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“Nice family campground”

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Wonder Lake Campground
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
37 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Nice family campground”
Reviewed August 27, 2012

My husband and I recently spend two nights here. While we did not take the family, this would be a nice place for a family trip. Running water and bathrooms plus a covered kitchen prep area with tables make this cushy camping. The views are amazing, if it's clear, and it's a nice place to get away from it all. It is a long drive via bus to the campground, so make sure you spend a few days here. There is a really nice hiking trail to the river, easily accessible from the campground, plus several day hike options a short bus ride away. I would also recommend the nightly ranger talks at 7:30 p.m.

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank trvl17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 reviews from our community

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English first
Elkins, West Virginia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2012

We packed our tent and sleeping gear in an Army-style duffel bag and our kitchen gear and food into a large cooler (secured closed with a luggage strap and tape) and checked both on the airplane ($25 each) for our trip to Alaska. Whether you get to Denali National Park by rental car (as we did), by train or bus, you should have no problem taking your gear this way all the way to Wonder Lake campground. We made reservations online before our trip for Wonder Lake Campground and for a ticket on the "camper bus" to take us and our gear the 84 miles into the park to your campsite. The camper bus takes you to the Wonder Lake campground and it is easy to shuttle gear from the drop off spot to your campsite. This is the most civilized campsite in the wilderness I have ever encountered. Running water and flush toilets! There is a huge communal pantry to store food (right in the cooler). It was very chilly at night even in June and milk stayed fresh with the initial chunk of ice for our two night stay. There are covered pavilions with picnic tables for food preparation and socializing with other campers from all over the world. I recommend staying for two nights. That gives you plenty of time to explore the trails around the campground. Stay three if you plan on fishing one day in Wonder Lake. PS I barely remember the mosquitoes because we brought net jackets that we pretreated with repellant.

Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank NatureHound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, New York
Level Contributor
100 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2012

We spent three nights here in July. The campground has the normal amenities as a regular campground, flush toilets, running water, walk in food lockers, and campsite hosts. the campsite hosts were very friendly and helpful, and showed us to our Site, their are first come first serve but have a system depending on how many nights one is staying. The sites are somewhat close together, but nothing worse than what I've experienced with state campgrounds in NY. If you want to be secluded, get a backcountry permit ad go backpacking. The ranger talks each night were well put on with info and humor. If you get to see the mountain, consider yourself luck, we saw it our last day, and itS incredible. It was recommended to get up early to get a better view. A note on mosquitoes....yes, they are there, they are there in numbers, so prepare yourself for the absolute worst, and then if it's not as bad as you thought, you won't be disappointed! Is the price you pay!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank cascade18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2012

This has quite good facilities for a campsite so in that sense its a 4* campsite... but the mosquitoes are unbelievable in June. I don't care about a few mosquitoes but the numbers are crazy. To put it into perspective, we came down on the camper bus with about 15 other people, and saw 14 of those people escaping with us on the first camper bus out the next day at the first opportunity (6.30 am). It's not much fun wearing a headnet and gloves on a hot day (and 50% DEET didn't do the job). If you go later in the year when there aren't any mosquitoes and Mt McKinley's out I imagine its great.e

Unless your into bushwhacking, there isn't much off trail hiking in this area (the ranger's word not mine), and the McKinley Bar Trail isn't that inspiring.

Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank CWTraveller99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level Contributor
44 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2010

What a beautiful sight! Prepare to stay up late for chances of mountain views or get up in the middle of the night! Wow! The alpine glow on the mountain & on the whole Alaska Range was beyond belief.

Campers need to remember to haul out all the stuff that they store in the bear lockers. Otherwise, dear Phyllis, the delightful camp hostess, or the rangers have to haul it out for you.

Bring a head net for mosquitoes in peak season. If you forget, Phyllis will loan you one.

The easy hike to McKinley Bar was incredible with the mountain out.... what a view from there! Bring bug dope during peak mosquito season!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
5 Thank denalicat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
38 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2010

I don't care if you have to check an extra bag to bring camping gear, or rent it in Anchorage, if you are into wildlife and/or hiking then camping in the park is the only way to go. We were spoiled at Wonder Lake with the potable water, flush toilets, and walk in bear lockers with covered picnic table area. Excellent location for views of Denali , and also for wildlife viewing, moose were near camp and we saw lots of bears and wolves from shuttle buses.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
4 Thank wildfelinenv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackson, Michigan
Level Contributor
46 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2009

On our way to Wonder Lake Campground, when the camper bus stopped at Eielson Visitor Center it was sleeting sideways. The weather report at the visitor center said "Cold, wet and miserable .. No Really". We arrived at Wonder Lake in the cold with overcast skies. But after dinner, it felt great to settle into our warm sleeping bags. To our amazement, we awoke the next morning to completely clear skies and a sight that we will never forget. It is an understatement to say that the view of the mountain from Wonder Lake is spectacular!

Be advised that the mountain is hidden in the clouds much of the time. The NPS maintains a webcam of Wonder Lake. (See http://www.nature.nps.gov/air/webcams/parks/denacam/dena_arc.cfm) View the archives and you will soon realize that the odds are against seeing the mountain. But if you do, you will never forget the experience. We camped at Wonder Lake campground for only one night but it was by far the highlight of our entire Alaska vacation. If you stay longer, your odds of seeing the mountain improve.

The campground itself provides all the amenities needed for tent camping. There are nice level, well-drained tent sites with a picnic table. Nearby are covered picnic shelters with a walk-in locker to keep your food from attracting bears. Drinking water is provided. The restrooms have flush toilets. In late August, we had no problem with mosquitoes. A friendly campground host greeted us upon our arrival. She mentioned in passing that there are often empty sites from no-shows who do not cancel their reservation.

Once in the park, you can use the camper bus as often as you like. Wonder Lake Campground is a convenient base camp for day hikes elsewhere in the park.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Going_from_Jackson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wonder Lake Campground

Property: Wonder Lake Campground
Address: mile 85 of Denali National Park road, Denali National Park and Preserve, AK 99501
Location: United States > Alaska > Denali National Park and Preserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 26 Specialty Lodging in Denali National Park and Preserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 28
Also Known As:
Wonder Lake Campground Hotel Denali National Park And Preserve

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