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Denali from 8 Jun to 10 Jun

Singapore, Singapore
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27 posts
3 reviews
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Denali from 8 Jun to 10 Jun

My family of 3, comprising my wife, my 10 year old daughter and me, will be taking a cruise from Whittier on 11 Jun 2014.

As we will be arriving at Anchorage on 7 Jun, we are thinking to go to Denali for a short trip.

We are planning to take a train from Anchorage to Denali on 8 Jun, and a bus back on 10 Jun.

I would like to know which hotel/lodge is the most convenient to stay in Denali. That is, with easy access to and from the train depot in Denali, and have day tours that we can book for 9 Jun to visit Denali National Park.

I was told that Princess Lodge and Denali Bluffs will be good choices, but I would appreciate some information on both hotels and any other alternatives.

Also, can someone suggest an itinerary for the 3 days 2 nights trip?

Thanks.

USA
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9,465 posts
44 reviews
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1. Re: Denali from 8 Jun to 10 Jun

Here's a Top Question with ideas regarding lodging at Denali with shuttles to train & park:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g143022-i1271-k324…

Edited: 21 March 2014, 13:44
Lake Tahoe...
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9,264 posts
64 reviews
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2. Re: Denali from 8 Jun to 10 Jun

To me personally after staying at Denali Princess Lodge it is a poor choice due to the small rooms. We have been researching Denali accommodations and find it difficult finding availability (particularly if you are travelling by train and have no vehicle with you). I think it was be more economical for the three of you to rent a car in Anchorage and forget about the train. Now, I'm going to deviate from the normal advise given by the folks on this forum (and since you are allowing only two nights prior to your cruise) perhaps you could do one of the Princess cruise/tours. The last day usually includes the train direct to the ship in Whittier. Princess has really been pushing these lately, as we have been getting a lot in the mail lately. Now, why would K2IKS be interested in a cruise/tour to Alaska :-)

Edited: 21 March 2014, 16:33
Wasilla, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Alaska
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5,716 posts
159 reviews
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3. Re: Denali from 8 Jun to 10 Jun

A rental car would be cheaper than the train/bus and allow you much more flexibility in lodging, dining and activities. Would you be open to renting a car?

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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40,228 posts
44 reviews
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4. Re: Denali from 8 Jun to 10 Jun

I am with AKStafford - if you drive, you will have much more time to explore the park as well as have a broader selection of lodgings, restaurants and activities you can enjoy when you do have a car. :)

Singapore, Singapore
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27 posts
3 reviews
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5. Re: Denali from 8 Jun to 10 Jun

Hmmm.... It has never occurred to me to rent a car. The reason being that I read somewhere that most car rental companies do not allow their cars to be driven to Denali.

I will check with the rental car companies. Any good and reliable ones to recommend?

Chugiak, Alaska
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2,104 posts
12 reviews
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6. Re: Denali from 8 Jun to 10 Jun

It's the Denali *Highway* that they aren't allowed to be on. I can understand how that would be rather confusing, but actually, you don't drive on the Denali Highway to get to Denali - you drive on the Parks Highway. So, no trouble with renting a car.

Any of the national chains are good. I favor Avis but only because they have some decent coupons. Thrifty and Dollar are next (because of price) then Enterprise and Hertz. I just did a search and most are about $70-$80 per day for your dates right now. You can book something now and keep checking to see if the price goes down, but even at that price, it'll be cheaper than the train.

Then look at the shuttle bus to Eielson rather than a tour bus. Less money and you can get off for a hike or switch buses at Eielson rather easily if you want to go for a bit of a walk there. Be sure to grab a backpack (to borrow for activities) from the Visitor Center for your 10 year old. The Jr Ranger program is pretty great. Both my niece and my nephew loved it when they were visiting Denali.

www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/things2do.htm

www.nps.gov/dena/forkids/beajuniorranger.htm

www.nps.gov/dena/forkids/discovery-packs.htm

Harlingen,TX
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906 posts
35 reviews
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7. Re: Denali from 8 Jun to 10 Jun

Boy did that shock me at first! Not drive the rental car to Denali? We're staying in Healy about a week after Peck69 and driving to Denali every day, also for 3 days. Don't forget the 3 for 2 special on Denali shuttle bus tickets!

fti
MN
Destination Expert
for Alaska
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15,520 posts
28 reviews
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8. Re: Denali from 8 Jun to 10 Jun

Also note on the 3-for-2 Denali shuttle bus tickets:

They can only be purchased on the phone, not online.

In the past, you needed to use the 3 days consecutively. Now they can be any three days, but you must fix the days when you call.

Also, for anyone spending a longer time in the Denali area, the new "6-pack ticket" is an excellent deal. For not much more than a single bus ride, you get SIX shuttle bus trips into the park. The catch is that there is a minimum of five days between trips. Personally, I find this will be an excellent deal for those living in Alaska who get to Denali often or people like me, who are planning on spending a ton of time in the park this summer.

Singapore, Singapore
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27 posts
3 reviews
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9. Re: Denali from 8 Jun to 10 Jun

Ok , so I have booked my rental with Hertz cos I have a Hertz Gold Plus account and the previous times I have used them has been great.

However, it seems that most of the hotels/accomodations in denali does not have air condition, and or fans? And most of the reviews has not been very good.

Which hotels would you guys recommend?

Some places near the park entrance.

Thanks.

Anchorage, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Anchorage
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11,192 posts
206 reviews
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10. Re: Denali from 8 Jun to 10 Jun

"air conditioning"

In Healy June & July average highs are about 68F (20C).

see: weather.com/weather/…99743

It's Alaska, though temperature extremes can sometimes make one wish they could cool that room down; it's vastly more likely that visitors (especially those from near the equator) will need to turn the heat on.

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