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“Not bad, considering it's the middle of nowhere”

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Kennicott Glacier Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 July 2012

I've wanted to visit Wrangell-St Elias National Park for a long time, and when the opportunity finally presented itself, I promptly reserved a room at the Kennecott Glacier Lodge. There are two buildings; the original lodge has no private bathrooms, which may be a problem for a lot of people. I also had to pretty much live out of my suitcase, as there was nowhere to put clothes. I was there 2 nights. I suppose when the options are so limited, they can do (and charge) just about anything they want. Still, there's no denying the charm of it all; it's truly a magnificent setting. I booked online and got a special rate, but didn't know that it meant I'd have no view from my room. The restaurant was overpriced ($35 for a family-style dinner; $16 for breakfast buffet).
There's a newer building with private baths in each room.

The service and attention from the front desk crew is admirable, and I enjoyed my stay at this rustic little place very much. I would love to return someday.

Room Tip: There are other lodging options in McCarthy, about 5 miles away, but the view is absolutely nothing...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled solo
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Thank coolmoan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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188 - 194 of 274 reviews

Reviewed 25 July 2012

We booked 5 rooms at the Lodge. Reservations went well and the rates seemed reasonable. On the day we arrived, we were delayed a few hours so we called the Lodge to let them know we would be in around 10:30. They said that was fine, just let them know when we were closer.

We did that, and eventually arrived at around 10:15 pm.

A van picked us all up and we proceeded to tip him $20 for the inconvenience of picking us up late.

BUT, the catch is at the end!

The rooms and bathrooms were very nice, clean and comfortable. The views were spectacular. (Remember the bathrooms are shared, not private. We had forgotten that, but there are enough it's generally not an issue.) Breakfast was very reasonably priced, service was pleasant and our tour of the Mine was incredible.

As we were checking out, the surprise came. They added a $40 PER ROOM fee for checking in LATE! There was no indication on the reservation that they had a late check in fee, there is no information on their website (as of 7/25/2012) that a late check-in has a late fee and no information on the confirmation paperwork they sent us that there is a late check in fee.

That means we paid $200 more, for arriving AS A GROUP after an arbitrary time they set up!

Of course IN the rooms there is also a mention that if you check out after 11:00 am, you will be charged a $50 per room LATE CHECK OUT fee. Fortunately they do store the bags for you at no charge. You can rest assured we checked out before 11:00 am.

After going through their website and all the correspondence they sent us, I have requested a refund of the $200 they charged us, since it was never mentioned in any of the paperwork. I'll update this review IF they give us a refund (and we don't have to pursue it through our credit card company) AND once they post the late arrival AND late checkout fees on their website.

If they do not update that information, GET A CONFIRMATION FROM THEM WHEN THEY CONSIDER a check-in to be "LATE". Otherwise you'll pay far more for that room than you had planned.

Room Tip: Any room is nice. They're minimal, but clean and interesting things on the wall. You can book a...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank KeyWestLocalCouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rich_Kirkwood, Owner at Kennicott Glacier Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 6 August 2012

Thank you very much for your feedback. We are glad that you enjoyed your stay at Kennicott Glacier Lodge. We would like to apologize for the confusion about our late arrival policy. The Kennicott Glacier Lodge shuttle transports Guests between McCarthy and Kennicott from 8am to 10pm. If Guests arrive at the Footbridge after 10pm, there is an extra charge for transportation to Kennicott. Since this “late arrival” policy was taken off of our web site without our knowledge, we are happy to refund your $200 late arrival fee. This policy has been added back into our web site and we will also ensure that it is present on all confirmation letters that are send out in the future. Thank you again for your time and feedback. We hope you will visit us at Kennicott Glacier Lodge again in the future.

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Reviewed 23 July 2012

We did not stay at the lodge but we had lunch there and it was fabulous ! My wife's wrap and my beef stroganoff over noodles were fantastic ! Plus service and the views were simply amazing ! It is hard to get to and more than average in terms of price but is was one of the best experiences we had in Alaska !

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank karikonrad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2012 via mobile

The 2 hour drive on the gravel road is nothing short of interesting. Between the views and the potholes it was spectcular. If you were to get a flat tire there is a small stop at mile 26 where they will fix your tire. We did encounter two people with flats. Once you get to the end of the road you park in a lot and they will call the lodge for the shuttle to come get you. Load your luggage onto a cart and haul it across the footbridge to the pick up spot. The glacier and old mining town were just beyond words, so if you are going to be in the area take a day to go to Kennicott

  • Stayed: July 2012
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1  Thank princesspigfarmer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2012

As other reviewers have noted, the Kennicott Glacier Lodge (spelled differently from the town name, Kenneott) is fabulously expensive, and you are paying for the remote location, which takes some doing to reach. There are terrific views of the Wrangell Mountains.

The lodge is nicely decorated with memorabilia from the fabulously productive copper mine that gave rise to the town. There is a nice sitting-room area where there are nightly presentations from guide outfits, river rafters, flightseers, etc. from the immediate area. (This was also the only area where I could find a good wi-fi signal.) The rooms themselves are spartan, with just a cold water sink. Bathrooms and showers are down the hall. (This may not be the case in the South Lodge annex, but I didn't go in there.) Customer service was quite attentive and they will help you book wilderness guides and the like.

There are cheapskate (relatively speaking) workarounds to ease some of the pain. We booked the Backpacker Special, which was about $190 for a room and a pretty good buffet breakfast for two. We packed in PB&J, granola bars and fruit for supper -- couldn't see the $33 per person price for a turkey and stuffing dinner. (The lone dining alternative is the Pizza Bus, which charges $30 for a large pie.)

Also, don't pay extra for a "Glacier View" room unless you understand that the end of the glacier is not shiny, glistening ice. The ice is there, but it's covered by rock and dirt that looks like a construction site. (You can indeed see the ice if you look out your window and up the valley a couple of miles, to which we hiked.)

Unless you are a hard-core outdoors enthusiast, it is hard to see spending more than one or two overnights at the lodge. (If you are that hard-core, you will probably be off camping somewhere anyway.) The mammoth old mine building is worth seeing, but tours inside closed down in early July and will not resume until 2015, after the Park Service stabilizes the structure. The Park Service still operates a visitor center with a cool restored general store and a 20-minute film that told me just enough about the interesting way they mined copper. Be sure to pick up the chunk of copper ore they have on the counter -- it's incredibly heavy.

We enjoyed a 4.5-mile walk down the old carriage road to McCarthy, an interesting semi-ghost town with few inhabitants (we rode the every-30-minutes shuttle back uphill for $5 each). At the bottom of the carriage road, where there is a fork with no signs, bear left to finish the last half mile to McCarthy along the main road. If you go right, the trail takes you to the bottom of the rock-covered Kennecott Glacier. Some of the best mountain views were from the airstrip, near where the carriage road meets the main road.

It was a nice adventure and definitely off the beaten path.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank RoadTripRoger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2012

Our family has enjoyed Kennecott for 24 years.....things have changed, but Kennecott Glacier Lodge has only gotten better. Friendly staff, great food and a view to die for were enjoyed by 3 generations of our family this time. Go for the view, go for the fun, go for the history but just go. I sincerely doubt you'll be disappointed.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank Larry W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2012

I just returned from a 2 week active travel vacation to Alaska. Kennicott was my favorite place. It isn't fancy-but it is charming. The property is very well maintained and the owners pay attention to little details that make this place special....relaxing classical music and fresh fragrant flowers in the common area, Well prepared food.
I thought community bathrooms would be a hassle, but I did not have to compete with other guests to use the them. There are a few rooms with private baths (for an additional charge.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CatherineG506
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Kennicott Glacier Lodge

Address: #15 Kennicott Millsite, Kennicott, Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve, AK 99588
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Alaska > Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve > Kennicott
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Kennicott
Price Range: £118 - £192 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Kennicott Glacier Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 43
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kennicott Glacier Lodge is a family owned lodge located in America's largest National Park, Wrangell-St. Elias. Try glacier hiking or ice climbing on the Root Glacier, one of the few easily accessible glaciers in North America. Get a breath taking view of the park on a flightseeing tour, or spend time alpine hiking, river rafting, and exploring the National Historic Landmark of the Kennicott Copper Mine. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kennicott Glacier Hotel Kennicott
Kennicott Glacier Lodge Alaska

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