NPR Reviews Provided by
Denali Backcountry Lodge
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 588 reviews
Wonderful, professional, and quality experience full of great customer service/care
User: jamesbI6228FO from: Anchorage, Alaska
Trip Type: Couples
Published Date: Sep, 6, 2022
Travel Date: Sep, 1, 2022
Rating: 5
We live in Anchorage, Alaska and try to get out to visit all the great things the State has to offer. We have been camping in Denali National Park before and have attended great seminars there through Alaska Geographic. We have also taken the park's Wilderness Tour Bus from the park entrance to Eielson Visitors Center and back, prior to the current road closure at Polychrome Pass. Nothing quite prepared us, however, for our stay at Denali Back Country Lodge through Pursuit, which we did to celebrate our 29th Wedding Anniversary a few months early. This year the landslide in Denali created a unique opportunity. First, we were flown on a helicopter via TEMSCO helicopter service - very professional and safe team. Our first day's flight was cancelled due to high winds, and our last day's flight was cancelled due to low cloud/fog coverage. All in all we got a full 4 nights of stay at a slightly reduced rate for the last night's stay because of weather delay. Upon arrival, the staff (all great women and men) came out to greet us, waving us in as the helicopter landed - it almost felt like Fantasy Island in the middle of the park. As lifelong military folk, my wife and I went to grab our gear -- and the staff said don't worry we got it -- it is your time to enjoy. And enjoy we did! They brought us in for a personal orientation and a little lunch -- needless to say with the fantastic cooking of Thomas we gained a few pounds (even after some exhilarating hikes) over our four days at the lodge. The naturalist guides (Sebastian, Buie, and Caylin) not only helped us and other couples pick appropriate hikes but at times went with us. One of us having just overcome being very ill, we opted for some of the easier to moderate hikes - but others grabbed available bikes, went on challenging hikes, and/or stayed in their rooms/the community area. Additionally, the lodge provided on-loan superior backpacks, water bottles, head nets, binoculars, and compasses. The lodge itself had plenty of cabin space, as the normal day traffic was reduced due to the landslide. Hence we had a very small group during our stay - where we saw grizzly bear (at a close range - 30 feet - but safely indoors); caribou (AKA reindeer); porcupine; trumpeter swan; sandhill cranes, loons, and songbirds. During our early morning hikes we were able to see Denali without clouds, enjoy the tundra walks, pick fresh blueberries, see some nature up close, and even go kayaking on Wonder Lake. All in all it was a magic time of the season, as fall was starting and we had wonderful fall color. Our cabin was a superior creekside - with the amenities we enjoy - an indoor bathroom with shower and tub (other company sites in the local area offer outhouses and a communal shower area) . Ralf (our German transplant room keeper) - left us adorable towel animals much like you find on cruise ships with a kicker from the on staff baker (delicious dessert bite treats) and a lovely message from the staff each night! Prior to Dinner (6:15 PM) there were Naturalist talks (show and tell on animals, a history of the area, Denali Summits with slides and history, and a Muldrow Glacier surge talk) available. On site, they had a wonderful masseuse, Stephanie, who had great hands. Massage services are an additional cost, but we both enjoyed our respective massages and found them well worth the price. She also taught Yoga and Stretching in the morning. We were able to use the outside barrel saunas, and some folks went into the creek between sauna sessions (at 36 degrees it was a little too cold for us). The property's Miners Lodge had a pool table, board games, and foosball. In the main lodge, there was WIFI, espresso coffees, fresh cookies and snacks, board games, books to read, beautiful art work and naturalist collections. What is hard to capture is the beauty of the people on site. Almost instantly, we felt connected to the staff. They listened to our needs and concerns, they really felt like great family. As Nova the manager said as we were leaving - it is always sad as we feel like we are losing some family when the guests depart. On a personal note, we were able to connect with many of the staff and learn about their exciting histories and future goals - which include working in Montana at Glacier National Park, going to the South Pole (Antarctica) for a year, going back to school, continuing to work in the local area, and even relocating to Anchorage, and for those folks we resolved to get together for lunch! We highly recommend Denali Backcountry Lodge--especially during these times of road closure. Staying there is definitely worth the price; a once in a lifetime experience is truly priceless.
Subratings:

Wonderful experience!
User: E1173TGgeraldd from:
Trip Type: Couples
Published Date: Aug, 30, 2022
Travel Date: Aug, 1, 2022
Rating: 5
Where to start?, so many great memories. First of all, the staff made you feel like a million dollars, Nova, Cailyn, Buie, Sebastian, Kimberly, Antoinette (Toni!), Chris the GM and the rest of the STAFF provided us with first class services. The chefs’ meals were delicious (the soups!), the hiking trips with the naturalists, Cailyn, Buie and Sebastian were a great learning experience in one of the most beautiful parts of the planet. The evening lectures provided by them were one of my favorite activities during our stay. Kudos to Stephanie the massage therapist who treated a calf injury I sustained earlier in our vacation, that allowed me to keep hiking. The cabins were very nice and had great views of Moose Creek and the mountains. The highlight of the trip was seeing Mount Denali as we were blessed with clear blue skies during our stay. Thanks Nova, you and your staff worked very hard to make this a wonderful vacation that we will never forget! Micki and Gerry xxx

Isolated Denali experience
User: Guy L from: Philadelphia, PA
Trip Type: Family
Published Date: Aug, 25, 2022
Travel Date: Aug, 1, 2022
Rating: 5
Stayed at Backcountry on Aug 2022. Great experience! The price was steep (which I get given that they have to fly in all supplies this year), but the location is INCREDIBLE. Thanks to the park road closure, there’s NO ONE in the back part of Denali which makes the guided hikes back here just amazing. 2023 might be the last year the roads closed so short lived opportunity.
Subratings:

Denali Backcountry Lodge-Magnificent
User: travelgal672022 from: Rogers, Arkansas
Trip Type: Solo travel
Published Date: Aug, 19, 2022
Travel Date: Aug, 1, 2022
Rating: 5
DBL was a wonderful experience. Gorgeous place to be. Cabins were cozy and comfortable and very clean. Beds were extremely comfortable. Had many outdoor activities to enjoy and explore. The lodge is by Moose Creek, very beautiful. Guided hiking trips by knowledgeable staff. Great place just for solitude.
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You’re at the mercy of the weather
User: mn415435 from:
Trip Type: Couples
Published Date: Aug, 5, 2022
Travel Date: Aug, 1, 2022
Rating: 3
First, the positives. The staff at DBL are fantastic. Everyone was friendly, knowledgeable and would go out of their way to make your experience enjoyable. This is a very expensive trip and you are at the mercy of the weather. If you luck out and have clear weather, I can imagine the Denali views and the helicopter ride are amazing. But this is relatively rare. If you aren’t lucky, this isn’t worth it at all. Wildlife sightings were also minimal on our trip. Again, luck of the draw. Despite the road being closed, it didn’t feel as exclusive as advertised as there are two other lodges nearby. Unfortunately and despite the staff’s best efforts, this trip felt extremely overpriced and disappointing.

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