Denali Wilderness Lodge

Alaska's Classic Fly-In Adventure Lodge

Denali Wilderness Lodge

 

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Frequently Asked Questions about Denali Wilderness Lodge

Trip Planning
The Lodge Experience
Packing List


Trip Planning


Where are you located?

Denali Wilderness Lodge is located in the Wood River Valley, 30 miles east of the Denali National Park entrance, and is accessible only by air taxi. We maintain an Alaska summer office near the park entrance. Our winter office is in Girdwood, Alaska.

How do I get there?
Our lodge is accessible only by air taxi. Guests arrive at the Denali National Park entrance by either the Alaska Railroad, tour bus, or private car. Once at the park entrance area, we will arrange a transfer to our airport. From there, one of our experienced bush pilots will fly you to the lodge in a modern Alaska bush plane. We can also arrange a flight directly from Fairbanks to the lodge.

How long a stay do you recommend?
Because of our unique remote location and variety of activities, we recommend a stay of at least three nights. With a three-night stay, you will have ample time to explore the lodge and surrounding area, participate in our daily activities, attend evening naturalist programs, or just relax with friends new and old. Once at the lodge, most guests do not want to leave!

When is the best time to visit Denali Wilderness Lodge?
Denali Wilderness Lodge operates from May 31 through September 11. In general, Alaska's summer begins in June and fall arrives by late August. Travel during these months is always rewarding. Each month has special features, and change occurs rapidly. July tends to be the warmest month, on average. Wildflowers are best in June and the wild blueberries ripen in August. Fall colors usually peak after the third week of August, and Northern Lights become visible on clear nights in September.

When is the best time to avoid mosquitoes and biting flies?
Peak bug season in Interior Alaska tends to be June and early July. We're fortunate in that our location and elevation of 3000 feet keep bug discomfort to a minimum. Insect repellant containing a high concentration of the chemical DEET proves to be the most effective ( though we recommend using it sparingly on children). Wearing tightly woven long sleeve shirts and long pants are excellent ways to prohibit bugs from biting through.

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What is the weather like?
Weather is generally mild in the summer. You can expect evening temperatures from the 40's to 60's and up to as high as the 70's and even the 80's during the day. Traditionally July is the most stable month for weather, but in Alaska, the weather can be very unpredictable and may change rapidly.

Does it rain much?
Denali Wilderness Lodge is located many miles and mountain ranges north of Alaska's rainiest region, Southeast Alaska. However a stay of 5 to 10 days anywhere in Alaska will present you with an ever-changing display of nature's moods from hot and sunny to periods of rain and chilly weather. We have an attitude of enjoying whatever comes our way. Having top quality outdoor apparel is imperative to enjoying your stay at the lodge.

What wildlife will I see?
Although the lodge is surrounded by habitat similar to that in Denali National Park, wildlife is much less abundant at our lodge than in the park. Having said that, we do occasionally witness some incredible wildlife near the lodge. Some species we've seen include Sandhill Cranes and waterfowl, moose, fox, and caribou. Brown bears are sometimes seen across the valley browsing on the slopes. While wolves are sometimes seen in the valley, they are secretive and a rare treat when observed. The more time you spend in the wilderness whether on hikes, at the observation tower, or flightseeing, the more opportunities you will have to spot the signs of resident and migrating wildlife.

What about bears?
Brown bears are sometimes seen browsing on the slopes above the valley. Our guides are knowledgeable about bears and their habits and you will learn about bear safety upon your arrival at the lodge. Bears are not a threat to groups of people practicing good bear behavior.

What's included in the lodge package rates?
Our lodge package rates include a private room with private bath, all meals and snacks, all guided and unguided activities, and naturalist programs. The cost does not include air taxi transfers, horseback riding, gratuities to staff, bed tax, or alcoholic beverages.

Do you offer any discounts?
The lodge is open from May 31 through the night of September 11, 2001 and we offer an early and late season discount. If you book a lodge stay between May 31 and June 15 or between September 1 and 11 you'll save 15% off the peak season rate. Lodge discounts do not apply to Air Taxi transfer fees.

What does the Air Taxi transfer fee include?
The air taxi transfer fee includes a single, one-way trip to or from Denali Wilderness Lodge in a modern Alaskan Bush plane, all ground transfers in the Denali National Park entrance area, and secure luggage storage at our Denali National Park airport office. Air taxi transfer fees do not include gratuities to the pilot.

What's included in the Denali Backcountry Safari?
This 5-day/4-night guided itinerary includes a 2-night package at Denali Wilderness Lodge, Air Taxi transfers to and from the lodge, accommodations at the Park entrance, a Denali Wildlife Drive in our private 15-passenger van deep inside Denali National Park, Park entrance fees, a stay at the remote Denali Backcountry Lodge in Kantishna, all guided activities, and all meals. The group size for each Denali Backcountry Safari is limited to 8-10 guests.

Can we buy liquor or bring it with us?
We do have a liquor license and sell a variety of beer, wine, and cocktails in The Logs Lounge. For your own supply, there are liquor stores in Cantwell 30 miles south of Denali National Park, at the gas station in Lynx Creek just north of the park entrance, and in Healy 30 miles farther north.

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What type of rain gear do I need?
You will need pants and a coat that have a PVC coating and factory-sealed seams. A $50-$100 investment for a rain suit is adequate. Remember, staying warm and dry is critical to your enjoyment of the activities while at the lodge and visiting other areas of Alaska. Please do not bring vinyl or plastic rain gear or ponchos - they will not keep you dry for any length of time. Also, spending $200 or more on a Gore-Tex outfit is probably unnecessary unless you plan on wearing it for years. Please reference our Packing List for other suggestions on gear.

Will I need spending money at the lodge?
If you would like to purchase beer, wine, or cocktails at the lodge, buy a souvenir hat, shirt, or gift shop item, take trail rides on horseback, or leave a gratuity you will need spending money at the lodge. We do try to stock some of the more popular types of film, but otherwise you will want to arrive at the lodge with all the personal items you will need for your stay.

Do you have limitations on luggage?
Luggage is limited to 35 pounds per person. Excess baggage can be stored at no charge at our Denali National Park office for the duration of your stay.

What about flight delays in and out of the lodge due to bad weather?
Weather in Alaska is unpredictable and changes rapidly. If bad weather delays your flight to the lodge, we will transport you to our Denali National Park office where there is a heated sitting room with beverages available. We do recommend that you schedule an adequate buffer between critical connections and your lodge stay. In the average summer season, bad weather prevents flying about 5% of the time.

Could you recommend some accommodations near the Denali Park entrance?

Please call each of the following companies directly for their rates.

Denali National Park Entrance Area: Phone Fax
Denali Cabins (888) 560-2489 (907) 783-9339
Denali Crow's Nest Log Cabins (907) 683-2723 (907) 683-2323
Denali Grizzly Bear Cabins & Campgrounds (907) 683-2696
Denali Park Resorts (800) 276-7234
Denali Riverview Inn (907) 683-2663 (907) 683-7433
Sourdough Cabins (907) 683-2773 (907) 683-2357
Between Anchorage and Denali National Park:  
Swiss Alaska Inn - Talkeetna (907) 733-2424 (907) 733-2425
North Country B & B - Trapper Creek (907) 733-3981
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge - Talkeetna (877) 258-6877

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