We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Denali NP Campgrounds

alberta
Level Contributor
229 posts
74 reviews
Save Topic
Denali NP Campgrounds

We are going to Alaska in mid-June 2011, and have decided to rent an RV. We enjoyed Denali so much last time we were there, we've decided we would like to spend about 3 days camping there this time. I'm trying to decide which campground would be best.

Riley Creek sounds as though it is the most convenient campground, but I've seen many comments that it's the noisiest and largest.

Savage River campground sounds great, and I'm leaning toward it. I love the fact that the surrounding trails sound lovely, Denali can sometimes be seen from nearby, and it's still not too far into the park. However, I'm worried about the bus tour. If we join an early morning TWT at Savage River, are we pretty much guaranteed lousy seats on the bus, assuming it's close to full as it leaves the WAC? Seems to me that last time we did the tour, the bus was almost full leaving the WAC. It's always an option to go back to the WAC in the morning before the tour starts and get on the bus there. Savage River is only 14 miles in, but from what I recall, those are SLOW miles in Denali. Does anyone recall how long the drive takes from Savage River to the WAC?

Tek campground also sounds great, but I think it's too far into the park for my liking. I don't like the fact that I can't travel backwards toward the WAC once I'm in.

Any advice or ideas anyone has would really be appreciated. Thank you!

fti
MN
Destination Expert
for Alaska
Level Contributor
15,675 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Denali NP Campgrounds

In any case you really, really don't want a TWT. You want a SHUTTLE BUS. The TWT is basically for cruisetour passengers and only goes to mile 53 or 61. The shuttle bus should be booked to Eielson (minimum) or maybe Wonder Lake.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
8,167 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Denali NP Campgrounds

TEK is by far the best value if for no other reason than the TEK pass. With some planning, you can work out the "no return until you leave" policy.

TEK does require a paid reservation for three nights but some will pay/reserve three and only stay/use two. That would be up to you; it's still a deal with the TEK pass.

alberta
Level Contributor
229 posts
74 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Denali NP Campgrounds

Thank you all for your replies, much appreciated. I said TWT in error, I had them mixed up. It is definitely the shuttle I want. That's what I took last time and loved it.

Thanks again, will also try Alaska forum.

Manitoba, Canada
Level Contributor
6,894 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Denali NP Campgrounds

"Thanks again, will also try Alaska forum."

If you mean posting a similar thread in the Alaska main forum, the same people will see it there as saw it here....

I'm one who gets antsy without my "wheels", but also wanted to choose my seat on the shuttles, so I stayed at Savage River and drove to the WAC early mornings to get in line. As I recall, it was less than half an hour to drive, but I wasn't hurrying... do allow extra time, though, since you might come across some wildlife and want to stop to watch!

I enjoyed staying at Savage, but should mention that the view of McKinley is only the top of the mountain, not the whole thing. Still, each night I walked down to the end of the road (not far, since I deliberately chose a site near the end) to say Goodnight to the Mountain. I was lucky, McKinley was completely out all 3 days I was at Denali.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
3,803 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Denali NP Campgrounds

I stayed at Riley because it was my first time in an RV, so I wanted to be close to the showers, restrooms, store, etc. I thought the sites were quite large, spaced reasonably far apart with trees and shrubs in between. It was VERY quiet.

I think noise can be a problem at any campground; it just depends on who you get for a neighbor.

I assumed I would stay at Savage next time, but not being able to choose my seat on the bus is worrisome. Plus I might miss something during the first 15 miles ! (That's where we saw the lynx and kits last time )

Everyone has a good reason for staying at a particular campsite. Guess you just have to weigh the pros and cons and decide which one will be best for you.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
4,345 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Denali NP Campgrounds

Savage River campground is a little more rustic and deeper into the park - but there is nothing wrong with Riley Creek. And it IS near the store, showers, and much closer to "town" if you want to drive to a restaurant.

What "trail" do you think is so great near the Savage Campground? The "savage river trail" is several miles up the road. Oh, maybe that little trail across the road they built for the cruise tourists but I wouldn't get too excited about it. And they are building some new ones for the same crowd in 2011 but I don't think they are open yet. If you are talking about hiking a few miles then the trails are actually better near the entrance and walkable from Riley Creek (or take a free shuttle) - Mt. Healy Overlook, Horshoe Lake and several others.

I wouldn't want to be the last one on those shuttles. We did that from Teklanika once. I think the bus driver made sure we were able to sit together at least but I remember it was a hassle.

alberta
Level Contributor
229 posts
74 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Denali NP Campgrounds

Thank you to everyone for your replies. They were very, very helpful. After reading them, I think I would be OK with either Riley Creek or Savage River. I'm glad to hear others have enjoyed Riley Creek and it wasn't too noisy. Tek still doesn't interest me although I'm sure it's a great campground - just too far into the park for my liking.

Thanks again so much!

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
8,167 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Denali NP Campgrounds

No worries Jasper . . . everyone is different. It is being that far inside the park (saving an hour each way on the shuttle) that makes it additionally attractive to me/us.

9. Re: Denali NP Campgrounds

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 02 October 2012, 23:20