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“Camp Denali is an experience”
Review of Camp Denali

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Camp Denali
Certificate of Excellence
Milton, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Camp Denali is an experience”
Reviewed July 22, 2007

I can't say enough about our 4 night stay at Camp Denali. When first hearing of the cost, I thought my friend was nuts but in hindsight, it was some of the best money I've spent on a vacation. I came to realize that staying at Camp Denali is more than just seeing Mt. McKinley (which we did all 4 days!), but more the "experience "of being in Denali National Park. With knowledgeable and friendly staff, naturalists and guest speakers to explain all and answer ANY questions we had, we learned so much more than we could have on a one day tour into the park. Walking on tundra, eating wild berries, hiking up mountainsides and seeing beautiful vistas for miles and miles, has left a very memorable, almost spiritual impression on me. The community style dining also added to our enjoyment as every meal we got to meet other people also staying at Camp Denali as the staff rotated where everyone sat (you always got to sit with your travel companions of course!) We also had a guest speaker for each evening where we learned even more about our environment in the Denali area. So yes the cost may seem high, but the experience is priceless!

  • Liked — Luxury Camping in a pristine setting!
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank trudzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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180 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 (65)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Milton, Massachusetts
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2007

My best friend and I spent 4 nights at Camp Denali in early July and this was the highlight of our 3 weeks in Alaska. I had high expectations and they were definately exceeded. Being in one of those lovely and very comfortable log cabins increased my sense of being far away from my city life and the views of Mt. McKinley were incredible. The guided hikes were the best part of my time there because the guides are so very knowledgable and personable. And there is the added bonus of getting to know a little bit about your fellow travelers, all of whom were very interesting people. The meals were all excellent and the ambience was just superb. I have promised myself that I will be back at Camp Denali within 5 years at the most...and next time I might just stay for 7 nights. It was that wonderful.

  • Liked — The location.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Annaram
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maryland
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2007

I have been to Camp Denali four times, and am about to go for my fifth. This place is the best place to go if you're going to Denali Park and want to stay inside the park (which is much better than staying at the entrance). Simple but beautiful cabins (with handmade quilts), good food and GREAT hiking with knowledgeable naturalist guides, at various levels of difficulty each day. Or you can hike on your own. An outhouse for each cabin, but don't let that discourage you, as they are spotlessly clean and quite pleasant (really). And there are showers, toilets etc in main house. Camp Denali is my idea of heaven.

  • Liked — simple, clean, beautiful rustic cabins with view of mt mckinley
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank dogladymd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springfield, OH
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2006

I spent four terrific days last month (August 2006) at Camp Denali, and I enthusiastically recommend it!

Camp Denali is for moderately adventurous vacationers of varying degrees of fitness -- everything is well organized, there are a variety of types and levels of activities, you are well taken care of, BUT you are not coddled.

Be sure to read their clearly written literature so that you can determine if Camp Denali matches your vacation needs. I followed their instructions as to what clothes, shoes, etc. to bring, and I was totally prepared for the Camp Denali experience.

The list of what I liked is endless, but my top four are: 1)the view of Mt McKinley through my cabin window (every cabin has such a view), 2)the gorgeous scenery on the hikes, especially the tundra and glaciers, 3) the terrific food, and 4)the pride and dedication of the staff.

Helpful?
9 Thank N187H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pleasant Hill, Ca.
Level 4 Contributor
49 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed August 29, 2006

My sister and I stayed at Camp Denali for 4 nights in August and had a great time, we couldn't have been more pleased. The view from our cabin was breathtaking, the food was even better than we had hoped and the staff couldn't have been nicer or more eager to please.

It is a little on the rustic side but we knew that going in and considered that part of the "authentic" Denali experience. There are just enough guests to keep things interesting, yet few enough to be able to isolate yourself for a private hike or medatative moment if you choose.

I hope to return some day.

  • Liked — activities, view
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank nancyL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beverly Hills, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2006

I would have to disagree with the review above. While the property is nice, the management is extremely unfriendly to children. After my boys, 9 and 12, acted a little rambunctiously, as boys do, on the first day's hike, the director tried to persuade me not to go on the next day's hike, for which I paid dearly, and instead do independent activities with my boys. When I told her that I thought the boys would be fine the next day when the hike was out of the arduous and mosquito filled spongy tundra, she was visibly disappointed.
The next day when I tried to go on the group hike without the boys, who were content to sleep in and stick around the lodge, I was prohbited from doing so. Furthermore, every time my boys raised their voices above normal conversational level, the director, who was always hovering around us, kept shushing them as if we were in a church, She also spoke impertinently to me when I tried to swat a fly on a window using a soft throw pillow.
Upon my return home, I received a letter accusing my boys of "wanton misuse" of one trekking pole and the loss of another along with an invoice for $55. In response, I wrote a detailed letter to the General Manager explaining how my boys only took one pole between them and attached pictures from the hike proving this. I also explained how the visiting naturalist actually broke the pole by jamming it into the ground to demonstrate where the permafrost began and suggested they contact him to verify this. I told him that it was very disconcerting to spend so much money on a trip and then to return home to find this petty letter filled with false accusations. I told him I felt that certain members of the staff were extremely unfriendly to children and demanded that they behave like little adults. In response, instead of apologizing for his error, he fired back with another comment about my ill-mannered children.
Furthermore, the place is quite pricey for what you actually get. Although they speak about four days and three nights, you only get one meal the first day, a cold dinner at 4 pm outside the van during the six hour drive to the lodge. And on the fourth day, you only get breakfast, as you have to wake up at 5:30 to leave the property. The food is only fair, as the salmon the second night was quite dry and the beef the third night was oversauced and overcooked. There is no liquor license. So people have to bring their own wine, information which is not provided in advance. They also fail to provide water for the guests on the six hour drive into the park and the four hour drive out.
The cabins are clean but very rustic. There are propane lights not bright enough to read by. There is no running water to wash your face or brush your teeth. You have to fill a pitcher from outside and bring it in. There is an outhouse outside each cabin. But the common bathhouse with showers is a five to fifteen minute walk away depending on the location of your cabin.
There is really not as much to do there as they imply. There are three levels of hikes each of the two days that can be done with the group and the guide which take all day. If you don't want to hike with group, you can basicaly hike by yourself and take out a canoe on the lake. Flightseeing is extra and quite pricey, and there is no option to do rafting on the Neanna River, which is supposed to be a lot of fun. The educational opportunities are fine if you like learning about flora and fauna in an extremely scientific and, to me, boring, manner. When you do see wildlife, you see it from afar, the same way you can see it if you take the one day bus tour into the Park. The evening activities consist only of listening to the visiting naturalist speak, in our case, about the history of wolves in the Park. This is in the small lodge, which is the only common room for guests. So if you don't care to listen to the talk, you cannot even play the few board games they do have there. Your only choice is to go back to your room where is it too dark to read.
In conclusion, if you are into science and hiking and can afford to spend $435 a person a night for limited activities and mediocre ammenities, this place may be for you. But if you are a family looking for a luxury wilderness lodge which is friendly to children and provides better food and more activities, I would suggest the Denali Backcountry Lodge where my sister went with her son last summer and had a wonderful time.

  • Liked — Natural beauty of location
  • Disliked — The way they treated me and my children
  • Tips/Secrets — Stay somewhere else
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
32 Thank LuxuryAdventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed December 16, 2003

Beautiful, relaxing, educational- and simply amazing. Yes, it is a little pricey, but if you can swing it you shouldn't pass it up. The naturalist guides are incredibly knowledable about the national park, and the food is great. The individual cabins are rustic and relaxing.
We were there in the end of july and there were no mosquitos. We also saw Denali two days out of three which is unheard of. We had a picture window at the end of our bed in the cabin that was filled with the mountain- a view i will never forget. Also, we are a gay couple and the staff was very respectful of us, which we greatly appreciated.

Helpful?
24 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Camp Denali

Property: Camp Denali
Address: Mile 89 Denali Park Road, Denali National Park and Preserve, AK 99755
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Alaska > Denali National Park and Preserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 26 Specialty Lodging in Denali National Park and Preserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Camp Denali, with sweeping views of Mt. McKinley, is located deep inside Denali National Park. Offering active learning vacations since 1952. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Camp Denali Hotel Denali National Park And Preserve

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