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“One of the unique place on earth”
Review of Camp Denali

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Camp Denali
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 January 2014

I stayed at Camp Denali 2 years ago, this place has been on my mind since.
It is almost a crime if I do not pay praises on this unique place on earth. It has soul!

The camp is made for Denali park, it is self sufficient, environmental friendly. At the same time, it is so comfortable, it makes one feeling at home. I was there Aug/Sep 2011, nature certainly brought the best out of autumn: baby blue sky + sunshine for the day, Aurora at night. It was magical!

The food was excellent while the staff treat you like part of their own family. The view from each room was spectacular while with totally privacy of course.

One of the wonders!

I am very glad I stayed in Camp Denali!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled solo
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6  Thank VvFox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (190)
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114 - 120 of 190 reviews

Reviewed 16 September 2013

My wife and I stayed for 4 nights during the last week of August and had 2 1/2 days of great views of Denali before the clouds set in. The place is fantastic but being able to see Denali was definitely the high point. Our cabin was extremely well done and clean. The view of Denali from our front porch, as with most cabins, was spectacular.
As noted in the other reviews, you have a sink to wash up and brush your teeth, using water in a pitcher obtained from the spigot outside the door. Gas lights provide light at night, although they did make the cabin smell a bit like a propane lantern if you left them on for a while. Single gas hot plate provides a way to make tea and coffee in the morning. Wood stove provided the heat to take the chill off at night or early in the morning. Our outhouse was about twenty yards away and had a wonderful view of Denali through the heart shaped cutout in the door. Outhouse was clean but still smelled like any outhouse you've been used. The outhouse was not really an issue but was a little inconvenient for my wife for those middle of the night bathroom needs. The shower house if very clean with plenty of hot water. Soap, shampoo and conditioner are provided. Two showers on both the men and women's sides. The shower house also has a flush toilet. There are also two flush toilets in the main dining room building. As folks have mentioned, if you're in a cabin down the hill a ways (which we were), it's a 5 minute plus uphill walk to the shower house and dining room. Good aerobic workout!
In addition to coffee that you can make in the room in the morning, coffee is available in the dining room by 6:30, an hour before breakfast. After the first morning, we found it easier to just get up and go there for coffee and flush toilets than to make our own coffee. They have good coffee. Breakfasts were very good, with some type of homemade pastry, and then a hot entree. Lunch was a make it yourself buffet right after breakfast for taking with you on the hikes for the day. No lunch is served at the Camp. Dinners were extremely good as were the desserts. Dinners are a sit down with plated service. Vegetarian needs are noted on the first night so you don't have to note it for them every day. Remember if you want wine with dinner you need to bring it yourself. Some folks either didn't read the details or just forgot, so they were disappointed not to be able to have a glass of wine with dinner. If you don't think about it before, I noticed that they sell wine at the Riley Mercantile at the Park entrance so you could get it there if you have no other chance. The Camp provides corkscrews and glasses and will chill your wine for you if you just take it to the dining hall and ask someone to stick it in the refrigerator.
Hikes were as noted offered in three varieties, strenuous, moderate and forays. We took the strenuous hike the first day to the Pika Hut which leaves from the Camp. The first mile goes up a bit over 1000 feet so it's definitely aerobic. Our hike leader, however, took it nice and slow and stopped about every 15 minutes so everyone could get a breather and catch up. The rest of hike was across the ridge line which was pretty easy with great views. The Pike Hut is a big surprise as it is a very nice octagonal hut, where our guide brewed tea and cocoa and made popcorn for us. We had a nice day, but it would be a great place to have a break out of the rain. The next day we took the moderate hike, as the description of the strenuous hike included stream crossings up to your calf and some scree slope hiking, neither of which we were interested in. The moderate hike turned out to have a stream crossing but it was only up to your ankles. The moderate hike was fun, but it was more of a nature walk than a serious hike. Probably more hiking than they did on the foray, but only a little less than 2 miles. The guide was very good at explaining the vegetation and animals in the area that we say. The third day we opted to do our own thing and decided to go fishing in Moose Creek, just below the Camp. The Camp has all the fly or spin fishing equipment you need, including flies to use. Fishing was very good for Artic Grayling. Highly recommended if you're into fishing. Not really talked about very much, if at all, by the folks at the Camp, but if you ask they can show you where to get all the stuff and where to go fishing. It's also a good moderate hike down to the creek and back. For hiking, note that they have poles, gaiters and daypacks for you to use if you don't bring your own. They also have Bean Boots, but they really wouldn't work except for the foray hikes. They have some type of program every night after dinner. The week we were there there was a photo workshop going on, so two nights the photographer expert gave a talk related to photography. The other night one of the staff gave a very interesting talk on the life of a bumble bee.
Despite the minor inconveniences (or unique ambiance) of the outhouse and the walk up the hill to the shower house, Camp Denali is an amazing experience and highly recommended. If you're not into this particular ambiance, the Northface Lodge just down the hill, provides a similar experience with ensuite rooms, but with a different ambiance and definitely not the same views.

Room Tip: We stayed the "Cirque" cabin which was a large fantastic cabin but it is one of those a wa...
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank applebyutah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2013

My wife and I had a wonderful experience here in mid-August 2013. The cabins were very comfortable (although, admittedly, the outhouse was a bit far from our "Hilton" cabin). The entire experience was extra-special: the food, the guides, the welcome and the location. We saw major portions of the mountain each day. We both loved camp when we were kids, and this is like a 5-star camp. Jane Goodall was just leaving the day we arrived. We can't wait to return for 4 or 7 days next time.

Room Tip: Cabins further down the hill had a bit of a hike to the dining hall.
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DavidandGee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2013

Camp Denali gave us rare access to Denali National Park from a beautiful, impeccably run and comfortable camp. Our cabin had a great bed and a stunning view from the porch. The outhouse was a "hoot", clean and equipped with entertaining reading material in a ziplock bag. The Camp food was among the best we had in Alaska. Our hike guide was knowledgeable and engaging, making a physically rigorous day also entertaining. The Camp proprietors, Jenna and Simon, were wonderful and intensely committed to everyone's enjoyment.

Be sure to take out a canoe on Wonder Lake. Oh, and arrange for good weather if you can....

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank CSNY83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2013

My husband and I really enjoyed our 4-night stay. It is easy to love Alaska in the sunshine, but we had rain each day and never fully saw Denali - and still loved it and would gladly return. The cabins are lovely and comfortable, and you feel like a bit of a pioneer with the wood stove (which kept even me, a very easily chilled person, warm) and outdoor plumbing. The food was unbelievable, and hikes great. Plenty of choices in activities, whether hiking at one of three levels (or going off and doing your own hike!), or photographing, canoeing or biking (we never got around to the latter two). Most of the wildflowers were gone or passed peak, but we had tons of blueberries and other berries - makes for tasting hiking! - and no mosquitoes at all. This was the third week of Aug. and the vegetation was starting to turn red and yellow. Great trip, fabulous people to share it with, and a wonderful staff that were positive, accommodating, and knowledgeable.

Room Tip: We had the 40 Below cabin, the one farthest down the hill. It was a trek up, but also the most priv...
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank rickandpat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2013

The summary is that there is a reason why high quality operators Linblad / NatGeo choose this location for the 'Denali extension'!

Its hard to do justice to the location but that is partly because we got very lucky and were there when Mount Mckinley was visible 3 of 4 days which is rare. Even without that highlight though I still cannot recommend the Camp highly enough. Because of the way Denali NP is set up this is the best way to see it without camping in tents at Wonder Lake, otherwise you would be on a long bus ride every day from the park entrance. Being near Wonder Lake is priceless. The Camp is a collection of rustic but really comfortable cabins, immaculately looked after, but not running water / indoor toilets. Water faucet is outside and you have a gas burner and sink that drain only for washing; out house toilet and shared shower facilities a 5-7 minute walk up the hill. Highly recommend Camp Denali over sister property North Face Lodge if you don't need private shower facilities as being further up the hillside the views of McKinley are much better.

Food was outstanding with many Camp-grown ingredients and we had steak, salmon, chicken the 3 nights. Breakfast was more than most could eat with many options each day.

Activities arranged by the guides were also well-planned, well executed and very knowledgeable. An easy, moderate or strenuous hike option each day allowed something for everyone.

Animal sightings on the various bus rides also plentiful.

Room Tip: Depending on mobility, the cabins at the top of the hill are a little less private but near to showe...
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank OchoDedos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2013 via mobile

We loved our 4 night stay at Camp Denali. This is a great way to experience Denali.

The guides are very knowledgable, food is excellent, cabins are rustic but very well setup and comfortable.

We saw tons of animals and great views of the Mountain. Highly recommend the flight seeing tour out of Kantishna while you are there if weather cooperates. You will see parts of the mountain normally inaccessible to non-climbers.

Word of caution for any Denali visitor (camp or otherwise), seeing the mountain is not a sure thing. We kept hearing how luck we were to have the clear views of the mountain.

Transport - We took the train from Fairbanks to Denali. Not very scenic and as there isn't much going on in Fairbanks, I would opt for the bus from Anchorage. Train ride back from Denali to ANC was great and worth the time/money. Some folks flew out on the last day, but they missed the best wildlife viewing of the week as the roads are empty during the early am.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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3  Thank fmcgillin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Camp Denali

Address: Mile 89 Denali Park Road, Denali National Park and Preserve, AK 99755
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Alaska > Denali National Park and Preserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 26 Speciality Lodging in Denali National Park and Preserve
Price Range: £381 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Camp Denali, with sweeping views of Mt. McKinley, is located deep inside Denali National Park. Offering active learning vacations since 1952. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Camp Denali Hotel Denali National Park And Preserve
Camp Denali Alaska/Denali National Park And Preserve

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