Adventures At Your Door
Denali Park Village is just six miles from the park entrance, and there are shuttles to the Wilderness Access Center and Denali Visitors Center. But you dont have to go far to experience the Alaskan wilderness. In fact, youll find interpretive walking trails right on the property, and you can even just stroll along the Nenana River, listening to the alluring sound of the rushing water. If youre up for a more adventurous outing, hike to the gorgeous Triple Lakes, walk the 1.5-mile Oxbow Loop Trail, or take a thrilling whitewater raft journeyseveral of them launch from in front of the lodge. Of course, you can also just relax on the outdoor seating deck, enjoying a drink by the fire pit while watching the rafts floating by.
Things To See And Do In Trapper Creek
Learn how to pan for gold on a scenic off-road adventure with Denali Gold Tours.
Dig into a sumptuous plate of American-style food at 20320 Alaska Grill.
Enjoy savoury seafood and tasty treats at the North Fork Restaurant.
Grab a bite to eat at the rustic Trading Post.
Sink your teeth into a half-pound burger at the Grizzly Bar.
Savour a heavenly piece of pizza at Angelas Heaven.
Get that perfect shot of Denali.
Rent kayaks and glide along the water as you take in the stunning Susitna River.
Best Airbnb In Healy: Cozy Studio In Good Location
This studio has won the heart of many travellers. Located in a great area, close to a grocery store and gas station, you will have all your needs for your trip covered. Activities like golf, hiking tracks and others are nearby too, as well as restaurants and pubs. The incredible national park is 20min from this Airbnb, which is one of the must-see attractions in Healy.
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Buses Heading Into The Park
There are three options for riding the bus into the park beyond Savage River
Cabins Near Denali National Park
Going up one notch on the luxury scale to permanent structure, a number of cabins scattered along the Parks Highway offer a blend of rustic charm and budget-friendly accommodations. These include the Cabins at Denali, the Cabins at Denali Park Village and Denali Grizzly Bear Resort, which includes a number of cabins.
Some of these cabins are a true rustic experience, without electricity or running water others are part of luxurious resort clusters. So always double-check the amenities and make sure you’re happy with what you’re getting.
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When Is The Best Time To Visit Denali National Park
Denali National Park is closed, except for the entrance area, during the winter. If you do a winter visit to Denali you need to know that your access to the park will be very limited and all services and businesses in the park and the entrance area will be closed.
Denali National Park is fully open and all the things to do in Denali are available from mid May through mid September.
If youre wanting to see the mountain Denali during your visit its important to know that its very often clouded over during the summer. You definitely get to see it more in the winter. Be prepared to NOT see it and then if you do that will be a wonderful surprise. And dont worry! Even if you dont see Denali the mountain there are still many wonderful things to do in Denali National Park!
According to the park service, the wettest month is July, followed by August and June. You need to be prepared for rain no matter when you go, unless its winter . There are also lots of mosquitoes in summer.
In my opinion either mid to late May or early September are the best times to visit Denali National Park. Early season is fun because its not too crowded yet and September has gorgeous colors and also less people. Its definitely colder in May and September so be ready with super warm clothes.
Bonus: Denali Park Hotel
For one last option, I wanted to include the Denali Park Hotel which is actually located 10 miles north of the park entrance in the town of Healy.
The Denali Park Hotel makes my list of the best places to stay in Denali because of its history. As I detailed in my story about the history of hotels in Denali National Park, the Denali Park Hotel is home to the last remaining relics of the storied McKinley Park Hotel, which once stood at the entrance to the park. You can see several of the old train cars from the temporary second hotel, as well as other building structures that have been repurposed into rooms at the Denali Park Hotel.
Youll need a car if you plan to stay at the Denali Park Hotel, but the drive from Healy to the park entrance is beautiful.
From $169 per night, and can be booked on Booking.com, Hotels.com, or directly on the hotel website.
There are certainly other places to stay in Denali, but these are the ones Ive enjoyed the most and recommend. If you have any questions about these properties or other places you might want to stay in Denali , let me know in the comments!
I was hosted at both the Grande Denali Lodge and Denali Bluffs Hotel during a recent Alaska trip. This post was produced as part of that partnership.
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Where To Stay In Denali Without A Car
You can only take your private car as far as mile 15 of the Denali Park Road so if you were planning to go farther, you might not want to bring a car at all. Many, though not all, of the lodging options near the park entrance offer a shuttle to the park visitor center. And if you book tours, you can usually arrange a pickup either at your hotel or at the park visitor center. With that said, always double-check these details when finalizing your plans.
Best Guesthouse In Talkeetna: Talkeetna Roadhouse
This comfortable guesthouse is ideally located in Talkeetna. There is a good selection of bars and restaurants nearby, and it is in close proximity to nature. This guesthouse has eight comfortable rooms outfitted with a range of amenities. Youll also enjoy free wifi, a library, and luggage storage.
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Alaska offers tons of top-notch attractions that are worth seeing. One of the most well-known destinations in the state is Denali National Park. The national park is massive, with a size larger than New Jersey state. While you are here, you can admire the beauty of glaciers, tundras, and spruce forests. You can also witness several wildlife species during your visit, with the parks permanent residents being wolves, grizzly bears, and Dall sheep. The best time to visit the national park is during the summer months, where you can indulge in hiking, backcountry camping, and biking, among other activities. If you want to explore this attraction and are looking for a cozy place to stay, read on for the best cabins near Denali National Park, Alaska.
Located 11 minutes away from the entrance of Denali National Park, this lovely cabin can offer spectacular mountain views. There are two bedrooms with cozy king beds, easily sleeping a group of four. In each bedroom, you can find a private full bathroom for convenience. You can head to the spacious deck, which comes with a barbecue grill and comfortable patio furniture, to enjoy al fresco dining with your loved ones. High-speed WiFi is available, along with a television, to keep you entertained. You can cook some delicious meals in the well-stocked kitchen.
Things To See And Do In Healy
Navigate the rapids as you twist, turn and raft down the Nenana River.
See some of the parks most famous animal residents, including grizzly bears, by taking a guided tour.
Visit picturesque Wonder Lake and take in the sweeping views of Denali.
Eat delicious and filling American fare at 49th State Brewing.
Sip a great coffee and enjoy a treat at The Alaskan Coffee Bean.
Enjoy tasty diner-style dishes at Roses Café.
Grab a pint at the Trading Post Bar.
Savour satisfying Eastern European dishes at Moose-Akas Food Truck.
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Rv Parks Near Denali National Park
In addition to the Riley Creek Campground and Savage River Campground inside Denali National Park, both of which are open to RVs, you’ll also find a smattering of private RV parks and campgrounds located up and down the Parks Highway. These include the Denali Rainbow Village RV Park and Motel, the Denali RV Park and Motel, and Midnight Sun RV and Campground, all of which are fairly close to the park entrance or, head south to Cantwell, about 30 miles away, for the Cantwell RV Park.
Best Hotel In Talkeetna: Talkeetna Hideaway
Conveniently located in Talkeetna, this hotel provides cosy rooms ideally designed for travellers. They offer a great variety of amenities, including laundry facilities, and free wifi. This charming two-star hotel is within walking distance of delicious restaurants, charming cafes, and a myriad of outdoor activities and adventures.
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Best Airbnb In Trapper Creek: Cosy Room
Yes, you heard right. Cookies! This Airbnb in Trapper Creek isnt just comfortable and cosy you also get served the hosts homemade cookies all year round! With the best reviews, this place has made it to the top spot on the list of coolest places to stay in Denali. It even has a common area with a pool table.
Best Hotel In Mckinley Park: Denali Park Village Mckinley Park
Located in central McKinley Park, this three-star hotel is ideally located near Denali National Park. It is also close to great restaurants, bars, and nightlife attractions. This three-star hotel offers spacious and clean rooms with private bathrooms, hair dryers and coffee/tea facilities. Youll also enjoy free wifi, room service and an on-site restaurant.
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Best Hotel In Denali: Susitna River Lodging
This rustic hotel is our pick for the best hotel in Denali. It is located in quaint Talkeetna and provides comfortable accommodations with four charming rooms and a range of amenities. Guests can also enjoy features, like free wifi, luggage storage and an airport shuttle.
Denali National Park is a massive and expansive national park located in the state of Alaska. It covers more than six million acres of land and includes the highest mountain in North America, Denali .
A haven for hikers, climbers and outdoor adventurers, Denali is an incredible wilderness area. It attracts travellers from around the world to trek its network of trails, see its diverse wild landscapes, and to attempt to climb the magnificent mountain.
Although there are few places to stay within the park, the small towns and villages surrounding Denali are awash with accommodation options.
Healy is a town located nearly 20 kilometres north of the parks entrance. It is the closest town to the park and caters to tourists. Its where youll find restaurants and hotels, as well as tour guides, rental agencies and a golf course.
Travel south from here and youll arrive in McKinley Park. Set in the valley of the Nenana River, McKinley Park is located on the eastern edge of Denali. It offers easy access to the main visitor centre and is where youll find the best nightlife in the area.
Still not sure where to stay in Denali? Dont worry, weve got you covered!
Different Areas To Stay In Denali
Before jumping into the list of properties, I wanted to start with a brief explanation of the different areas you can stay in Denali. Because the Denali area is so big, people often dont realize that there are different areas.
- Nenana Canyon Located within a mile of the entrance to Denali National Park, the Nenana Canyon is the most popular area to stay, and has eight hotels and cabin properties. You can ride the Alaska Railroad to Denali and stay in this area without a car and will have no problem getting around thanks to shuttles.
- Denali Park Located 6-10 miles south of the Denali National Park entrance, this small community has a few hotels, private residences available for rent, a couple of tour outfitters, and a few restaurants. Youll need a car if you want to stay in this area, since only a few properties have shuttles.
- Backcountry Located 85-92 miles along the Denali Park Road, Kantishna is the backcountry community with three hotels. You can have to ride a bus to reach these properties so no car needed.
- Healy Located 10 miles north of the Nenana Canyon, the small community of Healy has a few hotels and lots of local charm. Youll save by staying out here but need a car to make the drive to Denali each day.
Now youre a bit better oriented, lets dive in in each property I recommend, I mention where its located.
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Talkeetna Best Neighbourhood In Denali For Families
In addition to being our pick for where to stay in Denali if youre on a budget, Talkeetna is also our recommendation for families visiting the area. Not only is this small town set in close proximity to the southern entrance of Denali National Park, but it allows for easy access to a myriad of activities. From Talkeetna, you can enjoy a day of rafting on the river, hiking in the wilderness, or seeing incredible views as you flightsee over the mountain.
The town itself is also home to a good selection of activities. From museums and cafes to nature centres and zip lines, there are plenty of attractions in Talkeetna that your whole family will love.
Healy Where To Stay In Denali First Time
Healy is a small town located at the northwestern edge of Denali. It is situated nearly 20 kilometres north of the parks entrance and is the largest town in the region. Catering to tourists, Healy is where youll find a good selection of restaurants and hotels, as well as tuck shops and outposts where you can stock up for your excursions into the park.
This is our pick for where to stay if youre visiting Denali for the first time. Not only is it in close proximity to the park, but from Healy, you can explore further into the Alaskan wilderness. Its also set along the mighty Nenana River where you can enjoy a rousing day of whitewater rafting.
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Where To Eat In And Around Denali National Park
There is a small grocery store at the park entrance , but other than that there are no food or drinks available in the park. Its important that you bring your own food and drinks for the day or multiple days if youre camping. This is especially important if you are on the all day bus trip, as there is no food available for purchase anywhere during the day.
All of these local favorites near Denali are near the park entrance. All except 229 Parks are in Healy, located about 10 miles north of the park. These are all seasonal except for Roses, which has limited winter hours.
- 229 Parks: A favorite locals stop on the drive between Fairbanks and Anchorage, its located just south of the Denali park entrance. Owned by Laura Cole , this is the place for local and seasonal ingredients made into amazing food.
- 49th State Brewing: Great pub food and beer, located in Healy. There is also a location in downtown Anchorage that is open all year.
- Black Diamond Golf course and grill: Great food and affordable prices make this a good stop in Healy even if youre not a golfer!
- Roses cafe: Bakery with good breakfasts and burgers too
Wilderness Lodges In Denali
For a true melding of luxury and wilderness, you can also book one of the wilderness lodges scattered in Kantishna at the end of the Denali Park Road, the single, 92-mile roadway that leads into the park. These include the Denali Backcountry Lodge, Skyline Lodge, Kantishna Roadhouse and Camp Denali/North Face Lodge.
Because vehicle traffic is restricted on the Denali Park Road, you can’t drive to these properties, but you can either take one of the shuttle buses that runs all the way to Kantishna or catch a private shuttle from the property. Double-check transportation arrangements when you book your reservations, and make sure you’re prepared for a truly off-grid experience. Although you’ll have a bed to sleep in and great food to eat, you won’t have cell service or other technological amenities while you’re in the lodges.
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