The 345-room McKinley Chalet has a prime location: It's just one mile from the Denali National Park entrance. Yet, despite the size, its well-planned layout gives it an intimate feel. Recently remodeled, the upscale hotel’s Swiss-chalet-style buildings are connected by boardwalks and tucked into a fragrant spruce forest, giving you the feeling of being at a secluded lodge.
The lodge’s "lower" rooms are set along the banks of the Nenana River, while the "upper" rooms have great views of the river. You can choose from deluxe rooms or upscale, cedar-lodge mini-suites; deluxe rooms sleep up to four, while the mini-suites feature two beds and a pull-out couch, making it a great location for families.
Launching Pad for Adventure
The chalet makes it extremely easy to launch your Denali adventure. There’s a shuttle that will take you to the Wilderness Access Center, the Denali Visitors Center, as well as the Alaska Railroad depot. The chalet is a main pick-up stop for all of the park tours, as well as several other area tours, so you wont miss out on anything. You can also step outside and join a rafting tour that starts at the chalet, or take off on your own and explore the miles of hiking trails along the river.
In the lobby, you’ll find interpretive exhibits and park programs, to enhance your understanding of the area. If you are trying to get the memorable Holiday card shot while on your Alaskan vacation, you can have your picture taken at the Old Sourdough Studio— you can pose sitting atop an Alaska moose, or riding a giant wild salmon.
Breakfast, Lunch—and Dinner Theater
Inside the lodge, there’s both casual and fine dining—featuring fresh Alaskan seafood and the best wine list in the area—along with a specialty coffee shop. During the evenings, you have easy access to Alaska Cabin Nite Dinner Theater, a popular roadhouse-style dinner theater featuring a true story from the gold rush days. There are usually two showings a day, and if you’re interested, it’s a good idea to reserve a spot, since it tends to book up during peak season.