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.

“True wilderness and awesome beauty.”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Denali Backcountry Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 28, 2010

The lodge, while not directly in view of MT McKinley is located in a beautiful valley on a river. The views of McKInley are a short van ride or moderate walk away.
The staff and food are truly outstanding.
If you plan to fish and are an experienced fisherman I recommend you bring your own gear as the lodge gear was very basic.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank aablodgett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (368)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

313 - 319 of 368 reviews

Reviewed April 28, 2010

This lodge was such a disappointment. We chose this lodge hoping to be as far as possible in the park, but without camping. It is advertised as the luxurious lodge at the very end of the park road. First there is nothing luxurious about this place, second national park busses take you further than this lodge is.

For $500 a night they offer only very plain, boring room (though clean) - doesn’t offer anything else but the clean room, soap and toilet paper.

So called ‘family dinner style’ meant 8 adult people squeezed at one table with 8 small pieces of salmon and salad. Lunch was even worse – soup and self-made sandwich in the lunch room packed with hundreds of day –trip tourists! We barely found place to seat.

When we were booking this lodge we were hoping to use their promised transportation to the Wonder Lake and then to hike further. But day trip that they organize to the Wonder Lake gives you only 1 (one) hour to spend on the lake!!! This lodge is the only lodge in the area that didn’t provide to their guests paddles that could be used with canoes that national park provides for free at the lake. Though, they do have bikes for free.

In total, it is a really shame for this price to make such a false advertisement and to provide such a low level accommodation. Camping on the Wonder Lake would be better for us.

The best part of the trip was a bus ride through the park – driver/guide was really great, knowledgeable and entertaining.

I would recommend taking only their daily ride into the park, but not staying in their lodge.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Sanya_C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2010

It was very hard decision trying to book lodges in Denali last year. After many internet searches I came across Denali Backcountry Lodge. I also saw some reviews. The negative reviews kind of made me think twice, but I called them. When i talked with their sales person over the phone, they convinced me I will have good times, and I certainly had the most amazing time of my life. I mostly remember McKinley Bar hike with JD, their guide. He is the best guide! It was just beautiful. I will certainly go back again next time. If I ever go back again, I will stay more than two nights, and go on some beautiful backcountry trail hikes. The only thing I didnt like about the hotel is that they do not have internet, but then, I didnt go all the way to the backcountry to surf the net!!!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Nib2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2010

We went to Backcountry Lodge last summer for a getaway without the kids, and had a wonderful time. Second time back. We took a long bus ride through the park to get to the lodge which is located deep in Denali Park. The bus was a great way to see wildlife-bears, moose, and caribou to name a few. Great location for the lodge, which is located as far as you can get into the park. There are wonderful views of mountains and its near Wonder Lake, which we took an evening excursion to after dinner. We saw a bear very close when we were out there. Our cabin was right next to a creek which would have lulled us to sleep at night if we weren't already tired from taking advantage of the hikes, gold panning, naturalist seminars, blueberry picking and yoga. Meals are served family style so you get to know the other guests and talk about what you did and what you should do the next day.
We would love to come back one day. The nice thing is you can be as busy or relaxed as you want, depending on what you're looking for. Dont be afraid to get a little dirty when you come to the backcountry.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank lisasAustin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2010

With out a doubt Denali Backcountry Lodge is the best place to stay at of the three choices this far into the National Park. Real food (not bagged), great staff members, great accomodations. Our own bathrooms in our own cabin, one of the other places didn't even offer that much. There was even a few activities that weren't mentioned when we booked this vacation that we could do for free. Though the lodge is under very strick National Park Rules and regulations they did an outstanding job of letting us have a civilized Alaska Adventure.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Lower48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2009

Date of stay: August 5-8, 2009. The experience at Back Country Lodge fell far short of expectations based on representations of the web site and in discussions with Denali Tours representatives. This complaint is not delivered lightly. I have over 30 years of experience in hotels and the hospitality industry. There were nine other couples and families who told me of their disappointment as well. None of them will recommend Back Country Lodge to friends and family. Denali Tours needs to re-evaluate its operations. Details of my complaint follow.

Schedule—This is the first resort I’ve heard of that requires you to book three nights to have two days. Although I was encouraged to book a fourth night at the companies Denali Cabins at the entrance to the park, I was never told that other buses would be allowed in earlier. If you book at BCL, you are not given the option of taking the early bus in or the mid-day bus out—these are reserved for the day visitor (who paid a fraction of one night’s charge). So you arrive at 8 pm and depart at 6 am. The only reason I could determine for this lack of flexibility is to save the cost of a lunch! As you will see under the comments on food, this would be a small cost to the owner. Denali Tours will say the bus times are due to the train schedules but why not let those who choose come in on the day visitor bus?

Accommodations—To say that the cabin is Spartan is not an exaggeration. I’ve seen more amenities at a Motel 6! There was no shampoo, conditioner or body lotion. The shower dispenser didn’t even have soap—for two nights. And then, of course, we had to leave at 6 am.

Program—Probably the area of biggest disappointment because the web site and reservationist pitched it the most. Upon arrival our first night, we were advised that extra activities were scheduled for the next afternoon since all of the morning hikes had already been booked by in-house guests. There was no mention of what we might do in the morning.
Hikes were advertised as casual, moderate and challenging. All hikes were to be escorted by a naturalist. No challenging hikes were offered. I was told I would have to recruit three other hikers before they would consider it.
When I asked the head guide for a recommendation for a more strenuous hike, he gave me a map that had few details. When I asked how to find the trailhead, he pointed to the building next door and said, “It’s just beyond that building.” That would have been true if I were a crow. To actually walk to the trailhead, I had to go the other direction to reach the road which .7 mile later would reach the trailhead.
When I asked about what wildlife we might see in the area, I was told, “There’s not much wildlife at this elevation. What you saw on the ride in is pretty much what you can count on.” That is NOT what I had been led to believe. I did not pay $800 per night to do self-guided hikes with little hope of seeing wildlife.
The one guided hike we did was a moderate (no elevation so really a stroll) led by Tricia whose knowledge was impressive. The hike was marred by guests incapable of walking the distance so that the first finishers waited over an hour on the others to complete the hike so we could return to the lodge. They clearly should have been told to turn back the first time they asked, “How much further is it?”
The naturalist programs in the evening were Alaska trivia and backpacking 101, neither of which drew much interest from guests.

Food—Is lousy too harsh a description? No but ‘PITIFUL’ is probably more descriptive. Being in the hotel business a number of years, I’m pretty familiar with costs. I figure BCL spent about $8 per guest per day for food cost. BCL makes a big point about how remote their location is. Yet, everyday they have three buses that go by the Costco in Anchorage. They certainly had no problem filling their cookie jar with Costco cookies! I’m not sure buying better food would have resolved the problem as there didn’t seem to be a chef on site, just staff to heat some of the items, like frozen waffles and link sausages.
The lunch menu I referred to earlier was soup du jour and sandwich buffet—it was the same thing two days running except for tweaking the soup a bit. Not only was the food plain, there wasn’t much of it to sustain energy for the strenuous hikes that we took on our own. Oh, maybe that’s why they didn’t offer those hikes!

Staff—It seemed as if half of the staff was from Russia. They may have understood English but we have no proof as they never spoke in the time I was there. Other staff did not seem happy and one guest was told it was due to overwork because of recent staff departing early.

Recommendation: Skip BCL and do the day tour. All buses, including the green ones operated by the park service, stop to see wildlife. The national park also operates buses that go to the end of the road although Denali Tours told us otherwise. The one day trip is a fraction of the cost of a one night stay and the national park green bus is considerably less expensive than Denali Tours. Since this is where you will see the wildlife, there is NO REASON to book Back Country Lodge

  • Stayed: August 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
16  Thank r808m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2009

Too romote location. Only hiking! Oh, panhandling for gold and videos. Took about six hous to arrive by school bus. Then if you want to go elsewhere, you can wait by side of road to be picked by bus, if the bus had a seat. Food was bad! One night they actually served us a chicken leg quarter. Really, how much does that cost! Especially for what they charge per night! Never again. Totally bored. Only good thing was the flightseeing around Mt Denali/McKinley. Room service? What room service. Oh, they made the bed, that was all. I had to go and ask for fresh towels. Heater in our room did not work the second night! And it was cold! Sandwiches for lunch? Breakfast was BADD!!!!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank iseldagg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Denali National Park and Preserve hotels
1.0 mi away
Kantishna Roadhouse
Kantishna Roadhouse
#6 of 26 in Denali National Park and Preserve
212 reviews
68.0 mi away
Denali Cabins
Denali Cabins
#9 of 26 in Denali National Park and Preserve
375 reviews
65.7 mi away
Denali Park Village
Denali Park Village
#18 of 26 in Denali National Park and Preserve
724 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
66.6 mi away
Carlo Creek Lodge
Carlo Creek Lodge
#10 of 26 in Denali National Park and Preserve
155 reviews
65.6 mi away
McKinley Chalet Resort
McKinley Chalet Resort
#1 of 6 in McKinley Village
1,115 reviews
66.9 mi away
The Perch Resort
The Perch Resort
#5 of 6 in McKinley Village
223 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Denali Backcountry Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about 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 #1 of 7 Hotels in Denali National Park and Preserve
Price Range: $529 - $858 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com so you can book your Denali Backcountry Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Denali Backcountry Hotel Denali National Park And Preserve
Hotel Denali Backcountry

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing