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“Still the Best Experience in Alaska!!”

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Kennicott Glacier Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
South Bend, IN
Level Contributor
55 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Still the Best Experience in Alaska!!”
Reviewed 31 December 2013

I took another trip to Kennicott and stayed in the lodge (south wing) and had another fantastic experience. My friend had never been there and she is still raving about it today. We took the package that flew us in on a bush plane from Chitina and I met Bob again our pilot who actually remembered me from 2 years ago. Incredible flight and he actually takes you up to the glacier for a birds eye view! The room was beautiful and clean and the food again was phenomenal. I was curious about the few negative reviews about this place and was shocked that some folks felt the way they did, however, maybe they didn't realize the type of place they were going to. First of all read the lodges website. It is VERY INFORMATIVE about the accommodation types and what there is to do there. Yes, the meals can be expensive compared to lower 48 but NOT for Alaska and you should consider the logistics of bringing food up there especially to this location. Look at a map and you'll understand why. But what is amazing to me is compared to the rest of Alaska, my gosh the food is fantastic and look at my Tripadvisor name (Fussyeater)! Just check out their website and do your research and you WILL NOT be disappointed. Keep in mind this is Alaska, you are not going to get accommodations like the lower 48 unless you are staying in the Hilton or Marriott downtown Anchorage. This is a remote location and requires some effort to get there, which makes it so special. You will not be able to drive your car up to the front door (nor would you want to). The meals are served family style for dinner, lunch can be had in the dining room or they will pack one for you if you want a picnic, breakfast is buffet style and my goodness I've never seen such quality and quantity in all of Alaska. I've had prime rib dinner (best prime rib I ever had); salmon dinner (awesome) with all the trimmings and fresh vegetables and salads and awesome deserts like creme brule. The breakfasts lack in nothing with lots of choices of eggs and meats and every kind of incredible pastry and juices. I've been working up there for 3 years now and many other locals agree that this is a premier place to visit. If you are not into hiking, rafting or walking around the Kennicott Historical Mine then this is probably not for you, although I'd be happy just sitting on the porch staring at the view and eating their delicious food. Keep in mind the main lodge has been built as a replica of a building in the original mining town so the rooms will be small but you can clearly see them on the website. I've seen those rooms and yes, although small they are not as small as some I've been to in NYC! There is a porch that people can walk down on the first floor which first floor rooms will face so I can imagine there will be some traffic noise there, but ask where your room will be when you make the reservation. The decorations on the wall are all original things from the mining era, including magazine ads that are funny to read and historical accounts of items that were ordered by the mine for their stores and letters as well and they all add to the historical significance of the town. The shared bathrooms were very clean and I cannot state why there is no hot water in the rooms, but I always had hot water in the south wing. The room rates I think are reasonable given the location of the lodge and the views. Unless you don't care about shared baths and some extra noise from the main lodge visitors, you should try for the south wing. It is a separate building with rooms that face the mountains and it may be a little quieter. This is a remote lodge, ask if you have any questions as I'm sure the staff with be happy to answer them. They did with me! Read about the history of the mine before you go and you'll get a better understanding on what it was all about. Incredible stories about the folks that lived and worked here and how it was built. Take a tour with the NPS or a guided tour to the glacier with a guide and you won't be disappointed. There are two tour companies in town and they both are excellent. You can hire a private guide so you can go at your own pace and it isn't that much more expensive than a group tour. We did it and I was glad. Ask them about the types of tours and they will guide you as to what would be best for your level of activity. I never did make it into McCarthy but although it is very small with a few buildings I heard the museum there was very good, and there I've heard locals rave about the McCarthy Lodge Dining. So, do your homework and go have the time of your life!

Room Tip: South Wing has larger more private rooms, located in a separate building. Ask where your room will b...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Fussyeater2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christina K, Manager at Kennicott Glacier Lodge, responded to this review, 7 January 2014
Dear Fussyeater2010,

Thank you for writing about your trip to Kennicott. Your comments and advice for other travelers are much appreciated.

We are especially glad that you enjoyed the food at Kennicott Glacier Lodge. We have been fortunate to have the same three chefs working at our lodge for several summers and we are excited to announce that all of our chefs will be returning again for Summer 2014.

Thank you again for your thoughts. We hope to see you in Kennicott again soon!

Christina Kirkwood
Kennicott Glacier Lodge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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244 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Redondo Beach, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 October 2013

loved the location and history of the place! A glacier hike is a must. I thought the food options was a little limited but understandable considering the location and limited access. I would of enjoyed a more open area to have a drink after dinner, played cards/games etc but it seemed like they wanted to close up shop pretty quickly. Either way, great place!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank MARKNMEGHS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christina K, Manager at Kennicott Glacier Lodge, responded to this review, 7 January 2014
Dear MARKNMEGHS,

Thank you for taking the time to review our lodge. I am glad that you enjoyed the location, history, and glacier hike.

For after dinner opportunities, our dining room is open for drinks and snacks until 10:30pm each night and there are three common areas throughout the lodge where Guests are welcome to relax and play cards. In some circumstances we may ask Guests to move to a different common area after 10:30pm for noise considerations but otherwise these common areas are always available.

Thank you again for your review.

Christina Kirkwood
Kennicott Glacier Lodge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rockford ,IL
Level Contributor
246 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2013

We flew into the Kennicott Lodge from Chitina via Wrangel Mountain Air and stayed 3 nights. The September weather was not wonderful, but we truly enjoyed our stay. The food was delicious. Dinner is served family style at 7 pm. We met wonderful people who shared such interesting stories. Highlights of our stay included a half day glacier hike, visiting the National Park Service to view the historical movies, hiking many trains, seeing our first black bear, and sharing time with new friends. The staff is very friendly, the grounds are beautiful, and the rooms are clean and comfortable. We stayed in the south lodge because we wanted a private bath, but talked to others who felt that sharing bath and showers in the main lodge was fine. There are many opportunities to go on guided tours and hikes. The guides are knowledgable and experienced. This is a very well managed hotel. Yes, it is pricey, but the experience is worth it.

Room Tip: If you stay in the South lodge, stay on the first floor so you have a porch.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank teachem4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2013

Kennecott/McCarthy are stunning places to visit to say the least... incredible glaciers and mountain vistas, buildings frozen in time and some of the most friendliest people in the world. I have been coming to this park for my whole life and finally decided to stay in the lodge instead of camping.

When you get to the end of the Edgerton Hwy- you park in a private lot and are picked up by a van to the lodge (very handy and free for hotel guests) and they take you the 5 miles or so to the lodge. The rooms are nice, cozy, great beds and some have glacier views to die for.

When you check in- you have the option to RSVP for dinner that night. DO IT. It may seem expensive but is absolutely reasonable considering what you get. Their menu is incredible and some of the best food I have ever ate. Never mind that the smell of fresh baked bread wafts through the lobby every afternoon making it impossible to think about anything but dinner (especially after a long day of hiking)... but the dinner is served "family" style" and its really cool to meet some of the adventurous souls who are also guests there. The food portions were generous and I walked away from the table stuffed and fully satisfied.

Take advantage of their ranger talks in the family room (very cool stuff) at night or have the front desk work with the local guides and hook you up with an adventure of your own.

Room Tip: Glacier view rooms are premium and worth the upgraded price. They have wifi on location!!
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Kat K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christina K, Manager at Kennicott Glacier Lodge, responded to this review, 7 January 2014
Dear Kat K,

Thank you for your comments about your experience at our lodge. We hope you will visit us again soon!

Christina Kirkwood
Kennicott Glacier Lodge
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montesano, Washington
Level Contributor
153 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2013

We left Anchorage at about 8AM and made a few stops along the way. One stop was at the Matnuska Glacier Overview, another in GlenAllen for gas, and third stop was at the Wrangle St Elias National Park Headquarters on the Richardson Highway where we had a wonderful view of the Copper River Valley as we ate our picnic lunch. The Macrathy Road is slow and has a few places where you can buy coffee and several park restrooms. We arrived at the parking lot between 4:30 and 5PM. We did not have to wait long for the lodge shuttle to pick us up once we walked across the foot bridge. In fact the driver waited for my husband to return from the parking when he discovered he had left his ids and ccs in the car.

The lodge is right in Kennecott and does indeed overlook the Kennicott glacier. However what you'll be looking at is not a beautiful white glacier, but the moraine (the dark dirty ice that is pushed ahead of the pristine white glacier). We had a forest view room and were very pleased with our room. It was quiet, clean, dark and comfortable. We did not feel cramped. The restrooms are clean, as are the bathrooms. On cold evenings the lounges are crowded, but if the weather is nice there is lots of room to sit on the lawn or on the porch which have excellant views of the glacier and valley. there is usually a guest speaker after dinner in the uppper lounge. The main lodge has complimentary wifi. Tips are equally divided among all of the staff.

The McCarthy-Kennecott shuttles stop at 7PM and then the park is empty except for the residents of Kennecott, individuals who are camping in the park, and whomever is staying in the lodge. So by being at the lodge you'll have Kennecott all to yourself which is a treat especially since the sun sets really really late during the summer. Late at night you won't be able to go into any of the buildings, but you can walk around and take tons of photos. While if you were staying in McCarthy you'd have to catch that last shuttle or end up walking 5 miles at the end of the day.

The meals were excellant. The chef is very imaginative and prepares fabulous food. Buy the meal package, it is a bargin. The helpings are very generous. Actually all of the meals compare favorably in price to restaurants in Anchorage. Remember Kennecott is very isolated and food has to come a long way to get to the lodge, so factor that into the price before you complain.

Room Tip: Forest rooms are an excellant bargin. They may not have a view of the glacier, but then are you enjo...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank sun&oil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
40 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2013

Cleaner and more comfortable than expected. Staff friendly and supportive. Shower and toilet "down the hallway" is not as bad as envisioned. Food was very good. Downside caution for others who might visit during slack times -- DO NOT MAKE RESERVATIONS unless willing to overpay. We made early reservations for our room and breakfasts. However, if we had merely called a few days early and separated the room from breakfast, rather than a few months early, our cost would have been $60/day less! August 20 was the start of reduced rates and we stayed Sep 1st and 2d. The management appears to not reveal their discounting until a max of higher priced reservations are received. Although we enjoy traveling to Alaska, we will not patronize the Lodge again unless we have agreement beforehand that our rates will be cut to reflect "best available at the time". Caveat emptor!

Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank TwiceRetired
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 review, 6 September 2013
Dear TwiceRetired,

Thank you for taking the time to review our lodge. We are glad that you enjoyed your stay, the friendly staff, and the good food.

In response to your comments about the special, every year we typically offer an End of Summer Special with reduced rates for Main Lodge rooms starting at the end of August. The special rate can be reserved on a “space available basis” and only applies to new reservations.

Our lodge can book up far in advance and on the Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend, when you stayed with us, we were fully reserved nearly a month ahead of time.

To guarantee availability, we recommend reserving your room as far in advance as possible. For those visitors who have the flexibility to wait until the last minute to reserve their room, however, this special can provide the opportunity to visit the area at a reduced rate.

Thank you again for visiting and we hope to see you again in the future.
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Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 August 2013 via mobile

We drove out from Anchorage (great drive at that) and lucked out with timing as the shuttle was the to meet us on the far side of the footbridge. The lodge is amazing - warm, clean, and friendly.
There may be some guests who will not like the lack of private showers and toliets in their rooms (there is a sink), but we found it added to the charm of the lodge. We also enjoyed the family style dining and incredible food (how they do this is beyond me).
My only complaint is that we did not have enough time. We will be back...

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NateoftheNorth
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Kennicott Glacier Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 34
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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