Jump to Town: Denali Park Entrance Area | Kantishna Area
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.
The 112-room 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. All rooms, decorated in warm woods and subtly country decor, are housed in 12 buildings along the resort’s trails, and are well appointed with many amenities.You will have great views of the Alaska Range, especially if you can reserve a room with a balcony The overall atmosphere is down-to-earth and relaxed, making it easy to unwind after a long day of travel or adventures.
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.
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.
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.
Between its handcrafted log furniture, creature comforts, and postcard views, Tonglen Lake Lodge radiates traditional elegance. Catering to a high-end clientele, it has the ambiance of a fly-in wilderness resort, but is only 10 minutes from the entrance to Denali National Park, and the full range of activities and tours offered in and around it. Along with tranquility, you’ll find an art gallery, an artisan bakery, even a “canine resort” for your dog. The two-story, hand-scribed log lodge is itself a gallery radiating with artistic touches — handcrafted log furniture, handmade quilts, stained-glass accents, pottery, paintings, and sculpture. There’s nothing else like it, comfortable and intimate, with a lovely view of the Alaska Range.
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.
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.
There’s no TV and no bar (byob), just the quiet of surrounding wilderness and simple, sustainable amenities for around 38 guests that have remained true to the founders’ conviction to maintain a light touch on the land. Rustic guest cabins, each of which claims a unique view of Mount McKinley, sleep from two to six people. Good food, artfully prepared with quality ingredients has always been fundamental to the Camp Denali experience, as well as learning adventures for active travelers.
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.
Right on Moose Creek, Kantishna Roadhouse has big, green lawns and plenty of grounds to wander, beautiful log buildings, and lots of interesting early Denali mining memorabilia. The original roadhouse was built in the early 1900s and served as a private residence, community center, post office, and inn for visitors. The lodge’s Alaska Native owners hire mainly other Alaskan Natives and put a lot of effort into making it a friendly, relaxed place to stay. It’s a great place for wildlife viewing, naturalist tours, gold panning, biking, and evening outings to see Wonder Lake and Mt. McKinley.
The sister property to Camp Denali, is the North Face 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 the multi-day stays complete with natural and cultural history education through naturalist-guided hikes, field trips and evening programs. Wilderness no longer means canned meals - antibiotic-free meats and locally grown organic produce contribute to the lodge’s artisan cuisine.