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Kantishna Roadhouse
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 July 2013

This is a difficult review to write as so many parts of this experience were great but the question has become, was it good value? Enjoyed the bus ride both in & out spotting animals etc. The cabins are a bit small but adequate. The main building had sitting areas & a sort of mosquito proof balcony sitting area. The food was not brilliant with little choice. The small bar was a nice touch.Staff helpful & friendly although the waiting staff were obviously learning on the job. having thought hard I think that this is not good value. The argument that it is isolated does not hold because we have stayed at far more isolated lodges & had better accommodation & food at similar prices.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank leyhill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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142 - 148 of 212 reviews

Reviewed 30 June 2013

That price includes meals, but it is pretty much standard institutional fare, only two choices at dinner, and, you are assigned at tables with other guests. Too much forced polite dinner conversation, AFTER hiking with a group that talked non-stop; AFTER a six hour bus drive where the driver talked non stop. There was no peace and quiet. Sitting outside or in the lodge was NOT an option due to mosquitos worse than Minnesota and Wisconsin combined. For $1000, cabin was a dark cave, equipped with electric mosquito swatter, and we had to stick a sheet in all the spaces around the door, as there were large gaps for insects to get in. Saw very few animals and those we saw from the bus. Sled dogs used for demonstration are chained up, very sad. Save your time and money.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Dorothy899
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2013

Staff, bus driver and guides were excellent but this cost way too much for what we experienced.... mosquitoes in our room, average food and weak coffee made this a disappointment for us. The morning we left our breakfast was cut short by mosquitoes in the dining room.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Terence1430
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2013

Loved Kantishna Roadhouse! Our room was huge and clean. The food, there was always a vegetarian option, was delicious. The staff is first rate - no request is a problem for them. And, they deliver with a smile. Lots of activities to do, from sitting on the front porch in a rocker, to taking a 11 mile hike with one of their guides. We were so lucky to have Chris as our hiking guide. Very personable and knowledgeable. Always checking to ensure our needs were being met. Although we brought our own gear, I think it's wonderful that they offer backpacks, boots, water bottles etc for guests to use. One can do as little, or as much, as they care to. Great talk about local geology by Heather after dinner one night. The trip by bus was exciting; we saw lots and lots and lots of animals. My only beef is with having to leave a bag at the Denali train station. Their policy only allows you 1 small suitcase and I had 2 because I was kayaking the Inner Passage the following week. Very inconvenient. But, it didn't mar the perfect time we had at the Roadhouse.

Room Tip: If you can, stay in the cabin that is river front.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank service197
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2013

I highly recommend the Kantishna Roadhouse to visitors to Alaska and to those of us who live here. Let me break some things down for you that may help you plan your trip and know what to expect:

The drive to the Roadhouse: The day that I traveled, the bus ride to the Roadhouse took us 6 hrs. That sounds like alot of time on a nicer school bus but the scenery is fantastic and the terrain changes about every two hours so you don't get bored with your view of Polychrome Pass. I take it as a challenge to spot as much wildlife as possible so I can be the one to say "Stop! There's a moose!" We were given snacks at the first rest stop about 2 hrs into the ride - delicious chocolate chip cookies, fruit, and water. (I brought energy drinks for the bus ride because I didn't want to fall asleep and miss something!)

The cabins: I stayed in a duplex cabin. They also have cabins in a fourplex configuration. Be warned - the wall separating you from your neighbors is pretty thin. I didn't have a problem as my neighbors were pretty considerate and I'm a heavy sleeper. When you enter your cabin, if you're expecting 5 star top-of-the-line accomodations, you will be disappointed. But if you're expecting clean and comfortable and rustically decorated (log cabin walls, simple furniture, and, in my cabin, a framed map of Alaska on the wall) accomodations, you will be pleased. (My favorite thing in the cabin was the electric flyswatter. There are mosquitos at the Roadhouse and you're guaranteed a few will follow you into your cabin at night. But it's great fun chasing them all down with the flyswatter.)

The food: YUMM. The food at all three meals of the day was excellent. Again, if you're expecting 5 star gourmet dishes, you may be disappointed. What is served is delicious, pretty healthy, and delicious. (Did I say "delicious" twice? Just thinking about the seafood soup we had the first night makes me hungry...)

The staff: Every single one of them was super friendly and helpful. The guides took the time to have conversations with the guests and answer any questions we had. The activities available were well-communicated so nobody would miss out on anything.

John the bartender: John gets his own section in this review because he's amazing. He learned my name the first night then greeted me by name every time he saw me after that. And that made me feel so special. The saloon area is cozy so the bar can get a little crowded when you're waiting to order a drink. But John is so efficient. I don't think I ever waited more than 30 seconds before being asked what I'd like.

Activities at the Roadhouse: I took the shuttle to Wonder Lake (you're dropped off for about an hour and encouraged to explore), I saw the dog sled demonstration (in the library, a man gives a quick talk about dogsledding then everyone heads outside to watch the dogs get hitched up to pull a fourwheeler and then they pull it), and I went gold panning (I found some gold flakes!!!! and, if you want, at the front desk they will laminate your gold onto a card so you have a nice souvenir). There are also guided hikes of varying levels of difficulty offered. And there are self-guided hikes. And for those of us who just like to relax and watch nature, there is a screened in porch on the second level of the Roadhouse where you can sit in a comfy chair, read a book, and listen to the creek. (There are even blankets provided if you get a little chilly.) My advice: Stay three nights rather than the minimum stay of two nights so you have more time to do everything.

The drive out of the park: This bus leaves the Roadhouse at about 6:30am (or earlier if everyone's ready to go). The drive out is shorter than the drive in because the bus needs to make it to the train depot so that people can catch the train. My advice: be on the bus early and encourage your new friends to be early as well because the earlier you leave, the more time you'll have to watch wildlife on the way out of the park. Leaving so early in the morning is nice because Denali may be out rather than clouded in like it becomes later in the day and because the animals could potentially be more active because it's earlier in the day and because there has been less bus traffic on the road.

If you're still reading this, the bottom line is to understand that the Kantishna Roadhouse is an experience. Yes, it's an expensive trip but to be out in the middle of the park surrounded by so much nature and peace was priceless to me. So expect a true taste of Alaska with hospitality and friendliness out in the middle of the 6 million acres that make up Denali National Park and you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled solo
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5  Thank srpilch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2012

This lodge is owned by a large corporation,but the facility seems to be run by college students and interns. They were very nice , but clueless to what people expect for their money. The only person who appeared over 21 was the bartender. The food was horrible, the beds were saggy and the cabins were out dated and in much need of renovation. But.... the hikes and scenery are beautiful. It is a very long ride to Kantishna, so staying over night in a lodge seems to be make the most sense, but I wish I had done a little more research and checked out some of the other lodges.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank vigee8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2012

It was surely a long bus ride from the park entrance but our very safe driver Gary made it interesting and enjoyable (there and back, with some good wildlife spotting). The Roadhouse provided a very pleasant stay and we were pleased with our two nights there. During our day at Kantishna we had a great hike and the mountains finally emerged from the clouds. Memorable experience.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kantishna Roadhouse

Address: 1 Doyon Pl # 300, Denali National Park and Preserve, AK 99701-2941
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Alaska > Denali National Park and Preserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 26 Speciality Lodging in Denali National Park and Preserve
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Kantishna Roadhouse 2.5*
Number of rooms: 32
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 
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Also Known As:
Kantishna Roadhouse Hotel Denali National Park And Preserve
Kantishna Roadhouse Alaska/Denali National Park And Preserve

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