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“Great Educational Experience”

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Kantishna Roadhouse
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 August 2008

We stayed here for 3 nights as part of a tour package. It was such a great experience. Although the bus ride into the park is long, the views of wildlife and scenery are simply unforgettable. It was very educational. We stopped 3 times on the way to the roadhouse for potty breaks. Each time the driver offered us a drink and homemade cookie, fantastic. Plus we stopped numerous times to take pictures. Breakfast and dinner were fabulous each day! Sign up for guided hikes for the next day, each evening after dinner. They offer 3 hikes: easy, moderate and challenging. If you are on a long hike, a sack lunch is provided. Also there are several opportunities to go flightseeing if the weather is good. Each evening at 9pm, a van takes everyone who is interested to Wonder Lake to view wildlife and a great view of the mountain if it is viewable. It was so Peaceful!!! Great little bar - loved the bartender! I bought several items at the gift shop, great clothing! I really liked the dog sled demonstration.
One thing I have to mention, they do not give out keys to the rooms. You can lock your door at night, but during the day while you are out, it remains unlocked. I only mention this because I was so suprised at first, but then by the time I was leaving, I was sad to go home where our doors are constantly locked. We never had any problems.
Overall, great experience, life altering!!!

  • Stayed: August 2008
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3  Thank maisybeautifuldog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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188 - 194 of 212 reviews

Reviewed 5 August 2008

Stayed 2 nights, not a bad place, staff was very friendly, food was good, a good amount of activities to do when you are staying there and loved the bar. The cabins are not noise insulated well, you can hear everything next door. Just felt it is a bit pricey, but that’s what you can expect in Alaska, especially in the park. The tour drivers were good at knowing where you may see animals. When the mountain popped out of the clouds, the staff immediately got everyone nearby on a van to get a view. All in all a nice place, but I think once was enough.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Apers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2008

We spent 3 nights at the Kantishna Roadhouse in July. Price was high but your options are very limited if you want to stay in the park - which I'd definitely recommend. The 8-hour bus ride was uncomfortable and the sack lunch was horrible - so pack your own provisions if possible. On our trip in, the wildlife was pretty far way so we were glad to have an 80x400mm lens with camera. The rooms were rustic and bugs were plentiful - but this was pretty fully described by our tour operator prior to the trip. I used a 30% DEET and this was effective for me - I used OFF botanicals for the face. Some folks were using lemon-eucalyptus oil but it didn't seem to be effective. A friend needed an antihistamine for bites. As stated in other reviews, meal variety was limited but VERY tasty. Staff was fun and friendly. Careful on the guided hikes though: We signed up for a 4 hour, moderate level hike and ended up on a 7-hour, sometimes self-guided advanced cut-your-own-trail trek. Our guide actually left us for almost an hour while she climbed to the top of a mountain to see the view - leaving her 3 hikers in an area of heavy mosquitoes without bug spray. After 45 minutes without her, we set out on our own to find the road. This was funny until each of us fell at least once on the rough terrain and one of our group started to fall badly behind and we started to get seriously concerned for him. (Isn't there some sort of guide-etiquette about not leaving your group - especially in areas frequented by grizzlies?) On the second day, we opted for the 2-hour casual walk. Rather than spending 8 more hours on the school bus back to the train, we took a small plane and it was fantastic - our pilot provided a guided tour of the Alaska Range and interesting commentary on past attempts to climb the mountain. Views were breathtaking and we slept in while others met the 5:30 am bus. There are other lodging options in the park and most of our group stayed at North Face Lodge. They also had great food and a good time.

4  Thank kasiem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2008

I think my opinion of the Kantishna Roadhouse would differ if we had paid for it separately rather than part of a package. We thought it was pretty nice, but for $800 a night it should have been nicer!!

We enjoyed the bus ride out there because we saw so much wildlife! Our driver could spot something moving 5 miles away.

Our first steps off the bus brought MOSQUITOS! I mean huge numbers of huge mosquitos....like nothing we've ever seen! We were told to pack some repellant, but the Off Skintastic we used was like salad dressing to these bugs. 100% DEET is what you need if you're going there in June. I guess the hatching is directly tied to the summer solstice and bird migration. Thankfully, they have nets you can wear over your face, but it's not fun seeing the Park that way.

Our cabin #15 had a king bed, which was nice, but the handicapped shower was troublesome. The curtain was 4" from the floor and water leaked everywhere. The pillows were hard and uncomfortable. Other than that, the room and bath were fine.

We found the food very good, but like others said, only two choices each night. The servers were helpful and friendly.

We told the Program Director that they need to offer additional hikes and activities for those who are staying more than one night. Each day it's the same activities.

We didn't realize going in that Denali mountain is not visible from the lodge. We took the shuttle to Wonder Lake each night at 9pm, but didn't see the mountain until the morning we left after our 3 night stay. Luckily, we could see it almost the entire way out of the park and our driver stopped many times for us to take photographs.

I think you should stay the 90 miles inside the park if you can, but just know the facts before you go!

  • Stayed: June 2008
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3  Thank ilive4sun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2008

We've stayed in Amazon and African jungle lodges so know that expensive lodges in very remote areas can and usually do offer much higher levels of service and accommodation. First one must ride on an old school bus and in our case with a driver who drove everyone crazy with his constant talk about his own life. The lodge managers know this fellow is not working out but have yet to even tell him to shape up. Fortunately on our return bus ride we had a very capable/
experienced driver. The rooms are OK but could certainly be improved at minimal expense. Worse is the fact that during our two day/three night stay there was no cleaning done at all. The food was satisfactory and service in the dining area very good. They offer only three guided hikes per day with a limit of 11 on each. It would certainly be very disappointing to guests if they failed to get onto one of these. While the guides were good, it is not clear why they don't hire more and provide smaller group hikes. They have excuses about park rules regarding parking at trailheads but a few extra vehicles/drivers could move guests around the area for sure without parking at all. The lobby, as others have pointed out, only has seating for 9 - this in a lodge that has so many times that number in residence. Overall, this is an operation that is milking the guests who have no choice if they wish to stay at the end of the park. The lodge owners know this and are doing nothing to improve the facilities and services. For $800 (including taxes) for two per night, this lodge is really a disgrace. I must also add that Denali for all its reputation is also a bit disappointing but then again we live in Colorado which has much more scenic mountain areas.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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5  Thank Monty1424
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2008

We just got back from a great trip to Alaska - one of the highlights was a three-night stay at Kantishna Roadhouse, 90 miles in from the entrance to Denali National Park. You can't drive in yourself - you have to take their bus from the entrance (6 hours, with multiple stops for wildlife viewing) or fly in via air taxi. They feature guided hikes, with three levels of difficulty (or you can design your own); there are also great presentations on dogsledding, Alaskan culture and history, wildlife and other topics. Cabins are rustic, but with indoor plumbing; food (meals are included in the price) are good but not fancy, with limited choices. The staff is wonderful, and the experience of being deep in the park should not be missed. I wish we had stayed longer.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank eastporter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2007

We stayed 4 nights at Kantishna Roadhouse. Quite an expensive place to stay but we figured it was once in a lifetime so why not??! Definitely our favorite place we stayed because we took time to relax and hang out as well as participate in the guided hikes and seminars. The ride to/from the Denali gate is fun but exhausting. We saw 3 moose, 2 grizzlies, caribou and sheep. Kantishna's service was great and we really liked the laid-back atmosphere. We liked the food & bar too. There were 2 couples in our group - we had cabins #1 (newer but right next to main entrance & heavier traffic) and #24 (behind the main lodge, older but had the basic amenities). This is not a 5-star chic hotel, definitely rustic but charming. The scenery and wildlife are worth the price and we saw Denali's peak! We spared ourselves the long bus ride back by chartering a plane which was incredible with Natl Geographic-like pics of Denali's peak.

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank greenjeans37
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 #8 of 38 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, mountain biking, & 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 buses 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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