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Kantishna Roadhouse
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Savings alert! 31% below average rates

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Reviews (213)
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Reviewed 9 September 2017 via mobile

On the 16 August 2017 my wife and I started our 3 night stay at Kantishna Roadhouse! We arrived at the Denali Park entrance and visitor center early so we could locate were to met the Kantishna bus near the train station and park the rental car during our stay! We loaded the bus around 1pm for our 6 hour, 90 mile narrative Denali Park Road tour to Kantishna Roadhouse! We saw several grizzly bear, dall sheep, caribou, a cow moose, willow ptarmigan, snowshoe hare and various birds! We arrive at Kantishna around 7:30pm, thanks to our great bus driver and guide, Christine! Dinner and conversation at 8pm and then settle into our wonderful duplex cabin room!
On 17 August 2017 we took the van to Wonder Lake and spent the morning and early afternoon on blueberry hill watching for wildlife and hoping Denali would show itself. Had a clear view of west flank through the clouds! Nice start! My wife and I and another guest, Rob, walked the 3 plus miles back to Kantishna from Wonder Lake since we declined to ride the van back for lunch. Made it back to roadhouse in time for some gold panning and history of gold mining Kantishna Hills in early 1900's! Then appetizers and drinks in the bar with Johnny! Dinner and evening presentation after dinner were great! An evening trip to Wonder Lake for a possible view of Denali, not tonight, great evening!
On 18 August 2017 my wife and I signed up for the McKinley Bar hike with Josh, our guide! Glad we did! Nice leisurely hike with little elevation change! Nice hike through glacial deposited rock, black spruce forest, several bear scratching trees along trail, and the McKinley Bar for lunch! Then as if Josh arranged it, the upper 1/3 to 1/2 of Denali became mostly visible and lasted for our 20-30 minute lunch! Awesome! Nice hike! Got back to Kantishna in time for gold panning again today! 0 for 2 gold panning, no flakes! Appetizers and drinks and conversation at the bar with Johnny, the bartender! Met two men at the bar, from Norway, father and son! Turns out, the father/grandfather of the two men was a gold miner there around 1920's. Great to met them and talk with them! Then another great meal and an evening presentation about some history of Denali, the mountain! Great presentation Mary! 2 great days and 3 nights at Kantishna Roadhouse! On 19 August 2017, at 6 am, my wife and I loaded the bus for the 90-mile Denali Park road back to the Park entrance! Saw 8-9 grizzled bear, caribou, dall sheep and willow ptarmigan thanks to our bus driver Kristie! It even snow part of the drive out! Denali Park and Preserve and Kantishna Roadhouse! Marie, the Roadhouse manager, great to met you and talk to you! You have a great lodge and staff! Thank you very much!
Craig and Diane
Silt, Colorado

Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank craigvardaman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2017

Our trip started out with a very informative 91 mile bus trip mostly on a single lane gravel road. Thankfully the Roadhouse has very experienced drivers as the road winds over three mountain passes with no guard rails! We arrived in time for a late dinner which was the worse of the meals we were served, the kitchen can do much better and does with every other meal. Our cabin was very comfortable and had everything we needed, plus beautiful views from every direction. Breakfasts were a large buffet with lots of yummy choices. My husband and I went on the casual hike every morning and really enjoyed the hikes and the guides. Our favorite hike was Blueberry Hill with the beautiful views of Denali. We were even fortunate enough to see three moose swim across Wonder Lake from that hike. Lunch at the lodge consisted of soup, salad bar and wrap or sandwich, all of which were very good. There is a group that comes in just for lunch everyday, but it was very easy to find quiet areas where we could avoid the lunch bunch folks when we wanted to. Afternoon activities consisted of gold panning, dogsled demos, or historic tours. We could also borrow bikes, or fishing poles. Happy hour started a 5 and there was a nice choice of wines, beers and other drinks. Dinner was served family style and each was very good. We attended evening programs every night and learned about climbing Denali, growing up in Fairbanks and heard a very nice concert by a singer/songwriter who also happened to be a guide at the Roadhouse. Overall our stay there was wonderful and much better than I expected. I would highly recommend staying at Kantishna Roadhouse!

Stayed: August 2017
Thank Patricia T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2017

We spent 3 nights at the Kantishna Roadhouse in mid August. We had a cabin by the creek. The cabin was very basic but it was what we expected based on prior reviews. You would not want to spend a lot of time in the small cabin but it was fine for sleeping and for short stays. The bathroom was pretty crowded for the 3 of us but we made do. We thought the family style dinners were very good and really enjoyed the bright and open dining room atmosphere. I had the vegetarian meals for both nights and the others in our party had the regular meals. While not fancy, the food was hearty and tasted great. We took a very nice hike with one of the guides and, yes, it rained on us. Our guide was very enthusiastic and had been there for several seasons. All but one of us had brought our own rubber boots but the roadhouse had a pair for our other fellow traveler to borrow. Thanks goodness because it can get really muddy out there! The forest, rivers and mountains were just beautiful. We even saw the top of Denali one day. The bus in was really very long but well worth it to see all of the animals and the beautiful vistas. We chose to take a bush plane out at the end of our stay. Make sure you understand the luggage limitations before you go. We were not informed by our tour company and had to do some quick repacking at the Visitor Center in Denali before we boarded the bus. Thanks goodness we could leave our extra luggage there for a fee. It was a very pleasant stay and we are glad to have experienced this part of Denali National Park at the end of the road!

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Chafffamilytravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2017

This roadhouse is a mixed bag. The location is very pretty, though my husband and I thought it had a lot of mosquitos, the staff is really pleasant and helpful, the lodge itself is lovely, and the greenhouse is delightful. The rooms are average-ours had a nice view of the river so we were lucky. That said, this place is run by a corporation and it's obvious they are in it to make a buck. The bus we traveled in on was packed to overflowing. There should have been 2 buses as this made our ride unpleasant. Several of the passengers were not very mobile and each stop was far longer than it should have been. There were just too many people for one bus, and they knew it. Christine was a great bus driver, very knowledgeable, but with too many people on the bus, the scenic stops were cut short. We were not happy about this. It was a long day on the bus after many hours on the train getting to Denali's entrance.
When we arrived at the "hotel," it was already pretty late, and the dinner we were served was, at best adequate.They can do better! We were very tired and worn out from our long trip and were happy to be seated by ourselves.
The next day, we decided to go for a bike ride, avoiding the mosquitoes, and when we got back, we found a busload of new tourists at our hotel. Apparently, day trippers can come in to the hotel for the day, enjoying all the amenities we are paying dearly for, at a fraction of the price. My husband and I sat down for lunch and we were appalled at the measly meal we were served. I couldn't even eat it. When he went looking for a manager, he discovered that the tourist bus people were being fed a FAR better lunch! We were pretty upset and demanded that lunch for me. Sadly, my husband had already consumed the crummy lunch the overnight guests were served. We think this is unacceptable. First, the activities in which we participated were far more crowded than they needed to be with these day guests and second, if the hotel wants to make more money, let them cater to their overnight guests more adequately first.
We watched the dog sled demonstration and it was packed with the day people.
Our dinner that night was another sad one-the servers were delightful but the dinner was really a letdown. The quality of the food is just not acceptable. These buses go in and out every single day. Surely they can bus in some decent food.
We were very happy that we had paid extra to fly back out rather than take the bus again, as the whole packed bus we drove in with, was going back out again. Please realize that the ride is very bumpy and curvy so getting off and getting fresh air and spending some time admiring the scenery is important.
Sadly, I cannot recommend this resort, though it is difficult to find other lodgings in the part, The resort we were really interested in requires a much longer stay that didn't work with our plans. Let me again stress how nice the staff is here, though.
If Kantishna was owned privately, we would have talked to the owner, though I doubt much is going to change there- they kind of have a monopoly deep in the park.
All this said, we did manage to enjoy the gorgeous scenery, though if you can afford it, the flight back over Denali mountain is the thrill of a lifetime, so do it!

Room Tip: You do not get to choose a room, so it's all luck.
  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Beth100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2017

We spent 3 nights at Kantishna Roadhouse in Mid-August. The cabins are somewhat basic but comfortable. The beds are all doubles, no queens or kings. There are not hairdryers in rooms, but the front desk has them to lend if you ask. We had read reviews unhappy with the food, but we were very happy with all meals except the rock fish, which was reported to be "fishy". I had the vegetarian stuffed bell pepper which was delicious. Although we felt that there was plenty of food, it is served family-style and if one is still hungry after the platter is empty, all one has to do is ask for more. Breakfast and lunch are great but bring some instant coffee with you to add to the coffee if you like it strong. The kitchen was very accommodating of my gluten intolerance.
While you are there, check out the greenhouse. I didn't follow that advice until the last day, but spent a warm, quiet afternoon there reading.
The main idea is - of course- that you are in a wilderness that very few people get to experience. And you get to do it comfortably!
Staff-led hikes were fabulous with so much to learn about the ecology of the tundra. Be sure to take a hike led by Mary, she identified every plant since we did not know any of them- the tundra being so different and new to us. Be sure to pack good rain gear if going mid-August or later. We hiked in rain both days and were fine because the Roadhouse keeps rain pants, jackets and rubber boots for guests. Another hack: take the insoles out of your hiking boots (and yes, you need hiking boots) and put them in the rubber boots if there is deep water on the hike. Much more comfortable that way. Also the property is on Moose Creek and they have fly fishing gear, fly rods, reels and waders to lend. Flies are available for purchase and staff is very knowledgeable regarding fishing there.
Everyone working there was very helpful, and activities such as the dog sled demo and evening presentations were way more fun and informative than I had anticipated. Front desk is always so accommodating and helpful.
Yes, the ride in and out is long (and sometimes a bit scary due to high mountain passes and no guard rail), however it is a game drive (think Africa). We saw amazing numbers of animals that we couldn't see anywhere else. There are frequent breaks in the drive and the photo opportunities abound.

Room Tip: There are larger, family rooms available as well as double rooms
  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank hmbfox2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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