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Maclaren River Lodge
Reviewed August 1, 2014

We stayed in cabins and they weren't luxurious or anything, but comfortable enough. We cooked our own food, but there was a great restaurant, so I'd definitely dine in next time. We went on a beautiful hike near the lodge and then went on a beaver spotting trip with Matt which was awesome. He was very knowledgeable and it was good fun. A couple of others stayed behind to fish and made their own way back in a canoe. I loved this place, nice and rugged, in the middle of nowhere, great vibe!

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank MickeyBinOz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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15 - 21 of 27 reviews

Reviewed July 8, 2014

I personally loved the MacLaren River Lodge. It's kind of like glorified camping out, rustic but warm. Access requires traveling the dirt-road and portion of the Denali Highway, so it's relatively isolated. At the base of the bridge over the river, the entrance to the lodge is marked by a big wooden bear statue. The central lodge building contains a restaurant (so-so dinner, great big breakfast), a gift shop, a bar, and nice restrooms with tub/shower, one for men and another for women. As with all bathrooms here, there is liquid soap and paper towels. Around the perimeter of the building are a couple of cabins, a light plane, a tire repair shop, a generator, and a bathhouse of three rooms, only the leftmost available for use. My friend and I stayed in the Lake Cabin, on the shore of a pond with a canoe and ducks. This cool log cabin contains a large bed and a bunk bed along with a table and a chair. I can see a family with two kids staying here, the parents in the large bed and the kids in the top and bottom bunks (which do not have a lot of head room). Feeling like a kid again, I slept in the top bunk (old mattress but good blankets) while my friend took the "parent" bed. The owner brought in a portable heater to help us over the night, supplementing the tricky wall heater, and together they kept us so toasty I needed no blankets. It was very quiet (logs make good insulators) though we were close to the generator. I woke to find it snowing and 33 degrees on June 18! We ended up spending most of the morning in the restaurant waiting for the snow to lessen (got 3 or 4 inches of wet accumulation) - a very pleasant time with people coming in to eat and discuss the weather,the dogs hanging around, the pleasant server getting us breakfast but letting us talk undisturbed. I do recommend this place as long as you don't insist on curling your hair, eating foie gras, sleeping on satin - and as long as you want to temporarily feel part of Alaska!

Room Tip: Loved the Lake Cabin, though you must enjoy walking up and down a gravel slope (behind the tire repa...
  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank TravelNut12309
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2014

Had lunch on my tour here today and48 of us were in and completely out in 45 mins. Food was good, service great and the pie, omg it was very very good. Berry pie is the specialty and was great. Was very impressed with this little gem. They had a little band playing out front for us as well. If traveling on the Denali highway, it's a must stop and the only restaurant on the highway.

Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank Michael M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2014

My folks have been going out to the lodge in March for years and it never disapoints. It has been about 4 years since I was there last and I finally joined them again this year. The owners, Alan and Susie, are great people and have a good thing going. The food is great, the lodging is rustic Alaskan (but there is a bath house and I have seen much more rustic), they can give you great information on the surroundings and what there is to do. There is a lot of country to be explored and if you are prepared for some wind it is just so cool to see it all. There is something for every kind of snowmachiner here, groomed trails, rough trails, river riding, mountain riding, exploration...whatever level and desire it is there. This year was great because there was no wind for the whole time I was there. Make sure to call the lodge for snow conditions because even when much of Alaska was not so good they still had decent snow there. Never had a bad time there and definitely reccomend it!

Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
Thank JPB_49_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2013

We took an extended weekend for the 4th of July and visited Maclaren River Lodge located at Milepost 42 on the Denali Highway in Alaska for a working vacation involving a photo shoot. This highway also know as Highway 8 used to be the only way to Denali National Park traversing from Paxson on the east end and meandering through some of the most spacious and gorgeous scenery you will ever see, ending up in Cantwell approximately 120 miles later. The Maclaren River Lodge is an an awesome place to vist with something for everyone. There is history to relive, relaxing, a very nice restaurant, accommodations, great conversation, a beer and wine bar to wet your whistle, internet access, tire repair or replacement, minor auto repairs, emergency fuel, jet boat rides, world class Grayling Fishing, the Maclaren Glacier and the Maclaren River.

This is a must on your "Bucket List"! If you travel by RV or Camper, they have places for you to park for the day or you are welcome to stay overnight. If you are a tent camper, they have places for your tent and you can enjoy all of the amenities of the lodge, including the showers. If you prefer to lodge in one of there very clean cabins that is also available. There are different types of cabins to meet everyone's needs. They have a couple of very spacious cabins with their own private bath, tub and shower. They also have dry cabins where you share a central bath house. Now this central bath house is very private, it is actually 3 separate rooms each with a private shower, sink and toilet. So no gang toities here. There is electricity provided in all of the cabins.

The lodge offers a variety of menu items for breakfast, lunch and supper. They also have a special of the day that is not usually one of the menu items. For instance, for a couple days while we were there, the specials were Baby Back Ribs or Manicottis. The coffee is always on and they have a variety of teas and of course soft drinks and juice. Home made bread is made daily and fills the lodge with that amazing aroma. There is also a Gazebo with a huge grill and many tables and chairs. If you are a group traveling through, this might be a wonderful option for your group to enjoy.

For activities there is a Jet Boat Ride approximately 10 miles up the very winding and scenic Maclaren River towards the Maclaren Glacier. About 4 miles from the glacier there is a permeant campsite with a tent, fire ring and outhouse that you may use also. This area of the river offers spectacular views of the Maclaren Glacier. There is abundant wildlife in the area including bears, moose, caribou, bald eagles and many other birds. Also this area is home to some World Class Grayling Fishing in the tributaries that flow into Maclaren River. There are abundant hiking areas and also ATV Trails in the area surrounding the lodge. The lodge also offers tire repair and/or replacement if you need these services and also some minor auto repairs can be accomplished right on site or even down the road a few miles.

I highly recommend traveling the 120 mile Denali Highway from end to end with an overnight stop at Maclaren River Lodge. If you are looking to get out into some pristine wilderness without a lot of people and noise this is your place. You can look them up on the internet at www.maclarenlodge.com which even includes a live weather cam.

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Thank AlaskaBobBr549
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago
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  • Stayed: August 2017, traveled with friends
    • Location
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Thank Marcello4444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago
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  • Stayed: August 2017, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Everest8000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Maclaren River Lodge

Address: Milepost 42, Denali Highway, Hc 02 7282, Gakona, AK 99586
Location: United States > Alaska > Gakona
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Gakona

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