What is the Denali Backcountry Lodge?
The Denali Backcountry Lodge is located at the end of 92 Mile Park Road in Katishna. It’s an all-inclusive vacation.
It’s open from June 4th through September 12th. It’s situated deep within Denali’s rugged backcountry.
It offers 42 cedar cabins. Each cabin is heated and has its own private bath. Dining and lounge areas are found in the spacious two story lodge.
Rates include the scenic journey through Denali National Park aboard a private bus from the park entrance to the lodge and return, park entrance fees, cabin with private bath, all meals and snacks, and all guided activities and naturalist programs.
What Makes Denali Backcountry Lodge Unique?
They have a lot of unexpected luxuries for such a remote location. As mentioned before, each cabin has its own heating and private bathroom. The fact it has its own restaurant on site is another bonus.
The fact that the rates include fun activities also makes it different from other hotels and resorts.
Pricing can depend on what kind of cabin you choose. The cheapest cabin costs $545 a night. The most expensive is around $625 a night.
For $545, you get the Traditional Cabin, single occupancy. This is the basic cabin, but it can still offer comfort. You are right within the splendor of Denali National Park.
It includes 2 extra long double beds, its own private heat, and a full private bathroom.
For $585, you get Superior Cabin. They offer more space for you spread out in and also the choice between 1 king bed or 2 extra long double beds.
It’s independently heated and offers a full private bathroom.
For $625, you get a Creekside Cabin. It’s the most desirable of all the cabins offered at the Denali Backcountry Lodge. They face Moose Creek with your private deck to enjoy its relaxing sounds.
It also has the choice of 1 king bed or 2 extra long double beds. It has heat and a full bathroom.
What is Special About Denali
Denali National Park and Preserve was created officially on February 26, 1917. It is 6 million acres of wild land, bisected by one ribbon of road. Travelers along it see the relatively low elevation Taiga Forest give way to high alpine tundra and snowy mountains. It’s also the home of North America’s tallest peak, 20,310 feet Denali.
Wild animals large and small roam in unfenced lands, like they have been for ages.
20 Fun Things to Do in Anchorage
Since you will be staying at the Denali Backcountry Lodge, you can check out some fun activities in Anchorage, the most populated town in Alaska. It’s right nearby.
1. Find Moose
There are more than a thousand moose in Anchorage alone. There is a little known moose spot a few miles from the airport.
Spend some time in green spaces and you should find one.
2. See and Hear Glaciers
Anchorage is surrounded by glaciers. You can take a day cruise or go on a sightseeing flight.
3. Meet Alaska’s Native People
The Alaska Native Heritage Center is one of the best places to get an introduction to Alaska Native traditions and language. There are many different Native cultures in Alaska and each has their own distinct features.
4. Ride the Rails
The railroad is what gave Anchorage its start and first linked broad stretches of Alaska together. The city is still the starting point for rail travel in Alaska.
You can take it to Seward, Prince William Sound, Denali, Talkeetna, and Fairbanks. You can even take the Glacier Discovery train to Spencer Whistle stop.
5. Bike the Coastal Trail
If you like to bike, you should check out Anchorage’s bike paths. They travel 135 miles through the city. The best one is the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.
You can rent a bike downtown and take off.
6. Go to Anchorage Museum
This is the largest museum in the state. It shares the story of all of Alaska. There is art and history throughout the building.
7. Check Out Flightseeing
Flightseeing is one of the best ways to explore the mountains, soar over glaciers, and spot wildlife from above. Anchorage has more pilots and planes per capita than any place in the US, and has the busiest floatplane base in the world.
8. Enjoy Nearby Parkland
The Chugach Range has access points a short drive from anywhere in the city. You can explore the 9,000 square mile mountain range through hikes, rafting the rapids, or just sitting in the forest in peace.
9. Fish Ship Creek
Anglers find 5 species of salmon in local waters, along with trout, grayling, and Arctic char. The most popular salmon fishery is a stone’s throw from the city center.
10. See Whales
Beluga whales chase salmon runs just off the coast. Take a trip to Turnagain Arm to see them. These white whales get as a big as a car.
11. Strike it Rich
Indian Valley and Crow Creek were the site of gold strikes at the end of the 19th century. Gold panning is still a common pursuit. With a pan, persistence, and a little patience, you have a shot at finding flakes of Alaska gold.
12. Bear Viewing
Alaska is the only place in the US with black, brown, and polar bears. Bear viewing often involves a short flight to a salmon filled stream in Katmai or Lake Clark National Parks or nearby Chinitna Bay.
13. View the Northern Lights
The Northern Lights are active from September through April. If you can stay awake, you can watch the shifting colors of the auroras near Anchorage.
Eklutna Tailrace, Girdwood, and the Knik River Area are popular spots for this.
14. Try Dog Sledding
The state sport may be a winter pursuit, but you can visit their kennels year round. You can learn about racing sled dogs, take a ride on a cart, and hold a whole litter of cute puppies.
15. Enjoy the Midnight Sun
Between March 20th and September 22nd, Anchorage has more daylight than anywhere in the other 49 states. You gain 5 minutes a day, as much as a half hour a week, it’s incredible how much fits in a day when the sun barely ever sets.
16. Alaska Art and Shopping
Find authentic work straight from the artist. Whether you seek out traditional Alaska Native art, innovative crafts from a young entrepreneur, or salmon and local candy to take home and share. Anchorage is an artistic hotspot.
17. Alyeska Tramway
Flying isn’t the only way to get an aerial view. The Alyeska Tramway swoops over treetops, taking passengers 2,000 feet up Mount Alyeska. 7 named glaciers, kettle ponds, and sparkling Turnagain Arm as all visible from the tram.
18. Taste Alaska
Local food includes king crab, halibut, and salmon obviously. You can also try reindeer sausage or veggies fresh from the nearby Matanuska Valley.
Anchorage is also an under the radar beer town with more than a dozen breweries in the city.
19. National Parks
Anchorage is near many National Parks. You can fly over Denali, check out Kenai Fjords on a day cruise or kayak trip, and take off for Lake Clark or Katmai for bear viewing.
20. Watch the Bore Tide
Tides in Anchorage are extreme, with the highest tides in the world. The shallow narrow waters of Turnagain Arm help form a bore tide, a wave up to 6 feet tall that rolls for miles along the inlet.
The Seward Highway is dotted with good vantage points to watch this natural phenomenon, and perhaps you even spot the brave surfers who want to ride the wave.
What Other People Think of Denali Backcountry Lodge
Many people have visited the lodge. They have talked about their stay on different traveling sites. We will break down what people think on each of those traveling sites.
On Trip Advisor, the lodge has a 4 star rating. The highlights of staying there are that each cabin is beautiful. People felt very secure staying there. The beds are comfortable and all rooms include good blackout curtains.
Many people enjoyed the meals, the lodge even had a pastry chef on site.
People did mention that it was pricey, but they also pointed out that it included all your meals and activities. They also offer guided hikes, bikes, and fishing rods.
The lowlights that are mentioned are the meals. While some people liked them, others did not. In particular, vegetarians had issues with it. There weren’t many sources of plant protein. It also seems that there were quite a few times that people didn’t get the dinner that they ordered the night before.
Another lowlight was that you don’t get keys to lock your cabin from the outside. They can be locked from the inside, which is good for comfort and security.
On Yelp, it has 4.5 star rating. What people liked about the Denali Backcountry Lodge is the location. Many of the cabins are near a creek, so people can hear nature sounds easily.
The staff is very knowledgeable and friendly. You could ask for anything and their response was really quick.
People complained about the lack of WiFi. The only place there is WiFi is the main lodge. People have complained that it’s spotty at best.
The food was mentioned once again. People found it to be boring and you couldn’t get second helpings.
Some people felt that it was overpriced, even if the experience was good.
Denali Backcountry Lodge has an 8.6 rating on Kayak. Perks of staying at the lodge are it’s a great place for outdoor activities. The guided hikes were great and you can borrow lodge bikes for a ride.
There’s a beautiful view and letting people be within nature peacefully.
Cons that were listed are once again the food. There were complaints about special diet accommodations. Many people felt like they didn’t get enough food during each meal.
What We Think
We think this would be a great place to stay. You get a lot included in the package including your lodging, meals, and activities. Plus, you get to be right in the middle of the park and be the closest to nature.
The guided hikes, animal spotting, and other recreational activities give you the whole picture of what the Denali National Park has to offer.
As for the food complaint, it is good to know if you have any special dietary needs. A solution for not getting enough food is to get some snacks that you can keep in your lodge.
It can be frustrating, but it’s good to remember the meals depend on suppliers getting there. So sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned.
The other complaints, like the WiFi, for example, are a little unfair. If you are going to be in the middle of National Park in Alaska, then do you really expect great service? The whole point of this place is to be one with nature.
As for the complaints about staff, that can really depend on when you go. People aren’t perfect, they can have bad days. So one traveler can have a good experience while another caught the staff on a bad day.
Overall people loved their stay here. The cabins are comfortable and warm, it lets you get away from the world, and the staff was friendly most of the time. If you are planning a trip to Alaska and don’t want to do a lot of the planning for activities, then Denali Backcountry Lodge is for you.
They’ll take care of everything.