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Camp Denali
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Reviews (194)
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179 - 184 of 194 reviews
Reviewed 14 August 2008

Camp Denali was such a great experience- I don't know where to start!
I was traveling alone with my 11 year old son. It was a heck of a trip to get there- that's for sure. A seven hour train ride to Denali from Anchorage and then another 7 hour bus ride into the park. But it was worth it.
Camp Denali is expensive- but it's also the only place to really experience this incredible piece of Alaska. The cabins are rustic- but in a nice way. There is no electricity or running water. But they make it really easy because there is running water just outside the door and there are propane lights and a wood stove for heat.
You use your own outhouse for the bathroom- or there are nice bathrooms located up the hill a bit in the shower house. The outhouse is not bad- it's really dug deep and doesn't smell much.
We were fortunate to see Mt. McKinley on our first night and to say the view from the cabins is spectacular would be a huge understatement. We stayed up until 1 in the morning just because we couldn't take our eyes off of it . And it's a good thing we did- because it disappeared behind clouds and we never saw it again.
It was quite cold for summer during out stay- upper 40's to low 50s and really rainy. There were a few times I felt the cabin was chilly- to say the least. But when I got the stove going for a while- it warmed up and the lights made it warm, too. And I loved the rustic feel that the lack of electricity gave us- we thought it was so cozy.
The beds are incredible. I mean- I don't think I've ever slept that well! My little trick was to set up the fire in the stove before bed and then jump out and light it super fast in the morning and jump back under the covers until it warmed up.
I read a review that expressed concern over their treatment of children. That seems really odd to me- there about 15 children of all ages in the group and they were all treated really well. Of course, they were all really well behaved- but I never heard a harsh word from the staff. In fact, there was one group that had an infant with them and the staff went out of the way to put that whole family together on it's own hike so that the baby and Mom could go along.
My son and I skipped the guided hike the first day and canoed on Wonder Lake. This involved walking a few miles with paddles and life vests. They offered us rides from the lodge- located about a mile down the hill- but we didn't take them up on it- preferring to walk. It was fabulous. Despite the rain and the cold- we bundled up and really enjoyed ourselves out in the canoe.
The second day we hiked with a guide. They offer three levels of hikes ranging from easy, to moderate, to strenuous. The guides are great - especially Ann- she is awesome and so nice to the kids.
We had a blast the whole time and did NOT want to leave. It's a great experience I would definitely recommend for anyone. Just make sure to bring some warm clothes, hiking boots, and rain gear!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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6  Thank Elizabeth1187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2008

If you want to be surrounded by nature, taught about Denali national park (and all of its wildlife and flora) by the most amazing naturalist staff (Fiona and Esther rule!), be fed gourmet cuisine, and have the best view of Mt. McKinley humanly possible, go to Camp Denali.

It takes a looong time to get to Camp Denali (especially from Anchorage -- I would probably start from Fairbanks the next time I visit -- which hopefully will happen soon!). Get ready for the 7 hour bus ride into the park, from the entrance. However, the long trip is well worth it (with respect to the bus ride itself, the knowledgable bus drivers make stops along the way, and when you are seeing wolves and bears next to you, the time flies!).

The staff LOVE what they do, and it shows. Camp Denali has the best staff possible; unmatched by any hotel or resort I have ever visited.

All of the prior 5* reviews capture the vibe of Denali (and each review provides helpful advice on preparing for and packing for the trip). As long as you can handle the outhouse and a walk to the showers, you'll be OK. It is well worth it.

On a final note, I would like to address the one negative review about the mother who brought her young boys. We were a couple travelling with no children, but there were a number of families there with younger children. They were each treated with a LOT of respect by the staff (the children were all very inquisitive, mature, and well-behaved, and returned that respect). Camp Denali is obviously not the right place for children used to watching television 24-7 (there is no TV at Camp Denali). However, mature children who love nature and learning would, in my estimation, have a phenomenal time at Camp Denali.

Camp Denali has a great history (which you will learn about while there!), and is committed to treating its guests with a one-of-a kind experience. In my opinion, there is no better way to see Denali National Park (or Alaska for that matter).

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Hoya_Lawya_NJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2008

Stayed in the "Hawks Nest" which is homestead cabin run by Camp Denali but is separate from their main complex.

The cabin doesn't have electricity or running water, but is delightful step above sleeping in a tent at the Wonder Lake campground. It is nicely appointed with beds, a propane stove, fridge and lights, and heat from a small wood stove.

It is exactly 1 mile west of the north end of Wonder Lake which made it possible to catch sunrise and sunset on the Alaska range which you can not experience taking the tour buses into Denali's backcountry -- and is not as far back in the Kantishna valley as the other lodges in this area of the park. You can see the top half of Mt McKinley from the cabins porch and watch it glow for hours during the gradual Alaskan sunset.

Use the cabin qualifies you for a permit which allows you to drive your own vehicle on the park road on the trips in and out, but during your stay you are limited in getting around on your feet.

Our stay was the highlight of our trip to Denali and Alaska!

  • Stayed: August 2008
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3  Thank capt_k_mn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2008

If you're looking for a chance to spend some quality time in Denali National Park, I'd highly recommend Camp Denali. The cabins are rustic only in the sense that they don't have running water. The food was very good & the folks working there were helpful, knowledgable and fun. There was a young child (age 7) there with his parents & I thought the staff treated him very well. The naturalists were informative and really helped to make this a fantasic experience.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TLL2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2008

dTester covers the Camp well. Let me add my 2 cents about Camp Denali. I think it is difficult to find many places in the U.S. that offer this kind of experience. Many of our nat'l parks are awesome but can be tougher to enjoy because of crowds or access. Camp Denali gives you, without question, the best interior access you can find in Denali NP and with a small group of passionate hiking enthusiasts and naturalists, both the staff and "campers" alike. Each day is a new adventure and we were able to hike, bike, fish, canoe, sightsee, watch wildlife and view Mt. McKinley, all from the best vantage point. Also, I did not go to Alaska or Denali for the food but was extremely impressed and surprised by the excellent meals we enjoyed prepared by dedicated chefs (i.e. not just cooks). They are not shoveling camp slop here. This place is far, far more than just "camping with a shower".

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank Plan4it
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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