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.

“Best Lodge in Denali”
Review of North Face Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Denali National Park and Preserve
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
North Face Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 5, 2010

We recently stayed at the North Face Lodge in Denali National Park during their Friday-Monday tour. The day trips with their naturalist guides were outstanding. They took groups, no larger than eight in vans and traveled to areas of interest to the lodge guests. We saw a variety of wildlife, indescribable scenery and had lessons on the geology of the park. This is the only lodge within the park that has a view of the mountain. They also have canoes available at Wonder Lake and fishing equipment for the nearby streams and Wonder Lake. We were too tired at the end of the day to take advantage of these.

The accommodations are minimalist but we spent little time in our rooms. The main lodge is very comfortable and is open 24/7. The staff is great and sincerely wants their guests to have an experience of a lifetime. The food was good but not what I would call gourmet. Their brochure says that they serve a fish, meat and vegetarian dish nightly but we were served salmon one night and roasted pork loin the other without a choice of entree. Breakfast was hearty and lunches were packed by the guests before the day trips and enjoyed as a picnic. The evening meal when entering the park is a picnic dinner with a great selection of meats, fish, vegetables, fruits and nuts. Dessert is served in the lodge dining room upon arrival.

The housekeeping service is great and the rooms are clean. I would stay here again if given the opportunity and recommend it over the other lodges. Four years ago we stayed at the Denali Back Country Lodge and did not have the great experience that we had at North Face Lodge.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Alaskarookie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (131)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

107 - 113 of 131 reviews

Reviewed August 23, 2010

I am not sure what to add to the previous reviews other than to echo what they said - it is a very good all inclusive experience within the park.

The bus rides in and out on the first and last days are best for seeing the park's large mammals and vast, scenic expanses. The optional daily hikes seemed to me to be a more intimate experience with the land.

Just to correct a couple of things some others have said:

1. The bus ride in to the lodge at mile 87 is approximately 7 hours, including a picnic dinner around the mid point. You depart from the Denali bus/train depot promptly at 1:30 PM and arrive at the lodge at approximately 8:30 PM.

2. The bus ride back out is approximately 5 hours long departing the lodge promptly at 6:45 AM and arriving back at the bus/train depot at approximately 11:30 AM. There are still plenty of opportunities to stop and view/photograph on the way out so don't pack your binoculars away like I foolishly did.

BTW, good, clear, high power binoculars are a must for full enjoyment here, especially on the bus rides, but also on the hikes. I was using a 10x42 and would not have wanted less; although, you could probably get away with 8x.

Just remember that however many nights you book, you get one less day of optional activities at the lodge as you arrive late on the first day. So if you booked a 3 night stay you would only have 2 days of optional activities and a departure on the 4th day.

I found the 4 night to be perfect for me - a 3 night would have been too little and a 7 night too much, but that is just me and your mileage may vary.

The lodge has 15 regular sleeping rooms with private baths laid out in an L-shape from main lodge room and dining facilities. In addition, there are additional little known rooms in what is called the annex. The annex consists of 2 double rooms in the back corner of the lodge near the housekeeping, laundry and food storage facilities. They do not have plumbing en suite but do have 2 separate showers and one shared toilet and sink adjacent to the rooms.

Due to my late booking I ended up in the only room available which was room 2A in the annex. I lucked out in this regard as I believe it is the best room in the lodge since it is a corner room with separate interior and exterior entrances and the natural light that goes with the exterior sliding glass door, the only such unit in the lodge.

As a single guy I did not have a problem with the adjacent plumbed and shared facilities, at least they were indoors. The other room, 1A, was also occupied by a single guy and we never even crossed paths once using our shared sink and toilet. But I am not sure how it would work if both annex rooms were occupied to full capacity, probably not well.

My individual category ratings averaged out to 4.5 so I gave it a 5 overall as the service category probably deserved a 6 on the 5 scale.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank AustinWhitewater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2010

We just returned from a trip to Alaska that included three days at North Face Lodge in Denali National Park. The lodge is located near the end of the 95 mile dirt road that traverses the park. it is about 2 miles from Wonder Lake. The accomodations and staff were terrific. They serve breakfast and dinner and let you pack your lunch before heading out for your daily adventure. All of the food was fresh, healthy and full of flavor. The views of the mountain, "when it is out", are also incredible. If you are wanting to stay inside the park, I would highly recommend North Face Lodge.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank gowest44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2010

We had high expectations and NFL exceeded them!

Rooms all have indoor plumbing, are cozy but of adequate size. The lodge has a very nice common area and dining room. the big--really big--plus here is the staff and the activities. Everyone there is working hard to make sure guests have a quality time. The food is delicious.

they offer three naturalist led outtings each day ranging from drive with brief walks, moderate hikes (which i did both days), and a strenuous hike; each day we went to a different locale. In addition they offer other activities--biking, canoing, fishing, etc all included. The naturalists are excellent and sensitive to guests abilities and interests.

Not only that, but they have available rain gear, knapsacks, boots, fishing gear, etc.

Fantastic scenery, lots of wildlife (see some pics), fascinating flora, glaciers, and more. Evening lectures on geology/flora/fauna.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank peregrineguy7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2010

We stayed for four nights in early June, 2010. The lodge is at the Kantishna end of the road inside Denali National Park. Room was not luxurious but fine for where you are and what you do there. Food was excellent and staff was very helpful. No wine served here but you can bring your own. Excellent naturalist programs were offered each evening after dinner. Various outdoor activities were offered each day. Guided hikes had varying degrees of difficulty: strenuous, moderate, easy. Not used to walking on Alaskan tundra, a moderate hike in early June turned out to be wet and almost strenuous. If you go in early June, be sure to bring hiking gaiters. It is an expensive place to stay but there are few alternatives if you want to stay inside the park. Compared with two other lodges in the same area we were glad we stayed here. Family owned and operated for many years it was great to be in a place where pride of ownership still exists. Expensive, but worth it - and you won't be disappointed. A little tip - you can fly out of Kantishna and avoid the 6-hour bus ride back out of the park to the park entrance. Use Kantishna Air Taxi - Katair.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank PVRalph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2010

If you like peace and quiet, a remarkable landscape, great company, great food, and plumbing to go with it, look no further. North Face Lodge made our trip to Alaska a special one for this and many more reasons. From the moment they pick you up at the rail depot, to the drop off 4 days later, the staff make every moment count. The experience is just as good as the video you will see from Great Lodges. Take the plunge - its worth the $$$.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank DeepakSury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2010

After extensive research online trying to plan our AK adventure, my aunt and I found North Face Lodge. Based on the reviews from trip advisor, we booked our 3 days (the indoor plumbing was the deciding factor). The bus ride out to the lodge was long-there's no way around it, but filled with frequent stops for wildlife (plentiful) and bathroom breaks. It was smaller than a regular bus with large windows that open and plenty of leg room. Half way or so was a stop for an early dinner which was very nice. The driver was excellent in his driving skills on the narrow gravel road (a little scary passing other buses on the one way road) and in his knowledge of the changing scenery and abundant wildlife. The room was very small but really all you're doing there is sleeping, so they were perfectly fine and clean. I enjoyed the fact that there was no TV or cell phone service. The dining area was beautiful with huge picture windows. The food was good, I loved the homemade breads and blueberry jam. After breakfast we packed a lunch to bring with us on the hikes. There was a variety of sandwich makings to choose from (I found there's just something special about eating peanut butter and jelly on the tundra!) All the guides were extremely knowledgable and passionate about the area, always willing to answer questions. The guided hikes were divided into 3 levels: strenuous, moderate, and a wilderness foray. My aunt and I were a little intimidated by the strenuous hike description with it's climb in elevation, but the moderate hikes we ended up going on were a little too slow. I would have liked a hike that was longer maybe 6-8 miles without too much change in elevation. What we ended up doing was after our moderate hike we hiked to Wonder Lake, which you can take right from the lodge(another few miles) and that was very enjoyable. The last night before we left, I ended up taking a flightseeing tour around Denali that was absolutely incredible. The mountain had not been out the entire time we were there, so going up above the clouds to see it was one of the most amazing experiences. The morning of our departure, we were ready for breakfast at 0545 for the bus ride out. The ride out is much faster although we still stopped for occasional wildlife and bathroom breaks. We were taken to where our rental car was parked and that was that. It's definitely pricey, but to me it was worth it , I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Travelgirl169
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
0.0 mi away
Denali Backcountry Lodge
Denali Backcountry Lodge
#1 of 7 in Denali National Park and Preserve
368 reviews
0.0 mi away
Grande Denali Lodge
Grande Denali Lodge
#2 of 6 in McKinley Village
816 reviews
0.0 mi away
McKinley Chalet Resort
McKinley Chalet Resort
#1 of 6 in McKinley Village
1,116 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Denali Bluffs Hotel
Denali Bluffs Hotel
#3 of 6 in McKinley Village
596 reviews
0.0 mi away
McKinley Creekside Cabins
McKinley Creekside Cabins
#1 of 6 in McKinley Village
689 reviews
0.0 mi away
Kantishna Roadhouse
Kantishna Roadhouse
#6 of 25 in Denali National Park and Preserve
212 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to North Face Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about North Face Lodge

Address: Post Office Box 67, Denali National Park and Preserve, AK 99755-0067
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Alaska > Denali National Park and Preserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 25 Specialty Lodging in Denali National Park and Preserve
Price Range: $545 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located near the end of the unpaved, mountainous 90-mile road into Denali National Park, North Face Lodge is one of only two in-park lodgings in view of Mt. McKinley. It specializes in learning adventures for active travelers, featuring naturalist-led hikes and field trips for visitors who wish to explore Denali in-depth. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
North Face Hotel Denali National Park And Preserve

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