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Denali Backcountry Lodge
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 581 reviews
Backcountry Lodge 2021
User: tdaoussis from:
Published Date: Sep, 7, 2021
Travel Date: Aug, 1, 2021
Rating: 3
We went to the Denali Backcountry lodge hoping to have a "not to be missed" type of experience. While the Backcountry lodge and experience are nice it turned out to be very average and not worth the money. The dining was "fine" - average at best. The activities we did - hiking and biking could all have been done at the entrance area of Denali and just as challenging with great views. Overall the experience was fine but in our opinion not worth the money. We were also part of the unfortunately group who were impacted by the road closure which delayed exiting the park so much so we missed the last shuttle to Fairbanks. We were totally on our own to find alternative lodging on our own dime. It also caused us to need to rebook flights. The total cost was about $600 and pursuit did not offer any compensation even though the lodging and transportation were all booked through them. Very disappointed! I do not recommend Pursuit.
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Great Experience Seeing the wilds of Denali
User: charleseh2016 from:
Published Date: Aug, 29, 2021
Travel Date: Aug, 1, 2021
Rating: 5
We spent three nights at the Denali Backcountry Lodge. Since the ride in from the park entrance to the lodge takes over 6 hours it make total sense to spend the night and not try and do a 13 hour turnaround trip. While it is a long drive, the DBL driver provided lots of opportunities for animal sighings, picture taking and learning more about the park. Two full days at the lodge gave us time to do multiple hikes while also being able to relax and enjoy the facilities, the outdoor activities and the other guests. I would highly recommend a 3 night minimum stay. The cabins were very comfortable, thought you will likely spend little time there. We had the great pleasure of meeting Tom Choate, who was a guest speaker at the lodge for two evenings, and who is the oldest person to hike Mt Denali, his last of five times at the age of 76 (WOW!). He was a wealth of knowledge about the park, the mountain and most everything related to the history of Alaska. Overall I highly recommend the DBL for part of your Alaska visit. Also, we were blessed with a blue-sky day the morning we were leaving the lodge and had incredible views of Mt. Denali and the whole Alaska range. I guess that puts us as one of the 30% who get to see the mountain.
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Come prepared for a real, backcountry experience!
User: hipgranny63 from: Edmonds, Washington
Published Date: Aug, 29, 2021
Travel Date: Aug, 1, 2021
Rating: 3
First time in Denali but lots of visits to Alaska on cruises. We're both 73 yrs old and read about this lodge online. Thought it would be a great opportunity to get away from the crowds and see the "real" Alaska (it was). Took the 3 hr train from Fairbanks and DBL's shuttle bus picked us up at the train depot (warning: this is NOT a train station. There are NO facilities or food there! It's just a sheltered area). We didn't know that and thought we'd buy a quick sandwich at the "train station". Should have eaten on the train! The bus took 6 hours to get to Denali Backcountry Lodge, but they stop along the way for bathrooms (most are pit toilets) and to take pictures of the animals in the wild. We saw lots of Grizzly bears, Caribou, a red tailed Fox, a Porcupine, a Moose and a Golden Eagle from the bus. The driver was very patient and informative. She was also in command the whole time. Got there around 7 pm and had dinner at 8. There are guided hikes or you can go on your own. They have bicycles, boots for the deep puddles, trekking poles and even rain coats to borrow. Be sure to ask for the printed info describing the hikes and ask a lot of questions! They assume you know stuff! So glad we borrowed boots and poles from them for the hikes. The food (3 meals/day) was great with lots of choices. The cabins are separate from the lodge. No daily maid service, but can ask for more towels or whatever. Very small shower but comfortable bed! There's a lounge upstairs in the lodge with a separate bar if you just want to hang out. Also, a covered porch with rocking chairs. We purposely ate with different people each night so we could interact and socialize. Tom Choate, the oldest guy to scale Denali at 78 was there as a guest lecturer and he had lots of stories, interacting with guests freely. It's pretty expensive, overall and I do wish they would be more forthright in telling people what to expect, both on the website and in person. You're really on your own in deciding what to do, but there is posted info. Weather in Alaska changes fast and you need to be prepared for anything. Were there Aug. 22-25. 2021 (3 nts) It was cold and rainy most of the time. Never saw the mountain, due to clouds and fog. It snowed after we left. Be sure to bring waterproof hiking boots (we didn't) and lots of layers (that we did). Some had to leave big suitcases at Denali cabins as they limit what to bring in to 40 lbs. An experience of a lifetime, but be prepared
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Worth the trip
User: O6336NKjohnm from:
Published Date: Aug, 27, 2021
Travel Date: Aug, 1, 2021
Rating: 5
Our experience at the Denali Backcountry Lodge was excellent. Getting to stay so deep in the park is truly a special experience. We took the bus in, which was great, and got to see a ton of wildlife along the way. Our final morning the weather cleared up and had perfect visibility, and we got to see Denali from Wonder Lake as the sun came up, which was an amazing experience. We flew out via Kantishna Air, which was also an awesome experience. Food was great, activities were fun. Two nights was enough for us, but a bunch of couples we met preferred three nights.
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Excellent, but lacking COVID precautions
User: Kim C from: Eugene
Published Date: Aug, 26, 2021
Travel Date: Aug, 1, 2021
Rating: 4
The rooms are clean and comfortable. The food is very good. The location and hikes are absolutely amazing. The naturalists are well-trained and knowledgeable. The only problem is a lack of COVID precautions. The lodge does not require masking in public areas where 6ft distance isn’t possible. Also, there is an expectation of 8 people per table for dining. Masking is expected but not enforced for the long bus ride in and out of the lodge. If you are not visiting during the pandemic, I would highly recommend this lodge.
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