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“We love Caribou Lodge!”

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Caribou Lodge Alaska
SF Bay Area, CA
Level Contributor
38 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“We love Caribou Lodge!”
Reviewed August 25, 2008

This was our second trip to Mike and Pam's Caribou Lodge--we initially went 3 years ago when our kids were ten. We have absolutely loved both of our trips. It's hard to put into words exactly why--there's just something that deeply nourishes our souls in this place with these people. It's a beautiful setting--the hiking, the scenery, the wildlife, the views of Denali, etc. But even more than that, it's the warmth and care of Mike and Pam, their commitment to the land, to sharing their world and values with others, and their good-humored, gentle way with one another and with their guests that makes our time at Caribou Lodge so renewing, so rewarding.

Our stay this time included 3 other couples/families--all of whom became fast friends despite being from different countries, different backgrounds and different regions of the US. Around the dinner table, one of the guests suggested we share our "top ten" list about the Lodge. One of the children said "Caribou Lodge is the best place to spend your time between past and future." That is so true. A place to be in the now. To delight in a game of horseshoes or badminton. To unabashedly reach for another one of Pam's homemade rolls. To trudge through the bush to pick blueberries. To giggle at Mike's stories.

It may not be for everyone--animal sightings are not guaranteed, the outhouses smell like outhouses, and there isn't a TV or way to recharge the Gameboy. But for our family, Caribou Lodge is paradise--
and we can't wait to go back.

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank cftyler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike N, Owner at Caribou Lodge Alaska, responded to this review, January 8, 2013
They say better late than never, again, sorry for being so slow to respond. As you have noted, electronics in the Alaskan Wilderness are slow at best. And our limited knowledge is not a big help. But...thank you for your kind words! We were pretty happy that the "kids" would consider us their favorite spot. Thanks for coming back again!
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English first
Durango, Colorado
Level Contributor
60 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2008

My husband & I loved everything about the Caribou Lodge! When you walk in the lodge it smells like grandmas been cooking all day long! Thanks Pam! When its time for a hike we got to see some of the most untouched land we have ever laid eyes on.
We saw 2 moose, plenty of bear & 1 big blonde grizzley! Not to mention the Eagles, hawks & the very large owls. Thanks Mike!
I personally didnt think this was roughing it at all. We normally sleep in a tent & have to dig a hole! So the Caribou Lodge for me was great! The cabins were well heated....not that we needed it, the bed spreads are very very warm & cozy. The showers room was also heated with a good supply of hot water. We coudln't get enough of the place. My husband & I went fishing on the back side of the lodge at the bever dams. He actually caught some fish on his fly rod! We have yet to meet better people than Mike & Pam. They provided both the entertainment and the hospitality that you wouldn't expect from people who live there lives "in the bush". We would reccomend the Caribou to anyone looking to get away from it all, relax, take in the Alaskan wilderness & beautiful surroundings. We miss it already & our wonderful new freinds Mike & Pam, we hope to see you someday soon....dont forget about the trip we talked about!!!
Sourdoughs at heart--KNK

  • Liked — The hosts!
  • Disliked — nothing, everthing was perfect
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank KnKtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike N, Owner at Caribou Lodge Alaska, responded to this review, January 8, 2013
I'm telling Pam you called her Grandma! You folks are not typical in that you yourselves have quite a bit of outdoor experiences of your own, which gives you a pretty good understanding of the life and country before you got here. But, it is not Colorado! We have a few more bears, and bigger too! Thanks for coming!
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United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2008

Most everything has already been noted by other reviewers.
It is amazing to spend some time in company of these alaskan sourdoughs. It really makes you appreciate the lifefestyle they lead and the nature around.
March still qualifies as winter and winter activities are abound. Scenery is tremendous. Dog-sledding is great. We rarely come back to a vacation spot again, but this one is a keeper. We'll have to try it in the warm season sometime to get a fuller picture.
Highly recommend this place to anyone interested in the real Alaska and how people live in it as opposed to the circus show afforded by a cruise

  • Liked — remote and rustic
  • Disliked — too bad we couldn't stay longer
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank vasechek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike N, Owner at Caribou Lodge Alaska, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
It is a whole different world in the winter out here, only for the strong and bold! You qualify! Glad you had a good time and we did as well. Thank you, and maybe our trails will cross again!
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Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2005

Caribou Lodge was a fantastic experience for our family of four. It is not luxurious; but it is certainly not roughing it either. And it is very comfortable. Mike and Pam are fantastic hosts (and that's exactly what they are, your hosts). You eat dinner at their dining table, pass the time in their living room and talk to them as they work in the kitchen (and pitch in if the spirit moves you).

We were looking for a true Alaskan experience. We had had a week on a cruise ship and found the lodge in both a guide book and on the internet. We flew in from Anchorage (which is longer than the short hop from Talkeetna).

We stayed for four days and the weather was excellent for two of them (which is good for Alaska). The view of Denali from the ridge above the lodge (a 45 second walk) is absolutely spectacular. If you have good weather quickly (do not hesitate) have Mike or Pam set up a flighseeing trip around Denali. It is an unbelievable experience--like being in a National Geographic special and relatively (for that sort of thing) inexpensive.

The food is great. Home cooked meals. Not exactly what the cardiologist ordered, but it is only a few days and a great excuse to eat hearty food.

There are just three cabins (and a loft), so the capacity is limited to 6 or 8 guests.

We had real adventures while we were there. And Mike and Pam are the best. I am a city slicker, not particularly favorably disposed to guns, but they need them and use them in the bush. And with the right people and the right environment it all felt right.

Us city people need to get a bit of courage up. No indoor plumbing, but the outhouses are clean and nicely decorated. (Mike says the fact of outhouses keeps the wrong people away). No electricity in the cabins, but there are gas lights and gas heaters (the propane, like everything else, is flown in).

This was a unique experience, and I suspect we will be back. I am not sure what more we could have asked for.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Arl_traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike N, Owner at Caribou Lodge Alaska, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Our thanks to the "City Slickers" for coming, our pleasure to have you! We enjoy sharing a bit of our country and wildlife with folks who have an appreciation of it, it is most times as enjoyable for us as for you. Thanks for coming!
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed October 27, 2004

Caribou Lodge is a short plane hop and light years away from the tourist environs of Talkeetna, just above the timber line on Boomerang Lake (ask the pilot to show you on the map). The cabins, lodge, bath house and outhouses (no indoor plumbing here) are scrupulously clean and the hospitality generous. A 2-minute climb up the hill behind the lodge gives you a ringside view of Denali. Pam makes you family as soon as you step on the dock, and Mike is a superb hiking guide. You'll see whatever wildlife decides to come by (this isn't a zoo, after all), and experience the lay of the land up close and personal (blueberries in August are superb!). If you want to go where your legs can carry you and unwind in the stillness of the Alaskan bush, do try out Caribou Lodge. If you want Alaska to parade by you, stick to the tourist buses and watch CNN.

  • Stayed August 2004
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike N, Owner at Caribou Lodge Alaska, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Pretty well said I think. We appreciate your coming and hope we to see you back someday! Thanks!
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Anchorage, ak
Level Contributor
96 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2004

We love the Caribou Lodge. We first went there when we lived in Key West, Fl. and have since moved to Ak. Yes, they do have outhouses.....But it is a fly-in lodge out in the wilderness....it is not a zoo....Sometimes you see lots, and sometimes not so much. I have seen a wolverine...for several minutes at a time...., numerous birds, moose,wolf tracks, and yes, they have sled dogs which is the most incredible way to see the country in the winter. We go up now to get away "from the big city" and to look at the northern lights and the stars.....And, of course, Denali....Not to mention the company and the food. Pam bakes all of her own bread, and the food is bountiful and great. This is a wilderness lodge, not a spa resort....I wish I were there right now.

  • Stayed February 2003
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank laughinghusky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike N, Owner at Caribou Lodge Alaska, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
We wish you were here too! It was our pleasure the first time... and some "guests" turn in to friends, who turn into like family. You are always welcome here! See you next trip!
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Florida
Level Contributor
197 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 192 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2004

Much of what has been said is true... the lodge is accessible only by floatplane... the flightseeing of Denali on the way in is spectacular... Pam and Mike are great hosts... it does give you a taste of what it is like to live in the bush... the cabins are comfy. However, the "outhouse" facilities, while clean and cutely decorated, are a great inconvenience... especially in the middle of the night. This would not have been an issue if there had been the "abundance of wildlife" that we expected. During our three nights/days, I saw eight sled dogs, and three ducks. My husband went on the lengthy hikes and saw one black bear (from a mile away, using binoculars) and two moose (also quite distant and using binoculars) and a porcupine and some marmites. Later (also through binoculars) we saw a couple beavers swim into their lodge.) If remoteness and solitude are your goal, then this could be the place for you. But if abundant widlife and interesting hikes are your objective, then you might be disappointed and would be better served in Kenai.

  • Stayed July 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank Barrett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike N, Owner at Caribou Lodge Alaska, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Very sorry you did not enjoy your time here. But as you have noted, our lodge is not for everyone. If you have no appreciation for nature and wild country, your not going to like it here. If staying in your room/cabin is your desire, you might be better served in a Hotel chain in the city. As far as wildlife, while normally good, it is not a zoo, it is wild country and wildlife can come and go. We can not control it. We wish you better travels in you future!
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Additional Information about Caribou Lodge Alaska

Property: Caribou Lodge Alaska
Address: P.O. Box 706, Talkeetna, AK 99676-0706
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Alaska > Talkeetna
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Talkeetna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Caribou Lodge Alaska is a remote Fly-in only wilderness lodge. Located on a remote lake in an amazing setting above treeline just S.E. Of Denali National Park. We are closer to Mt McKinley than the Park entrance or headquarters. Caribou Lodge is completely surrounded by Alaska's wild country. The Lodge offers a unique opportunity for guests to not only experience the awesome wilderness of Alaska, but to learn about living in it as well. Life in the Alaska wilderness is quite the adventure and is an experience we enjoy sharing with the world. Small and personal, a "Denali Park without the crowds", Caribou Lodge offers daily guided hiking, extended backpacking trips, kayaking and more, a relaxing learning experience in the Alaskan bush. Come join us! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Caribou Lodge Alaska Hotel Talkeetna
Caribou Hotel Talkeetna
Caribou Lodge Alaska Talkeetna

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