didnt think I'd I enjoy myself on this trip. I had a GREAT time. Spent 2 days ,July 10 and 11 and was able to do so much. The staff was SO HELPFUL, could'nt do enough for us' We were a senior family of 8. The dinning and food was the BEST, I'd call it 5 STARE and the has a 2nd choice if you couldn't eat the main course. served family style so you had PLENTY of food. 50th Anniv. for my inlaws and they they gave them a whole cake with candle and everyone sang. Worth every penny!! The cabins were beautiful. If you needed anything, if they could they did it. saw so many wild animals. Just don't forget the Deet spray!

Room Tip: Every cabin was Beautiful I did'nt like the one's down be the water because you had a lot mo...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bonnie b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christopher H, General Manager at Denali Backcountry Lodge, responded to this review, July 22, 2014
Bonnie,

What a great opportunity to come and experience Denali National Park as part of such a momentous occasion, a 50th wedding anniversary! Congratulations to your in-laws and best wishes for many years to come!
We are so thankful that you could visit us here in Kantishna and experience some of our Alaskan hospitality. The kitchen and service staff works very hard to ensure that each and every dining experience is unique and memorable. We accomplish this through many “Family Style” offerings, plenty of food, and a number of choices to fit guests dietary needs.
We look forward to your next visit with the future generations of your family. Best wishes from Alaska!
Regards,
Chris Hudson
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NYC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2014

By far one of the coolest places I've ever been. We saw 10 bears on our way out along with moose and sheep. What a treat this place is. We did the "casual hike" in the morning and gold panning in the afternoon. The cabins are small but we didn't spend much time there so it wasn't a bad thing. Staff was overwhelmingly gracious. They were ALL terrific!!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kelsey B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christopher H, General Manager at Denali Backcountry Lodge, responded to this review, July 22, 2014
Kelsey,

The biggest highlight of anyone’s trip to Denali National Park tends to be the wildlife in this subarctic region of Alaska. Although we have abundant wildlife throughout the park, being able to see 10 bears during your time in Denali is truly a treat that most visitors don’t get to experience. We certainly hope that the additional wildlife you saw, along with the experience on the park road, was beyond your expectations!
All of our staff works incredibly hard to give each and every guest the experience that they deserve. I will pass along my heartfelt gratitude, along with your accolades, to each and every member of our staff. Thanks for visiting us here in Kantishna, and best wishes in all of your future travels!
Regards,
Chris Hudson
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2014

What else can you say about traveling and staying deep in the back country that most people don't get to experience. It was an adventure! Nice accommodations and plenty of quiet. The beds were comfortable and the rooms clean. You could be outdoors as much as you'd like with plenty of benches and places to walk. The food was delicious and a nice variety since everything has to be bussed in. It was difficult to get info for special diet needs to the chef. The drive both ways was made quite educational with well trained and researched drivers. Wildlife was abundant on the way out and we had a gorgeous view of Denali and the Alaska Range. The personnel who assisted with the activities were welcoming and very well versed in their areas as well as fun-loving. We left just four days before the flooding and even though we had many rainy times during our 3-night stay, we enjoyed ourselves immensely. We would recommend the Backcountry Lodge to those who want a taste of the real Alaska without camping. BJ

Room Tip: There are a few cabins that do not have adjoining walls with another room. That would guarantee a q...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Barb J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christopher H, General Manager at Denali Backcountry Lodge, responded to this review, July 22, 2014
Barb,

We were happy to hear that you had a wonderful trip to Alaska, and an enjoyable stay in Kantishna while traveling to Denali National Park.
Part of the adventure in coming to Kantishna includes the long trip on the magnificent park road through the Alaska Range. This ride is made all the more memorable by our Bus Drivers, who in their own way, are educated as Denaliologits! In addition, we have a wonderful staff of Naturalist guides who educate our guests on a daily basis while they are out in the park. It is their pleasure to share this special place with each and every guest, and we hope that you felt this sense of pleasure during your stay.
We would like to thank you for your recommendation, and we hope to see you in your next visit to Alaska!
Regards,
Chris Hudson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Denali Backcountry Lodge

Property: Denali Backcountry Lodge
Address: Mile 95 Denali Park Road, Denali National Park and Preserve, AK 99755
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Alaska > Denali National Park and Preserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Denali National Park and Preserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Denali Backcountry Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
When planning your Alaska vacation don't settle for just another Denali hotel! Journey with us winding through the Alaska Range, deep into the heart of the Denali National Park, with opportunities to see Denali's famed wildlife: Grizzlies, Caribou, Moose, Dall Sheep, Wolves, and Eagles. At the very end of the Denali Park road, past Wonder Lake, you'll find a unique enclave in the park known as Kantishna. This area is home to Denali Backcountry Lodge. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Denali Backcountry Hotel Denali National Park And Preserve
Hotel Denali Backcountry

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