I was a little apprehensive about my stay, since I had trouble finding the information I was seeking, and didn't know what to expect. But Kantishna Roadhouse is a fantastic all-inclusive resort!
Here's what you need to know... The bus picks up guests from the Denali Train Depot after the 1 pm train, which comes from Fairbanks. If you arrive on the train from Anchorage, plan on staying the night somewhere else and meet the Kantishna bus the next afternoon. The bus ride from the train depot to the roadhouse is about 6 hours, as it's a 92 mile trip with stops for scenery and wildlife viewing, so you will arrive at the roadhouse around 7:30 pm and dinner for the new arrivals will be served at 8 pm. (More about dinner later.)
The cabins are about the size of an average hotel room, but the wall are very thin. You will have running water (i.e. shower, toilet, sink) and each room has a heater, but being in a rather remote area, the heat is propane and it takes awhile for the heater to heat the cabin. You are provided with fresh towels and sheets and blankets, but not hair dryers or irons or in-room coffee makers. And don't forget your alarm clock!
Breakfast is buffet style and offered from around 7:30 to 8:45, with no assigned seating. Toast, English muffins and bagels are staples, as is a hot cereal, like oatmeal. Biscotti and small muffins are also available, as well as a couple hot items such as pancakes or eggs, and seasoned potatoes and/or bacon. Yogurt and fruit are also provided. There is not a wealth of choices, but what is available is good food.
Every morning there are group hikes led by a staff member, which leave the lobby at 9 am. There is a casual hike, usually around 2 miles, a moderate hike and a strenuous hike. The roadhouse provides a sack lunch, which includes a wrap, a piece of fruit and a cookie. Guests in need of a waterbottle, day pack, rain gear and/or mosquito net can sign out these items for the day, free of charge.
At 9:30 each morning, a shuttle is available to take guests to Wonder Lake for about an hour.
A dogsled demo is presented every afternoon at 2 pm for anyone that is interested in attending, and guests can pan for gold with an employee at 3:30 every day. Also available upon request at any time: fishing rods (spinners and fly) and waders, bicycles and helmets. There are rocking chairs on the porch, a free-standing swing by the river, a campfire circle, a second story screened porch and library as well as a small gift shop. Soda and candy is also available for about $2 each.
Smokey Joe's Saloon opens at 1 pm every afternoon for drinks, with appetizers served at 5:15. The selection in the bar is limited- mostly wine, a small number of Alaskan beers on tap, and a few drink specials, some hot and some cold.
Dinners at the Kantishna begins at 6 pm, and offers two choices- meat or vegetarian. The tables are usually multiple parties seated together in groups of about six or eight. The food is very good and is generally served family style. Bread, salad with dressing, a main dish and a side, and then dessert. Coffee, tea and cocoa are available pretty much all day long, but again the selection is limited due to the remote location and difficulty of transporting supplies.
After dinner, an educational presentation is usually offered by a member of the staff in the library. Attendance is completely voluntary. There is also a green house and a few historical buildings that remain. A pay phone is also available since there is cell phone service or internet at Kantishna.
Remember to bring clothes for layering,as the weather is unpredictable and can change quickly. You may also want to consider bringing snacks and anything required for specific tastes (flavored creamer for your coffee or a specific flavor of tea, etc.)
Kantishna Air Taxi is also available for flightseeing tours of Mount Denali and the area, but the cost is not included in your stay at Kantishna.
On your last day at Kantisha you will need to be up early and have your bags out on your porch by 5:20 am. Breakfast will be served around 5:30, and you need to be on the bus by 6:15 because it will approximately 5 hours on the return trip since fewer stops are made.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kantishna Roadhouse is a backcountry lodge resort in the heart of Denali National Park. Comfortable well-appointed cabin lodging, all-inclusive experience. Enjoy abundant activities including daily guided hikes, gold panning with expert guides, free mountain bike rental/usage, and fly-fishing for Arctic Grayling in Moose Creek. For those that choose to stay in camp for the day, our comfortable natural history library, cozy lobby, or outdoor screened-in porch -- offer pleasant alternatives. This is a true Alaskan adventure in one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. The transportation to and from the resort is half the fun. Our red and white bus, marked "Kantishna Roadhouse," gives you the opportunity to see abundant wildlife in its natural setting, including grizzly bears, wolves, moose, caribou, dall sheep, among other critters. Kantishna Roadhouse is the only resort in the backcountry with a bar/saloon. Sip wine on the banks of the Moose River while you take in a beautiful sunset by the fire. Enjoy activities and relaxation. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Kantishna Roadhouse Hotel Denali National Park And Preserve
- Kantishna Roadhouse Alaska/Denali National Park And Preserve