Seeing Denali, the majestic Mt. McKinley, and all this National Park’s incredible wildlife is a fantastic journey.Camp Denali was founded in 1952 and is Alaska’s – perhaps the nation’s – first business to engage in experiential learning about nature and cultural heritage, long before the term “ecotourism” gained popularity.
- Guided 95-mile tour from park entrance to the lodge with picnic dinner enroute
- Meals at lodge included
- Daily guided activities – Join our naturalist guides and explore tundra valleys and alpine ridges where you can take time to observe wildlife and learn about sub-arctic ecology.
- Alaska Railroad GoldStar service Fairbanks to Denali Park, and to Anchorage
- Stay in your own private hand-crafted, well-appointed, and authentic log cabin
- Stay in view of Denali – the Great One
- Pre- or post-tour arrangements
- Gratuities to staff
MON/FRI: FAIRBANKS TO DENALI PARK
Board Alaska Railroad’s Denali Star at 7:30 AM, for departure from Fairbanks at 8:15 AM. Enjoy deluxe reserved seats in the GoldStar Service featuring bi-level, glass-domed railcars. Arrive Denali Park after lunch at 12:10 PM. Meet your Camp Denali guide at the train station, and begi
n your journey 95 miles through the park – well beyond where other visitors are able to venture. A hearty, picnic-style dinner, is served around 4:00 pm alongside the East Fork river as your evening meal. Regular bathroom stops at National Park Service facilities provide additional chances to stretch your legs before arriving at the lodges around 8:00 pm. Retreat to your comfortable, private cabin for the night, or stay up to enjoy the Midnight Sun.
Days 2-4 / 2-3
SAT-SUN: Explore Denali Wilderness
At Camp Denali and North Face Lodge we specialize in learning vacations for active travelers who seek more than a brief introduction to Denali National Park. If you want to hike Denali’s backcountry, to observe its wildlife, and to understand more about the sub-arctic, we aim to exceed your expectations. Our guides are naturalists and educators, each with a depth of general natural history knowledge and a particular interest of their own. They are experienced backcountry travelers and skilled leaders. You don’t have to be capable of scaling Denali to enjoy our hikes at Camp Denali or North Face Lodge. All you need are good hiking boots, an enthusiasm for walking, rain or shine, and a spirit of adventure.
Daily Guided Options:
Each day we offer guided group hikes organized by level of physical activity. Naturalist guides who share their knowledge of the landscape, wildlife and history enrich all hikes. Camp Denali and North Face Lodge enjoy a unique, historic privilege of being able to hike both deep in the park near Wonder Lake, as well as in the park’s two-million acre, trail-less Wilderness.
For guests who want to learn about Denali’s ecology from our naturalist guides while hiking at a steady pace for longer distances and gaining significant elevation. Hikers must be prepared for stream crossings, steep climbs and descents, exposed hillside traverses, scree or loose, rocky footing, and patches of thick brush.
4-6 miles, up to 1800 feet elevation gain. All day outing.
Moderate hikes allow guests to travel through a variety of terrain at an average pace. You may traverse trail-less, spongy tundra and bushwack around tundra ponds, rich with birds and wild berries, or climb alpine hills for the reward of expansive lunchtime views. There may be over-the-ankle stream crossings, rocky footing, or unimproved trails in addition to firm, dry tundra. Hikes are led by naturalist guides who interpret what we see and answer questions.
3-5 miles, up to 800 feet elevation gain. All day outing.
Forays are a great option for those who want to spend their day outside with a naturalist guide but have limited mobility. We will operate from a van and take short walks on the gravel park road, on unimproved trails or in firmer tundra, as group members are able. There may be some brush and wet places. There will be ample opportunity to stop and enjoy Denali’s famous views, look for wildlife, photograph, and ask questions to gain a deeper understanding of the sub-arctic ecosystem.
1-3 walks of a quarter to a half mile each. All day outing.
- Independent Activities
If you are interested in striking out on your own, we can help you plan an independent day hiking, canoeing, biking, fishing, or flightseeing. We encourage you to seek out independent adventures while at Camp Denali and North Face Lodge. You can borrow our trail and topographic maps, canoes, bikes, and fishing gear.You can also enjoy Camp Denali’s resource center, where exhibits, collections, a resource library, and a microscope bring learning opportunities indoors. Stroll down to our greenhouse at North Face Lodge to learn about the challenges and opportunities of Alaska’s growing season. If quiet relaxation is your day’s ambition, prop up your feet, read from our extensive libraries of natural history topics and Alaskan literature, and relish unsurpassed mountain scenery.
Day of Departurte
FRI/MON – RETURN TO DENALI DEPOT – TRAIN TO ANCHORAGE
Early morning departure to the Denali rail depot, and GOLD STAR service to Anchorage. Return trip is shorter as fewer stops are made. There is also an option to fly from the lodge to the rail depot and include some flightseeing of Mt. McKinley on the way (additional cost).
Camp Denali is the epitome of the wilderness tradition that exemplifies what our founders envisioned for park visitors – a place that doesn’t insulate you from the wilderness you come to explore.
Camp Denali is a wilderness lodge that offers guests a true Alaskan adventure. It is situated near treeline, providing access to native tundra and boreal forest habitats right from your door. Each of the 18 guest cabins has a picture window view of Denali and offers privacy throughout your stay.
The cabins are hand-crafted, well-appointed, and authentic. Quilts made by our staff adorn the beds, a wood stove provides cozy warmth, and propane lamps light the cabins.
A short path leads to a private, meticulously maintained outhouse, and sink basin inside allows washing up. Drinking water comes from a spigot just outside and may be heated on your cabin’s propane hot plate for a morning coffee or afternoon tea. A three- to seven-minute walk uphill from your cabin leads you to the dining room, a modern shower facility, and our historic log lodge with an inviting wood stove, cozy seating, library, and unparalleled views.
North Face Lodge
North Face Lodge is a traditional north-country inn, perched on a tundra plateau, with views of Denali and surrounding mountains. North Face Lodge is 1.5 miles from Wonder Lake via foot path or road.
Modern guest rooms are joined by a common veranda, leading to the lodge’s sitting room, fireplace, dining area, and library. Our fifteen small, well-appointed rooms each have an en-suite bathroom and electricity. On cool, crisp mornings, enjoy a game of chess by a crackling fire in the lodge’s living room, or choose a book from our library of natural history and Alaskan literature. A spacious outdoor patio, with spectacular views of the Alaska Range, beckons one outdoors.
Homesteaded by former park superintendent, Grant Pearson, in 1957, the lodge occupies a portion of the original, five-acre homesite. Thirty years later, the Cole family recognized the land’s coveted status and acquired the property to protect it from unchecked development. Today, the renovated lodge maintains a purposefully intimate size.