Jump to Town: Denali Park Entrance Area | Kantishna Area (inside the park)
Instead of staying right near the Park entrance, surrounded more by people and tour buses than wilderness, or deep in the park, where a stay calls for a greater commitment than many travelers can do, Denali Cabins offers an alternative. This collection of 46 cabins set in the woods—at mile 229 on the Parks Highway, and eight miles from the Park Entrance—offers the best of both options, and with plenty of comfort and convenience.
One of the reasons Princess has risen to be the largest cruise and tour company in Alaska is the huge investment they've made in their lodges. The spacious new main building of the Denali Princess Lodge is a prime example with a 50-foot mural of Mount McKinley, grand staircases, and a 65-foot fireplace. The resort offers casual and fine dining, an expansive deck overlooking the Nenana River and Denali National Park, and a long list of amenities. Auto access is restricted so you can really get away from it all. Located just one mile from the park entrance, the lodge lets you enjoy the rugged beauty of Denali National Park, then come back and be pampered for the rest of your stay.
Mid May – Mid-September
Set on a hill, this 166-room hotel offers a bright, contemporary version on the classic rustic lodge style with native Alaska art in the lobbies. The lodge features a vaulted ceiling, comfortable lounges facing a stone fireplace, gift shop, tour desk, guest laundry, courtesy shuttle service and the Alpenglow Restaurant. The rooms feature colorful Alaskan décor and, at about 300 square feet, are some of the largest in the area. For even more space and privacy, choose one of the six Grande Cabins, which sleep four and feature kitchenettes, queen-size beds, private decks and hardwood floors.
Mid-May thru Mid-September
The Denali Bluffs is the closest to park entrance. The lobby greets you with a warm fireplace and large windows that look out onto the patio. If it’s a nice day, sit outside and enjoy a meal at the Mountaineer Grill & Bar. The 112 original Hillside Rooms and the new 64 room addition, the RiverView Premium Rooms, are nestled in to the shoulder of Sugarloaf Mountain, above the Denali National Park entrance. The hotel is designed to make guests feel at one with nature—rooms are housed in 16 buildings, all disbursed along the resort’s trail system.
Overlook the Nenana River in rustic elegance at the McKinley Chalet Resort, a recently remodeled upscale hotel just one mile from the Denali Park entrance. Heavy on cedar, the lodge has several buildings tucked into forest, all connected by boardwalks, and this Swiss chalet feel makes it more intimate than its 478 rooms suggest. Choose from deluxe rooms or upscale, cedar-lodge mini-sites. The “upper” rooms at the McKinley Chalet have great views of the river, while “lower” rooms are situated in a quiet spruce forest along the shore of the Nenana River.
If you’re looking for an intimate setting right on a river, try The Cabins at Denali Park Village. You’ll find 52 individual rustic cabins nestled among the trees on the banks of the Nenana River. Here, you’ll avoid the tourist crowds as you hike along the river for your own wilderness experience.
Located seven miles from the park entrance, The Lodge at Denali Park Village gets you far enough from the hustle and bustle so that you can focus on the quiet sounds of nature—like the sound of a river rushing by. Set on 20 acres of a spruce forest along the Nenana River, the lodge offers rooms spread out among seven two-story buildings. This is the place to get back to nature, while enjoying the luxuries of the lodge.
This lodge, like Camp Denali, was homesteaded in the 1950s, but unlike the cabin style lodging, The North Face Lodge is quaintly decorated like a casual country inn. The lodge can hold about 36 guests, who all enjoy multi-day stays complete with cultural history, guided hikes, field trips and evening programs.
At Camp Denali, you’ll immerse yourself in a remote backcountry, but with a cozy bed to settle into each night. Take in the quiet of the surrounding wilderness and enjoy the simple, sustainable amenities for around 38 guests. Here, the balance of “light touch on the land” and providing a comfortable stay is perfected. Refined rustic guest cabins, each of which claims a unique view of Denali, sleep from two to six people.
Kantishna is a historic goldmining district in the backcountry of Denali National Park. Among the most remote areas of the park, you can stay in a cozy cabin and spend your days playing, exploring and relaxing in the wilderness. Kantishna Roadhouse is the only lodge in the area with a full-service saloon.
For a lot of travelers, exploring deep into Denali National Park, far from the crowds, sounds like the ideal way to experience the famous park. But not everyone wants to rough it out there—which is why this lodge is the perfect balance, a comfortable perch in seriously remote wilderness.