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“Best Denali NP Campground? Depends”
Review of Teklanika River

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Teklanika River
Seattle
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Best Denali NP Campground? Depends”
Reviewed February 19, 2014

As others have stated, this campground has a minimum stay, and a drive in once, drive out once, policy. It has limited screening between sites. Handles both tents and RVs, but there are better tent only CGs in the park, than this one. (Sanctuary, Igloo, Wonder Lake)

Plan ahead, you need to top off tanks, and purchase all supplies before heading into the park. No dump station there. DON'T forget bug dope!

For me, what makes this a great CG; is its proximity to plenty of remote hiking. Wildlife and wildflower opportunities are nearby. Riding the bus, Igloo Mtn, Cathedral Mtn, Sable Pass, and the Polychrome area and can be reached within an hour. You're already about an hour into the park.

From Tek, a bike gives you freedom to explore the park road on your own timetable. No off-roading allowed and during dry periods you might eat some periodic bus dust - OR - With the TEKPass for $33.50/person, you can get 1 confirmed trip time, and ride all other buses on a space available basis. Most often large groups (5 or more) will have problems riding together from this site, space available.

There are rules, you are camping in bear country. Those rules not only help protect you and your fellow campers, but the wildlife too. This can be a great place for kids, but riding the bus space-available with a family can be a problem. Be prepared to split up.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
5 Thank Sourdough_Jake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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34 reviews from our community

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English first
Seattle, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
192 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2013

We stayed at Tek beacuse it is the furthest place in you can drive with your own vehicle - however, you have to reserve 3+ nights in order to do so.
There were a few negaitves about this campground I'll just get out of the way. First, the mosquitoes - they were awful. Be sure to bring plety of bug spray and don't be shy about bathing in deet. Just avoid the sites closer to the river. And second, all the RVs - there's tons of them. If you're looking for a quite, secluded campground then I would recommend one of the campgrounds only served by shuttle buses. Tek wasn't noisy per se, but there were a lot of campers using their generators. Don't really understand it, you're there to camp, not watch TV...
As for the positives, they do have hours where generators are not permitted which was nice. And the campground is really close to the Teklanika River making it an easy after dinner beer drinking spot. We never saw any wildlife while hanging out on the river but we heard a Grizzly was hanging around while we were there and that Caribou frequent the riverbed. The other nice thing about staying at Tek is that you don't have to catch the bus as early since your're already an hour into the park. If you can swing it, I would highly recommend staying here, in a tent, instead of a lodge outside the park. Its the best way to fully emerse yourself in the beauty of Denali National Park.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
10 Thank sjohnston12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level 5 Contributor
92 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2013

Yes, it is rustic even for people in the RVs. Heaven forbid...no outlets and water hookups and they won't let you run your generator whenever you want (limited hours for generators)

So I am sure some people that can't live without their hookups for 3 days will not like Tek.

But all of that is why I LOVE Tek Campground. I can RV and still feel like I am with nature, especially because the sites are wooded and at least a little private if not completely separated.

You get the TekPass to ride the Park Bus cheap and you save 2 hrs round trip on the bus each trip out sightseeing and hiking.

It is my first choice in DNP

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank TERMINATOR1959
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, WI
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2013

To get a better experience in Denali and not have to spend so much time shuttling to/from the park entrance, this RV park was a great experience. We got the shuttle tickets and used them to see different parts of the park along the single road. The days were very long go to/from different sites, but well worth it. The RV camp was nicely maintained, but there was NO drinking water. The pump had recently broken so we were very careful to ration our water. I suppose we could have boiled some water if we got desperate enough. One thing to NOT underestimate - the mosquitoes. They are everywhere! Come prepared with bug spray.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BusyMom_Madison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
182 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 236 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2012

First of all, we had a great time in this camp site with our 25 foot RV, we were gone before 7 am and back at 8 pm, so not alot of time spent during the day. You must stay 3 nights and no moving your car or RV, we stayed for 4 nights. It seems lots of people walk thru your area, so remember to shut your shades, I may have damaged a young man for life, sorry.

We did see bear droppings at the river next to the campgrounds. The campgrounds have out houses, and one of them you were allowed to dump grey water with your bucket. So we were able to shower each night and do dishes. 4 days is pushing the limits for sewage and grey water as well as fresh water. Keep that in mind for your stay. We did use a gallon jug to dump fresh water back into the RV. No hooking up to the fresh water source. You can run generators, a few hours in the am and the pm, check for the hours.
I think someone mentioned the camp host hovered around the camp grounds, that is correct. She was always walking and checking your area for anything not "legal", say shoes, cook stove and lots of other infractions. Its best to get the rules before you enter the camp grounds so you are not constantly told them. Many of our neighbors got in trouble, as we did. Our infraction was leaving our cook stove outside while we carried the meat inside. Seems it needs to be put away hot, not allowed to cool. We were questioned the next morning as to what neighbors were making too much noise, we wouldn't rat on our fellow camp mates. To be honest, We went to sleep at 8:30 pm and didn't hear anything.
We purchased the pass that allows you to travel past mile marker 29, but not before it. That was ok, we used the shuttle service each day for rides off and on several times, ride 5 miles walk 5 miles, etc. It was really wonderful, but keep in mind they often do not have room for you, or people will not move equipment so you can ride. Sometimes we had to wait over an hour for rides, we just kept walking. It worked out for us, we did not mind the walking. We did not make it to wonder lake, buses were all full.
3 adults 171.00 total 4 nights @ 16.00 and 3 passes@ 34.00 5.00 service fee
We would stay here again, rules and all.

Room Tip: arrive early, the best sites are by the river. Dont park by any bathrooms or people just walk thru y...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank diver01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2012

We stayed here for 2 nights while visiting Denali. Friendly (a bit hovering) camp host, nice crowd, pretty sites and nice riverbed hike nearby.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
Helpful?
3 Thank phillycnm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Loved this campground. Traveled there in a 30 ft RV and had plenty of room. Sites spaced well apart. No hookups and only pit toilets but who cares! You are in Denali! Loved the remoteness of this area. Walked by river which is super close-saw a caribou meander by. We were within yards of it-will never forget that up close experience with such a magnificent animal. Get reservations early and stock up before heading there! You are on your own so plan ahead.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank anitaLouisville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Teklanika River

Property: Teklanika River
Address: mile 29 Denali Park Rd, Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Location: United States > Alaska > Denali National Park and Preserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 26 Specialty Lodging in Denali National Park and Preserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 53
Also Known As:
Teklanika River Hotel Denali National Park And Preserve

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