by Phil Corless
For when you really truly want to get away from it all, Skyline Lodge is the place to be. Located deep within Denali National Park, this is literally the end of the road. Each of the five comfortable rooms contain a queen bed and a loft with a full bed. It’s ideal for a small family with older kids looking for a genuine wilderness experience. Bathrooms and showers are in the main lodge, just a few steps away from your door. Also in the main lodge is a spacious sitting room, filled with books, games and comfy leather furniture. Meals are served family-style in the main lodge’s dining hall. The hotel staff prides themselves on serving fresh, home-cooked, healthy food, using local, organic produce. Wi-Fi is available for a small fee.
Skyline Lodge is 93 miles from the entrance to Denali National Park. Getting to the lodge can be an interesting experience. You can ride the park shuttle, which takes six to seven hours due to the condition of the road and frequent stops for wildlife viewing. Or, you can fly in with Kantishna Air Taxi, which just happens to be based at Skyline Lodge. A direct flight takes 35 minutes. Once on the ground and settled in to your room, you have several activities to choose from. Hiking is the most popular, as there are several trailheads near the lodge. You can also pedal one of the free mountain bikes down to Wonder Lake to explore the old mining roads in the area. Fishing opportunities are available at the lake and in nearby Moose Creek. The lodge will provide a pole for you. At the end of the day, you can sit out on one of the two decks and admire the view across the valley. If you have older kids and are looking for a truly remote backcountry experience, Skyline Lodge is a great place to stay during your family vacation to Denali National Park.
Our Editor Loves
- Gourmet meals
- Outdoor deck
- Mountain bikes
- All Inclusive Rates
- Water Sports
- Game Room
- Onsite Dining
We arrived in early September. As this is located at the "end of the road" you can arrive either via the Denali Camper Bus or via Kantishna Air. We decided to ride the Camper Bus in and fly out. Loved doing both. Both were great ways to experience Denali. Our pilot, Hawk gave a nice tour and geology lesson of the Alaskan range and Denali.
We were in Room 6. Bed and bedding was great. There are great views from the room. The lodge looks out over Moose Creek. Lots of space to sit outside or inside and enjoy the views. Beautiful. You can't see the Alaskan Range or Denali from here. But, you are a short hike (4 miles round trip) to the Quigley Ridge or you can take the Camper bus to Wonder lake and see Denali (weather permitting).
All but one room is outside the main lodge. So, being able to navigate stairs is must. If you have someone that is not as mobile. Consider requesting in the lodge room. There are still stairs though. Just not as many.
We opted in for dinner and would highly recommend it. The food was terrific. In addition, dining is family style with everyone at a table. So, there is lots of opportunity to interact with other guests and learn from each other about Alaska and their experiences. Breakfast is on your own with a nice continental type selection. Lunch you can raid the refrigerator for left overs or make sandwiches. If you want to pack a lunch, that is possible as well.
The bathrooms and showers are in the main lodge (not in your room). They are well maintained, plenty of hot water. Never had to wait for a restroom or the shower. I would not let this deter me from staying here.
The staff was wonderful. Peter greeted us and gave the "tour". Bobbie, Matt, Jena and others were always willing to help in whatever way they could. Then there were the best staff members, the dogs (Lucky, Daisy and Coco). They were great ambassadors.
Skyline can provide hiking poles, bear spray, insect repellent, etc. So, feel free to ask if you don't have something they probably do.
There is no TV, cell phone service wouldn't count on it, wifi maybe. But the whole point of being at a backcountry lodge it to get away. That you can do. Disconnect and enjoy!
Definitely recommend and would go back in a minute!
Skyline is at mile 92 in the park, so the trip in was long but very scenic. We took the camper bus and it was fine. The lodge is comfortable, the staff is very friendly, and the food was plentiful with delicious dinners served buffet style. We could also choose our own breakfast and lunch options and even take them out hiking. There are good hiking options nearby and beautiful views everywhere you look. Other guests were friendly and we enjoyed talking to them. We didn't miss having phone service or wi-fi--too much else to do! Plus, we saw the Northern Lights one night--I wasn't expecting that!