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Denali National Park is one of America’s most road trip-worthy national parks and home to Mount Denali, which soars more than 20,000 feet above sea level as North America’s highest peak. It protects over six million acres, home to abundant wildlife, including iconic animals like black bears and grizzly bears, Dall’s sheep, moose, caribou, and wolves. While there is plenty of unspoiled wilderness, you’ll find many options for accommodation, including these hotels that will put you right inside the park or, at the very least, close to its borders.
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Enjoy a luxurious stay at the Denali Backcountry Lodge, located at the end of the famous Denali Park Road, which travels 92 miles into Denali National Park. The trip to get there alone, provided by a shuttle, offers incredible wildlife viewing, and once you arrive, you’ll enjoy one of the world’s best family-friendly and all-inclusive resort experiences with fresh and local meals, transport, and tours all included. Everything from guided walks and hikes to mountain biking, gold panning, and fishing are available, while accommodation is in individual cabins with en-suite bathrooms and private decks.
EarthSong Lodge is located 17 miles north of the Denali National Park along the scenic Stampede Road, offering cabins with spectacular views of the open tundra and a backdrop of the peaks of the Alaska Range. Each cabin is hand-built, has a theme, like Mountaineering or Sled Dogs, and comes complete with a private bath, coffeemaker, reading material, and electric heat. Some have decks and separate sitting rooms. A variety of summer and winter activities are on offer, while a two-story log cabin coffee house serves coffee and baked goods and hosts nightly slide shows.
Located at Mile 89 on Denali Park Road, Camp Denali is the only lodge that offers a view of Denali. By booking the minimum three-night stay (four- or seven-night options are available too), you’ll get round-trip transport, all meals, and activities included. It specializes in hiking and learning vacations that offer opportunities to observe wildlife and learn about the sub-arctic from the knowledgeable naturalists on staff. Dishes at the restaurant feature fresh-baked goods and local, organic foods, while overnights are spent in individual cabins with small wood-burning stoves and wall-mounted propane lights. Each cabin has its own private outhouse, although bathing facilities are shared.
Perched above a river valley on a high hillside, The Skyline Lodge is a backcountry summer lodge with just three guest rooms, each offering spectacular mountain views right from the double beds. You’ll share a bath in the main building and can look forward to enjoying outstanding meals with bush pilots, as the lodge also doubles as the air taxi headquarters. Mountain bikes are available for pedaling to Wonder Lake for a hike in the park, and afterward, you’ll have access to the wood-fired sauna.
Set on a 20-acre resort-like property, Denali Park Village is just seven miles south of the park entrance. It includes trails for strolling, a gift shop, and a deck with a fire pit ideal for sipping drinks around the fire as you enjoy a fabulous view of the Alaskan wilderness. There are multiple dining options and a gold rush-themed dinner show, while activities like rafting, with launches on the river right in front of the property, are available too. Rooms feature two queen-size or two double-size beds and can comfortably sleep up to four adults. The River View Rooms are especially desirable, overlooking the Nenana River. Private cedar cabins are available, and there are BBQ grills and a sauna on three riverside decks.
One of the best resorts in Alaska, McKinley Chalet Resort borders Nenana River, just three miles from the entrance to Denali National Park. Guests can enjoy access to a shuttle to the park along with accommodation in spacious Swiss chalet-style buildings that include deluxe rooms that sleep up to four. All have private balconies and are nestled in a spruce forest and linked by boardwalks. Delicious meals, including Alaskan salmon and oven-fired pizza, can be enjoyed along with a popular roadhouse-style dinner theater that features the story of Mount Denali’s first ascent. Excursions include everything from ATV trips to flightseeing and rafting.
An Alaskan wilderness lodge that features excursions into the national park, The Grande Denali Lodge sits atop bluffs above Denali National Park and offers an ideal base plus incredible views. Rooms are in lodge buildings, and free-standing cabins are available that provide seclusion and plenty of privacy too. The cabins have separate living rooms and bedrooms along with private decks while sleeping up to four. There are multiple dining options, but the star of the show is the Alpenglow which offers dining on creatively prepared dishes that focus on fresh, wild-caught Alaskan seafood like king crab, halibut, and salmon.
Only seven miles south of the entrance to Denali National Park, Tonglen Lake Lodge is an all-inclusive property. Accommodation is in luxury cabins, with handcrafted log furniture, that are tucked into the forest. Some options can sleep as many as eight people. Included in your stay are three meals, afternoon tea, evening appetizers, and activities. Musical and other performances are also offered along with workshops, classes, naturalist walks, and nightly campfire circles that include s’mores-making.
Only a mile from the park entrance, the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge offers comfortable lodging in rooms that are spread out across multiple buildings. They come with one king-size or two double-size beds, full en-suite bathrooms, and cable TV with free Wi-Fi is available in the Main Lodge. The property has a riverside walking path and also hosts the two-mile Horseshoe Lake Trail, while excursions include flightseeing adventures and fishing, a few of the must-do’s while visiting Denali National Park. Dining on-site consists of both casual and upscale options, with the popular King Salmon Restaurant serving fresh-caught Alaskan seafood.
Located next to Denali National Park and Preserve on the slopes of Sugarloaf Mountain, the Denali Bluffs Hotel is a homey lodge with cabin-style rooms that include private balconies, satellite TVs, coffeemakers, and free Wi-Fi. There are scenic trails on the grounds, including one leading to an overlook along the Nenana River. When it comes to dining, the Mountaineer Grill and Bar specializes in BBQ, Alaskan seafood, and beer and has an outdoor patio perfect for dining while watching a glorious sunset. The Perky Moose Pantry and Cafe offers coffee and grab-and-go options. Another big plus, the property is just a few miles from the park entrance, with complimentary shuttles that take guests to and from the Visitor Center.
Denali Grizzly Bear Resort is a family-run property with gorgeous river and mountain views, a variety of accommodations, and a wealth of desirable amenities. It’s just six miles south of the park’s visitor center and offers shuttle services. There’s access to a park nearby with food trucks that offer everything from Mexican to Thai. Two eateries are right across the street and there’s also a general store nearby with a liquor store and gift shop. Rooms include two double beds, full en-suite bathrooms, private furnished decks with mountain or river views, free Wi-Fi, and in-room coffee and tea. Cabins are available, too, including options that can sleep up to six.
A fly-in backcountry lodge resort in the heart of Denali National Park, Kantishna Roadhouse was built on the original Kantishna townsite. It sits among the hills where gold miners once rushed in the hopes of finding their treasure in 1905. Activities include three daily guided hikes, opportunities to fly fish or gold pan in Moose Creek, or take out the complimentary mountain bikes for a ride to Wonder Lake. Daily sled dog demonstrations with the resident pups are offered too. All meals, snacks, and non-alcoholic drinks are included in your stay, while beer, wine, and cocktails are available for purchase. Cabin-style rooms are spacious and come with full private baths and two full or two queen beds.
Located 12 miles north of the entrance to the national park, Aurora Denali Lodge offers rooms and suites in a two-story building with options for one queen bed, two queens, or Junior Suites with pull-out sofas and a queen bed. All come with Wi-Fi, TVs, mini-fridges, and microwaves. In the main building, there’s a cozy lounge with books, puzzles, a public computer, and comfy couches. A daily continental breakfast is provided. There is no restaurant on-site, but there are multiple options nearby in the town of Healy.
Family-run Carlo Creek Cabins is 12 miles south of the entrance to the park, with lodge rooms and handcrafted cabins set on 11 wooded acres along Carlo Creek. One includes a full kitchen and sleeps as many as six guests, while others include kitchenette items like a fridge, microwave, and coffee pot. The most budget-friendly have access to shared baths and a shower house. Free Wi-Fi is provided along with a coin-operated laundry room, a lending library, board games, and a dishwashing station, while several restaurants are within walking distance of the cabins.