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Kantishna Roadhouse

Kantishna Roadhouse

Located deep in the heart of Alaska's Denali National Park, the Kantishna Roadhouse is a full-service lodge set in a former gold mining district. A mixture of historical buildings and new cabins make up the property which is owned and operated by Alaskan Natives. Along with hiking, biking and fishing, guests can learn about Athabascan history and culture here. 

There is no TV, phone coverage or internet on the site allowing guests to immerse themselves in the wilderness location and completely get away from everyday life. Rooms are in traditional log cabins and have a simple, rustic style. Comfortable, homely and quiet, each has two beds, a private bathroom, hand-crafted furniture and warm quilts. 

All meals and snacks are included in a stay, along with daily guided and self-guided activities, and hosted evening naturalist presentations. 

Hikes around the lodge and the scenic drive in and out offer ample opportunity to soak up the dramatic landscapes of Denali and spot wildlife such as Dall sheep, bears, wolves and moose. Alternatively, you can have a massage, watch a dogsled demonstration or simply sit on the deck and soak up the views.

Our rating: Medium

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Rooms

Rooms are in traditional log cabins set between mature trees. The interior decor is rustic with down quilts covering the beds, photos of local wildlife on the walls and the warm woods and simple furnishings creating a homely, rural style. All cabins have two beds, a private bathroom and deck. There is no TV or coffee machine. The larger Musher's Cabin by the Roadhouse is good for groups or families and sleeps up to seven people. 

Location

Located 145km (90 miles) from the park entrance in a former gold mining district, the lodge is only accessible in approved park vehicles. It is a remote area surrounded by dramatic landscapes and offers instant access to walking trails, old mining roads, lakes and valleys. Transport to the lodge is included in a stay. 

Food and drink

All meals are included in a stay and prepared with vegetables from the lodge greenhouse where possible. Bread is baked daily and breakfast is a buffet of fruit, cereal, pastries and hot dishes such as eggs or French toast. Packed lunches can be taken with you if you intend to spend the day out exploring, otherwise a buffet lunch of soups, sandwiches and salads is served in the main lodge. In the evening, the menu features local fish such as salmon, halibut and cod, meat from local farms and a vegetarian choice. The lodge also has its own saloon bar for a relaxed drink. 

Facilities and activities

Daily guided walking and hiking excursions of two to six hours are led by the lodge's naturalist guides. You can also try your hand at gold panning, borrow mountain bikes to explore the old mining roads, go fly fishing in the creek which runs through the property, and attend the nightly presentations about the park and its wildlife. Massages and flightseeing are also available. 

Accessibility

There are two fully-accessible cabins near the main lodge for guests with limited mobility. They have ramped access, accessible showers and a larger floor plan than the other cabins. 

Our opinion

This remote lodge is a great option for exploring this rugged corner of the park. Unfortunately, there are no views of Mount Denali from the property, but it is only a short distance along the road to Wonder Lake, where the views are superb. The rooms are rustic but comfortable, and the newly renovated bathrooms add a nice touch. 

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    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

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    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.

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      Denali Road Tour

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      This is a full day narrated tour that covers the entire wilderness road into Denali National Park, with a two hour stop at an exclusive lodge in the Kantishna area for lunch.

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      Denali Tundra Wilderness Tour

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      This is a six to eight hour narrated tour that takes you 86 kilometres along the wilderness road into Denali National Park. The duration of the tour may vary, depending on road and weather conditions, particularly in the shoulder seasons of May and September.