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“Fantastic Lodge in the backwoods of a National Park -- REALLY!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of North Face Lodge

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North Face Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
southern illinois
Level Contributor
116 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Fantastic Lodge in the backwoods of a National Park -- REALLY!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2012

A fabulous 5 star lodge 89 miles down the Denali National park road. Accomodations were great! The food was OUTSTANDING! The staff was exceptional. Oh yea the fall colors were OUT OF THIS WORLD!!! Yes the prices are a little steep but nothing else compares. This is a once in a life time experience. If you are lucky you may even see Denali during your trip.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
8 Thank stl2570
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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122 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
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English first
Norfolk, Virginia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2012

We just returned from a week in Denali National Park at the North Face Lodge. We were accompanied by a group of 10 other photographers. All of us were in total agreement that North Face Lodge was an exceptional place to stay. Not only was it in the heart of Denali close to Wonder Lake where the scenery is spectacular, but the staff, the chefs, and the naturalist guides added immensely to the quality of the experience. Everyone worked diligently to meet our personal and photographic needs. Each day's foray was unique and designed specifically for our group. All personnel were professional and pleasant. The knowledge of the naturalist guides was most impressive. The quality of the food was first rate. This is, by far, our favorite place to visit not only for the flora and fauna of Denali, but for the warm welcome and attention provided by the staff of North Face Lodge.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
6 Thank mllind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
38 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2012

North Face Lodge is one of the best managed resorts I've ever stayed in. From pickup at the train depot to drop off at the train depot, not an effort was spared to make my stay terrific. The staff are well trained, know their jobs, are helpful, and go out of the way to answer your needs. The food was first class and professionally served. I liked the small way to have visitors get acquainted as did my fellow tourists. No doubt this is one of the best, friendliest, magnificent setting of resorts I've ever seen, 'round the world. Absolutely worth every cent. I encourage you to read the more detailed reviews as i did when planning my trip.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank mac2310
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
McArthur, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2012

No doubt, North Face Lodge is pricey. It will cost you more than $500 per night per person. But if you can make the budget work, it is worth the price of admission. Read the reviews for all of the lodging options at Kantishna and you will quickly discover the differences. North Face offers basically two packages: a three-night, two day package with arrival on Friday evening, departure Monday morning; and a four-night, three day package with arrival on Monday evening, departure Friday morning. Longer is better if you can afford it. One of the highlights of the package for us was the bus trip into the lodge. The drivers/guides are extremely knowledgeable about the natural history of the park and the trip to Kantishna takes 7-8 hours with many stops to look at wildlife, geology and a wonderfully elegant buffet picnic supper on the way. With just a little luck, you will have seen all the poster animals (caribou, Dall's sheep, moose, grizzly bear and maybe even wolves) by the time you arrive at the lodge. The setting of the lodge is stunning and removed from the other commercial operations in Kantishna; it is quiet and peaceful. The lodge itself is a lovely facility with a pleasant common room with fireplace and a well-appointed dining room. The guest rooms are not large, but they are well-appointed and very comfortable and you won't be spending much time there anyway. Your days can be spent however you wish. There will be three offerings of guided activities at different levels of rigor from basically a small bus tour to hikes of several miles over rough terrain. Alternatively, you can hike or bike around the area on your own. If you do not opt for one of the guided options, your range of exploration will, of course, be somewhat limited. In an operation like this, the staff is everything and the staff at North Face is first rate. The naturalist guides/drivers had different areas of expertise (geology, botany, wildlife), but the ones we had experience with were widely knowledgeable about the park and eager to share that knowledge. They were friendly and it was apparent that they really enjoyed what they were doing. The host at North Face was attentive and very helpful in trying to see that guests had the best experience possible. We are particularly interested in birds and he made a special effort to see that we went with one of the leaders who was expert on park birds.

The food was good, not exceptional, but you don't leave the table hungry and lots of the fresh vegetables are grown in greenhouses right on site.

One suggestion: One of the highlights of a trip into Denali is the prospect of seeing Mt. McKinley unmasked. Not every visit results in a view. On our first morning at North Face, the overnight cloudiness had given way to a completely clear sky and the mountain was out in full glory. I happened to peek out the window around 6 a.m., there it was, and we jumped out of bed and had a marvelous view. However, it was clear at least as early as 4 a.m. and the dawn light then was even more spectacular. Conditions can change very quickly and by 7, the mountain was again shrouded in clouds and some later risers missed the view entirely. Many years ago, whenever anyone discovered that the mountain was visible during the "night" (we were there at the end of June and it was never dark), they rang the gong used to call people to meals. It is hard to imagine that anyone would mind having his sleep interrupted to see "The Great One" and I think this tradition should be reinstituted. I know that we would have been very unhappy had we not happened to look out until after 7.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
14 Thank Kenneth A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peoria, Illinois
Level Contributor
421 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 January 2012

We were not disappointed in any respect. North Face has it nailed! For a photographer or nature lover if you are going to do Denali this is the only choice. Being deep in the park gives you easy, uncrowded access to the beauty of Denali.
Daily excursions come in three levels of intensity ranging from vehicle touring to "you better be in great shape." On the first of our four days a group of serious amateur photographers found each other. Staff was flexible and we tailor our excursions to optimize photo ops. Guides know the flora, fauna and the best locations for animal and photos.
Before each meal the chef introduce themselves and talked about the presentation. Keeping with the emphasis on natural many of the vegetable are organically grown on premise and supplemented by local farmers. Although alcohol is not served, BYOB is allowed. Anchorage has several good wine stores.
One writer is correct that there are no locks on the doors. No need. Passports, money, expensive camera equipment were completely safe.
Not inexpensive, but good value and a life changing experience. Enjoy!

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
8 Thank Jeffrey S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malolo Island, Fiji
Level Contributor
57 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2011

From all the reviews I read and the $515 each/day price, I was expecting more. The scenery did not disappoint. Clear blue skies, majestic Denali, gorgeous autumnal tundral tapestry. Aurora borealis at 0130 in the rain. Exquisite, truly inspiring and awesome. Words fail me.
Staff were helpful and concerned. I like a little less structure though. The meals were, well....they were organic. Vegetarians are used to that sort of fare. We weren't. Oh well, it was nutritious and filling. There are no locks on the cabin doors, so don't bring anything you can't live without. The guests were without exception well educated and well traveled. I'm glad the four of us went to Alaska and to North Face Lodge, but none of us plan to return.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank Nature_Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bellevue, Washington
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2011

This is an expensive stay, but absolutely well worth the cost. The quality of almost everything about the lodge is excellent; the lodge itself, the fantastic location, the guided activities, the chance to meet people from everywhere in a convivial setting, etc. The food was good. It is an absolutely unique experience. Although you can visit Denali by staying outside the park and taking a day tour, you will not see nearly as much as you do by staying at North Face Lodge. You must be in the park for at least a few days to have a good chance of seeing Mt. McKinley and all the wildlife. North Face Lodge is the best way to do this. Comfortable rooms, good food, knowledgeable naturalist guides, great service, fantastic atmosphere with a great view of the mountain. Anytime is a good time to go, but we like Fall for the colors and good chance of seeing "The Mountain", abundant wildlife and the Northern Lights. Don't hesitate, go for it!

Room Tip: Any of the rooms are fine, but the one at the southern end of the building must be the best...has wi...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank rsmjpm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about North Face Lodge

Property: North Face Lodge
Address: Post Office Box 67, Denali National Park and Preserve, AK 99755-0067
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Alaska > Denali National Park and Preserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 26 Speciality Lodging in Denali National Park and Preserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located near the end of the unpaved, mountainous 90-mile road into Denali National Park, North Face Lodge is one of only two in-park lodgings in view of Mt. McKinley. It specializes in learning adventures for active travelers, featuring naturalist-led hikes and field trips for visitors who wish to explore Denali in-depth. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
North Face Hotel Denali National Park And Preserve
North Face Lodge Alaska/Denali National Park And Preserve

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