Denali National Park Hotels & Motels in Alaska

by Mary Freeman

Denali National Park has the largest expanse of wilderness - over 6 million acres - in the U.S. Still, only a handful of lodging options sit near the Alaska park, and even fewer within. The types of accommodation available vary largely, from luxury resorts to wilderness cabins with only the most basic amenities.

Hotels

Located at the entrance to Denali National Park, Denali Bluffs Hotel offers standard hotel accommodation. Most of the lodging's 112 rooms have balconies, and the hotel lounge has a large stone fireplace. Grande Denali Lodge has 165 guest rooms and six deluxe cabins. The cabins sleep up to four and have kitchenettes and balconies overlooking the Nenana River Canyon. The lodge also has a restaurant, gift store and coffee shop. Kantishna Roadhouse, also owned by Doyon Tourism, has the only full-service saloon in the park's backcountry. The lodge consists of two-and-four-plex cabins, as well as main lodge where the restaurant, tour desk and lounge are located.

Cabins

Denali River Cabins and Cedars Lodge are close to the park entrance, on the banks of the Nenana River. Alaskan native-operated Doyon Tourism owns both of the properties. Complimentary transportation between Denali Park Alaska Railroad Depot and the properties is available. The 39 log cabins of the Denali Crow's Nest sit one mile from the park entrance on Sugarloaf Mountain. The en suite cabins have most modern amenities, like satellite television, hot tubs, restaurant and bar. Located 17 miles north of Denali, EarthSong Lodge offers three different cabin sizes, which accommodate two to four people. The lodge also has a gazebo and picnic area with gas grill.

Resorts

The Denali Grizzly Bear Resort has been family-owned and operated since 1968. Resort guests can choose between hotel rooms, cabins or camping at Grizzly Bears tent and RV campground. The resort also has a general store and tour desk. Princess Tours owns one resort within the park and one just south of it: Denali Princess Lodge and Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, respectively. Both of the resorts have multiple dining options, arrange tours, and have on-site activities, like film screenings. They both have pathways for nature walks, and the company owns a railroad that connects the two lodges and tours the Denali wilderness. Both the McKinley Chalet Resort and McKinley Village Lodge are located at the entrance of the park. The luxury resort offers numerous dining options, including dinner theater, and is set on 42 acres. The McKinley Village Lodge is better suited for the budget traveler. Builders used environmentally responsible materials on the lodge, which opened in June 2009.

Deep within the Park

Set deep within the park, the Camp Denali and North Face Lodges are at the end of Denali Park Road, the park's only roadway. Camp Denali offers traditional cabins that date back to 1954, while North Face provides guests with modern guest rooms. Camp Denali cabins are located about seven minutes for the lodge's main amenities. Kantishna Air Taxi operates Skyline Lodge, which also doubles as the company's operations base. The small, solar-powered lodge is 92 miles within the park at the end of Denali Park Road. Denali Backcountry Lodge, also at the 92-mile mark of Denali Park Road, has a two-story main lodge that houses the dining and lounge areas. Guests stay in one of the 42 heated, en suite cedar cabins.

About the Author

Mary Freeman is a freelance writer. She has held several editorial positions at the print publication, "The Otter Realm." She traveled throughout Europe, which ultimately resulted in an impromptu move to London, where she stayed for eight months. This life experience inspired her to pursue travel writing. Freeman received a degree in human communication from California State University.