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“Rustic rip-off”

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Denali Highway Tours
Fairbanks
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Rustic rip-off”
Reviewed August 20, 2012

Do not waste your money on lodging at Denali Highway tours and cabins. It would be better to sleep in the car. The cabin was NOTHING special. They call it rustic but in this case rustic must stand for poor carpentry, as there was light showing through the roof and the door. The cabin was dark and generally dirty. The windows could have let some light in if they were washed, ever. The only thing I wanted to touch was the sheets because although covered in left over lint and dog hair, I could tell that at least the sheets had been washed. Pillowcases were questionable. I found these cabins through the website, which I also found to be misleading. They use clever wording to cover up the fact that there is NO running water in the cabins and NO electricity. The cooking facility (as mentioned on the website) is a two burner propane stove. The light is one propane lantern. The cabins here are basically like camping, not even camping at its finest, for $85-$105 per night. Giant rip-off and very disappointing.

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

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Baltimore
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2010

My stepson and I stayed at the Alaska Denali Lodge in early July, hoping to get a
good experience of the wildlife and scenery of Denali National Park. Our experience
was absolutely amazing: beginning with the shuttle guide who drove us into the park -
very knowledgeable, entertaining, and open to questions and dialogue, we saw
amazing wildlife in their own environment. Staff at the lodge were very courteous
and attentive to our all needs, food was excellent, as were the accomodations -
most surprising given the remoteness of the lodge at the back of the park. The guides were extremely knowledgeable in all areas - wildlife, history, biology, etc. We had a thoroughly enjoyable experience and would recommend it to anyone who interested in the Alaska wilderness.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank DaleBaltimore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alaska
Level Contributor
117 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed September 20, 2009

The Denali Highway is a long, rough road through some of the most beautiful scenery accessible by car in Alaska. It runs 135 miles from Cantwell, near Denali National Park, to Paxson at its eastern terminus along the Richardson Highway. It's one of those drives you simply must not rush. Go slowly to enjoy the landscapes, and keep a keen eye out for caribou, moose, bear, and huge variety of migratory birds. Stop frequently and take it all in.

As the rocky road approaches the Maclaren River 42 miles from Paxson, you will find one of the few signs of humans in this great land. World-class dog mushers John Schandelmeier and his wife Zoya DeNure operate Crazy Dog Kennel and Denali Highway Tours and Cabins. Here travelers taking the slow road can spend a cozy night or two in warm, comfortable cabins and enjoy their hosts' Alaska-sized hospitality. You can arrange a tour of the local environs, set your own pace along various hiking trails, or simply kick back on your cabin's deck to unwind. Since John and Zoya operate their place as a working kennel, you can also learn about dog mushing and their efforts to rehabilitate rescued dogs.

The place is set up to be eco-friendly. You have a choice of two cabins, which sleep 4-5, equipped with propane cook tops if you brought your own food, and wood stoves, which keep the cabins warm. Both cabins have decks overlooking a small pond. Outhouses are adjacent to each, and a nearby shower cabin is a good way to wash off the dust from the trail. The cabins are set well away from the main house and kennel, so privacy is maximized. You can grab a hot meal or a drink at the Maclaren River Lodge a short walk across the bridge on the other side of the river.

Since the Denali Highway isn't maintained in winter, the only time to visit is between early May and late September. In late June the wildflowers are peaking, and in late August to early September the fall colors are stupendous.

Whenever you take the trek, you will find John and Zoya working with the dogs and extending a generous, warm welcome to their guests. I can hardly imagine a more relaxing, friendly place.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Aurora_Guy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Denali Highway Tours

Property: Denali Highway Tours
Address: Milepost 42 Denali Highway, Paxson, AK
Location: United States > Alaska > Paxson
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Paxson
Number of rooms: 17

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