Where to Stay in Denali National Park, Alaska 

Youre practically guaranteed picturesque scenery when you stay in Alaska – and the Alpine Creek Lodge wont disappoint
You're practically guaranteed picturesque scenery when you stay in Alaska – and the Alpine Creek Lodge won't disappoint | Courtesy of Alpine Creek Lodge / Expedia
Matt Charlton

Not sure where to stay in Alaska? Denali National Park, in the shadow of the tallest peak in North America, is replete with lodges and cabins that will open up a world of wildlife-watching, hiking, fly-fishing, river-rafting and more – and they’re all bookable on Culture Trip.

Chances are, if you find yourself traveling to this remote outpost of the continental United States, you’ve already elected to embark on a true bucket-list trip. Whether you’re brave enough to venture into the frozen winter wilderness of this most epic of national parks – home to the 20,310ft (6,190m) Denali (aka Mount McKinley) – or come in the summer months to witness nature at its brightest, the interior of Alaska is bound to wow you.

1. Denali Backcountry Lodge

Hotel, Luxury, Boutique Hotel

Cosy wooden cabin at Denali Backcountry Lodge with twin beds and flowers on the bedside table
Courtesy of Denali Backcountry Lodge / Expedia

When you’re in the middle of the challenging-yet-beautiful wilds of Alaska, you’ll need somewhere that wraps you up like a warm blanket at the end of a rewarding day in the drama-packed hinterland. What a relief, then, to arrive at Denali Backcountry Lodge. Near the former gold-mining settlement of Kantishna, you’ll experience the best creature comforts via cozy private cabins in a wild landscape. You’ll return from your adventures (guided trail-free hikes, cycling, fishing and more) to fresh and seasonal cuisine, a snug fire and a spa-studded haven under the Northern Lights.

2. Kantishna Roadhouse

Hotel, Eco-Lodge, Independent Hotel

Exterior of Kantishna Roadhouse, a wooden structure with hanging baskets and rocking chairs on the front porch
Courtesy of Kantishna Roadhouse / Expedia

A journey to Alaska is the trip of a lifetime, so you’ll want your experience to be enhanced by the best hospitality around. Happily, the rustic cabins of Kantishna Roadhouse provide a blanket-like base in the heart of the backcountry. Your stay includes private bus transportation and there are a variety of daily activities available. They include hiking opportunities and the chance to observe wildlife in the breath-snatching scenery of Denali National Park. You can even pan for gold if you’ve forgotten your credit card.

3. McKinley Creekside Cabins

Hotel, Eco-Lodge, Independent Hotel

Exterior of a cabin at McKinley Creekside Cabins with flowers and rocking chairs on the front porch
Courtesy of McKinley Creekside Cabins / Expedia

This boutique, friendly Alaskan lodge is just 15 minutes from the entrance to Denali National Park. So, it’s the ideal accommodation for those of you looking to perch on the edge of the action. If you’re getting to know the area, you’re offered all kinds of adventure packages (ranger-led walks, Jeep tours, photography, fly-fishing and more). On return, scenic creekside cabins and a homey cafe – serving Alaskan-brewed beers and Mt. Denali cinnamon rolls – offer space to trade tales of adventure.

4. McKinley Chalet Resort

Resort, Hotel

Exterior of McKinley Chalet Resort at night with a clock reading 11.25 and a red carpet leading to the front door
Courtesy of McKinley Chalet Resort / Expedia

This resort on the banks of the Nenana River is less than 2mi (3.2km) from the entrance to Denali National Park. With shuttle services to and from the park entrance, you’re never far away from the wild action, while the tasteful and bright rooms offer views aplenty. Maybe you’ll even spot some wildlife from your very own balcony. The sociable Denali Square complex includes a courtyard with fire pits, regular live music, the Karstens Public House, and views of the nearby mountains.

5. Denali Grizzly Bear Resort

Hotel, Resort

Wooden balconies and forest at Denali Grizzly Bear Resort
Courtesy of Denali Grizzly Bear Resort / Expedia

Don’t let the name mislead: they don’t let out rooms to grizzly bears here. Still, you’re in the middle of the wilds at this resort, which offers hotel accommodation, cabins, or even an RV and campsite. The rustic rooms overlook the nearby river. Dine at the food-truck court – served by Denali Thai, Mariachi Moose and others, with plenty of outdoor seating – or head off on one of the many local tours (river rafting, ATV adventures, hikes, and more).

6. Denali Overlook Inn

Hotel, Bed and Breakfast

Lounge at Denali Overlook Inn with leather sofas and a wood-burning stove
Courtesy of Denali Overlook Inn / Expedia

It’s called the overlook for a reason: the elevated views over the surrounding forests and mountains are spectacular. Designed around the impressive window-lined and fire-warmed Great Room, the accommodation is spacious yet cozy (thick rugs and natural woods), with stunning vistas everywhere you look. In the winter, there’s access to cross-country skiing, snow-machining and snowshoeing.

7. Meandering Moose Lodging

Hotel, Inn, Guesthouse

Exterior of Meandering Moose Lodging, a red wooden building surrounded by trees and grass
Courtesy of Meandering Moose Lodging / Expedia

Offering a personal and friendly touch, this lodge on the edge of century-old-trading-post-turned-adventure-centre Talkeetna is a peaceful retreat. However, it’s also a prime spot for discovering all the high-octane activities on offer at the park. After days spent zip-lining, salmon fishing, dog-mushing, and bear-viewing, slump back in the rooms and cabins, with names such as Snoozin’ Moose, where cuteness and comfort coalesce.

8. Denali Park Hotel

Hotel, Independent Hotel

Cosy room at Denali Park Hotel featuring a bed with a patchwork bedspread, wood-paneled walls and a small table and chairs
Courtesy of Denali Park Hotel / Expedia

Denali Park Hotel has all the trappings of a classic US motel, moved to the middle of the Alaskan wilderness. You’ll be surrounded by striking natural scenery – including moose roaming freely – at this small-town base in Healy. It has everything you need for a comfortable base; it’s only 10mi (16.1km) from the park itself, with convenient access to shops and restaurants, yet plenty of adventures on your doorstep.

9. Talkeetna Wilderness Lodge and Cabin Rentals

Hotel, Camping, Eco-Lodge

Exterior of a cabin at Talkeetna Wilderness Lodge and Cabin Rentals, a wooden building surrounded by trees
Courtesy of Talkeetna Wilderness Lodge and Cabin Rentals / Expedia

One for those who truly like to be at one with nature… except with heating, and a bed and running water. The owners aim to provide you with a comfortable, affordable and relaxing stay. They successfully tick every box. The refurbished cabins provide an ideal foundation on which to build your own Alaskan adventure, with BBQ facilities and a cozy communal lodge. There’s also easy access to Montana Creek for some brilliant fishing and wildlife-viewing.

10. Alpine Creek Lodge

Hotel, Eco-Lodge

Exterior of a cabin at Alpine Creek Lodge, a wooden building with picnic tables and wooden chairs to the front
Courtesy of Alpine Creek Lodge / Expedia

In the midst of the adventure, but away from all the crowds, is Alpine Creek Lodge – a lodge where you can sleep under the canopy of the Northern Lights, if you’re lucky. The cabins are almost Scandinavian in their light, pared-back design. There’s no running water, but there are more regular suites available, too, with breakfast (and water) included. With bird-watching, a fly-fishing school and gold-panning, you’ll never run out of activities at this Alaskan stay.

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