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“Remote, homely and welcoming”

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Kantishna Roadhouse
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 June 2014

We stayed for 2 nights in June. It is a long drive in, approximately 6-hours but please do not be put off by this. We had Kirsty as our driver and she was driving her companion 'Charlie' and old school bus. She explained so much as we travelled through seeing moose, caribou and dall sheep on the way through. Whilst there we did a guided hike on Quiggly Ridge with Jeffrey whose knowledge of the environment was superb. We saw a bear on an adjacent ridge from a distance which was special.

The food at the lodge was home style cooking. They sit you with other guests which was great to share travelling experiences with. The accommodation is fairly basic but very clean and comfortable. We had heard that the mosquitoes were a real problem here, there were some but they were not as bad as we were expecting. Get a good coating of deet on you and they will leave you well alone.

There are amazing activities included in your stay which you should make the most of. We did gold panning, guided hike, dog sled demo, really interesting talks and use of their mountain bikes.

We loved our time here, without mobile phone signals and TVs, this was bliss! On the way back we saw 3 grizzly bears and Mount Denali which was the icing on the cake.

Room Tip: There are rooms which face the river, but there is so much to do, you don't need one
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Ian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew A, General Manager at Kantishna Roadhouse, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2014

Dear Ian H,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. I'm so happy you felt very welcome and comfortable at during your stay at Kantishna Roadhouse. All the best.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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120 - 126 of 212 reviews

Reviewed 21 January 2014

Given that there are so few ways to travel deep into Denali and stay without camping out for any length of time, Kantishna Roadhouse fills the bill.

The bus ride in and out of the park from Kantishna together with staying comfortably at a spot some 90 miles into the depths of Denali made the stay absolutely worthwhile.

Rooms are comfortable. Staff delightfully friendly. Food is pretty good. Excellent massage services are available. The guides, while lovely people, were disappointing in terms of knowledge and information about the topic or what we were seeing if on a hike. Luckily we had a wonderful "guide" with our group who was terrific about answering questions and giving more info later.

If you particularly want to see the Northern Lights, I would suggest letting the staff know that you want to be woken up if, at any time, someone finds them visible. It turned out they were visible remarkably early in the morning when we were there in late summer/early fall, but it had never occurred to us this would be the case, and no one at Kantishna asked if we would like to be woken up if it were. We certainly would have asked to be woken. I don't know if the lodge would agree to do so, but it is a request I would make if I ever went back. Keepo in mind it may mean getting woken up in the very wee hours!

The most interesting guide at Kantishna was a young man who was both a musher himself and who worked training/rehabilitating sled dogs himself for individuals and families wanting to pursue mushing. He was fascinating to hear and his dogs were delightful to watch.

This would not be a first choice of a place to stay if we went back to Denali -- unless no other spot was available this deep into the park. If it were a choice of staying here or only staying at the edge of Denali, I would happily stay at Kantishna again.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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6  Thank Jan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2013

We stayed there for 2 nights. It's very remote and you go along some narrow roads in a bus. It took me back in time when tv's were rare and you just went for quite walks in the woods, played cards, or sat around a fireplace telling stories. Very nice, but the walls are thin, so watch what you say. The food was pretty good, served family style, they arrange the seating. We went hiking, fly fishing (we got a short inpromptu private lesson from one of guides). The one thing we missed out on was seeing Denali. Even if it drizzling and you can't see the sun, if the planes are flying take one to see Denali. We missed out thinking you wouldn't be able to see it. But when get above the cloud cover it beautiful. Now we have to go back. Didn't see that much wildlife, but the bus driver's will stop any chance they can if there's wildlife. Overall expensive but I'd do it again.

Room Tip: We took some well contained snacks with us but not on the trails. There are bears out there.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Joan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2013

I booked two nights (mandatory minimum) at the Kantishna Roadhouse for the third week in August of this year. A single room for two people was nearly $1000 per night, all food included. First the website talks about their comfortable shuttle bus....it's an old school bus which you ride for 6 1/2 hours over a rutted, mostly one-lane road. We got to the lodge around 7 PM. The room was comfortable enough but completely devoid of amenities except shampoo, soap and towels. No phone, no clock, no coffee pot, no TV. Biggest disappointment was the food, barely edible for $970 per night. Would not recommend to anyone.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank nfuller2039
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2013

This is wilderness like most of us don't get to experience. And with it is good food, very good service from interesting people with some activities. The bus ride in is like getting a degree in the outdoors. Kirsty has been driving this road for a long time and has an interesting relationship with her bus Charley. Her narration is great with a lot for everybody. It is a long ride! She made stops regularly for stretching, short walks and bathroom breaks.
Wonder Lake is only three miles from the Roadhouse and there are things to do around the lodge. We found the dog sled talk and demonstration very interesting, I was not inclined to go but glad I did. Unfortunately the ride out was a little hurried becasue the rail road wants us at the station very early for the train to Anchorage (waste of our time). This meant we only got a moving drive bu of the best views of dall sheep on the whole trip. We saw moose, fox, grizzlies, caribou, birds, fantastic fall colors, marmot, grey skies and clouds. It's a long ride but worth it.

Room Tip: We were in cabin 4 and it was a great location, especially when it rained.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jim R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2013

We took the time to make the 6-7 hour one way bus ride from the entry of the Denali National Park to the proverbial end of the road to stay at the Kantishna Roadhouse for 2 nights in September of 2013. The ride in/out itself is a wonderful experience with great views, ample stops and abundant wild life viewing.
The accommodations, food and service at the roadhouse are great and in step with the environment.
The Roadhouse offers great hiking, biking and fly-out opportunities.
Worth a stay of more than 2 days!
Found that September is a great time to visit Denali: no mosquitos, brilliant colors, not crowded

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Frans J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2013

Kantishna Roadhouse is a miniature version of the grand lodges in parks such as Yellowstone and The Grand Canyon. It consists of a main building, some 40 duplex cabins, and outbuildings, including a rescue shelter for sled dogs.

The main building has a reception area, a comfortable lobby, a gift shop, two dining rooms, and a decent bar. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style. Evening meals are served family style and offer a vegetarian option. The food is more like home cooking than gourmet restaurant fare. Service is prompt. The staff is friendly and attentive. The bar is stocked with Alaskan Brewery's beers on tap and a good selection of spirits.

Cabins are small and rustic, but they are comfortable and clean. Pegs on the wall serve as closets. The plumbing works well. Heating can be a problem. The small baseboard heater in our cabin was not up to the chill in the early Autumn air, but the staff promptly brought a portable radiator to the cabin, thereby keeping us comfortable.

The Roadhouse offers a number of activities. Guides lead hikes of varying levels of challenge. There are trails to walk without a guide. The Roadhouse provides fishing tackle at no charge if you care to do some angling. A flightseeing service is available for a fee. You can learn how to pan for gold. Not to be missed is a dogsled demo featuring the dogs in the shelter and Emmitt Peters, Jr, son of a famous Iditarod champion.

The Roadhouse campus itself is only part of a visit there. The Roadhouse is located deep in the remote back country of Denali National Park, literally at the end of the road. It is reachable only by a bus ride of six or seven hours from the park entrance. The ride itself is an experience in itself. The drivers are expert guides that can keep your attention for the entire ride. Wildlife sightings are frequent, and the bus stops for every one. On our ride we saw moose, ptarmigans, Dall sheep, grizzlies, an owl, a golden eagle, and a pair of swans. The ride also commands a good view of the majestic Alaska Range, including Denali, the highest peak in North America. Unfortunately, clouds obscure the range most of the time. We were told that only 10% of the visitors get a view of some part of Denali, and only 5% get a glimpse of the summit. We were among that lucky 5%. Also worth noting is that the bus schedule is such that you can connect with the Alaska Railroad Denali Star out of Anchorage on your outbound journey and return.

A few tips.

The end of the season is a good time to go. Fall colors are at their peak, and the mosquitos are gone. Summer is probably not a good time to go.

If you take pictures, bring a camera that has panorama and telephoto capabilities. Only a panorama can come close to capturing the grandeur of the mountains. Many of the animals that you'll see will be some distance from the road.

For this reason, bring a pair of field glasses.

Be aware that the weather in Denali Park can change in an instant. Bring an umbrella and a little patience.

Room Tip: Check the heater in your room as soon as you arrive.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Henry H
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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