The hotel is run by Princess Cruise Lines (PCL) and is meant to be an extension of one's cruise. For some reason that little bit of information as obvious as it is did not click with me till we arrived at the lodge. People literally arrive by the bus loads either from Talkeetna or from Anchorage or from some other location in Alaska. The lodge is huge, but you really only notice the crowds during meal times or if you happen to be in the lobby when a bus is leaving or arriving. PLC has many activities for people to take advantage of from trips into Talkeetna to riding the rapids, so people are coming and going all day. The park rangers have a desk at the lodge and they present several talks each day. There are also educational lectures about Alaskan history that are fascinating.
As I said the lodge is huge. There are maybe 10 buildings with large hotel style rooms spread out through the property. The rooms are extremely comfortable. Be aware that the rooms are not airconditioned, so if you arrive on a really warm day (which is usually not the case in Alaska) you may be warmer than you prefer. The rooms are equipted with overhead ceiling fans and oscillating table fans that you can set near a window to help circulate the air to make you more comfortable.
The lodge is about 45 minutes or more from Talkeetna and is rather isolated (thus the wilderness part of the name) so don't expect to pop into town for lunch or dinner. The restaurants on the property provide excellant food. Our bus driver recommended that we explore Talkeetna when we first arrived from Anchorage after our train trip, so we did. We had lunch in town and popped into several of the fascinating gift shops. We had planned to return to Talkeetna on our last day, but that did not work out as we had expected.
Mt Mckinely is about 25 miles from the lodge. The views are fantastic when the weather complies. This summer many guests were accorded the opportunity of seeing the mountain with unobstructed views. The day we arrived the mountain was shrouded in clouds and ever so often the wind would push the clouds away so we could have a peak at the mountain. Then everyone in the main lodge hurried out onto the deck to see what they could see before the mountain disappeared once again. The second day was even better with longer periods when the mountain was visible, but on our third day the views were absolutely phenominal. We could see from one end of the range to the other end without a cloud in sight and there in the midst in all it's glory was Mount Mckinley.
Besides the fantastic views of the mountain we took several short walks along the various paths throughout the property. I came home with many wonderful pictures. The property has loads of wild flowers and the occasional bear that will show up. Moose are also meader by from time to time. We did not see either, but we had heard that a bear had been seen hanging around on one of the hiking paths. The rangers closed that path due to the danger the bear presented to the unsuspecting tourist that might not realize how dangerous the bears actually are.
We did not go on any of activities off of the property, but rather hung out at the lodge and enjoyed the views. We live in Alaska and had just wanted a quiet weekend in the country and that is exactly what we got.
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- Also Known As:
- Mt. Mckinley Princess Wilderness Hotel Trapper Creek
- Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge Alaska/Trapper Creek