Camp Denali and North Face Lodge are both located in the heart of Denali National Park and are approximately one mile apart. Both lodges are owned and operated by the same family, and both offer the same daily activities. The differences lie in the style of accommodations. For more detailed descriptions of the lodges and to decide which lodge is right for you, click here.
Mountain weather is unpredictable. Throughout our operating season, from early June through early September, temperatures can vary from lows around freezing to highs in the mid 80s. We experience warm, sunny days when shorts, t-shirt, and a dip in Nugget Pond are in order, and wet, blustery periods when you'll want to curl up with a book next to a warm fire. We have known Denali to stay hidden for nine consecutive days and have had the massif in full view for three straight weeks. We have seen snow every month of summer, yet have sunbathed in May and September.
The best time to visit depends on your interests. June is the most exhilarating time of the sub-arctic year. Warming temperatures and 24-hour daylight quickly melt winter snow. From early June the park is alive with the activities of breeding birds, newborn lambs, moose and caribou calves, and grizzly cubs. Mountain slopes and meadows are studded with wildflowers.
Throughout July, we find caribou nursery bands in high alpine meadows. Moose are often seen feeding on aquatic vegetation in tundra ponds. Fledgling waterfowl and young Golden Eagles add interest to the days' observations. By late July the summer-green tundra grows rich with blueberries, embellishing the grizzly's diet.
Shorter days and cooler temperatures in late August and early September transform the tundra into a brilliant tapestry. "Termination dust," the first snow of oncoming winter, often blankets surrounding hills. Moose and caribou complete their yearly antler growth. Stars are visible for the first time since April, and the aurora borealis may be seen on clear nights.
We offer active learning adventures each day. You can explore Denali National Park with a naturalist guide on a leisurely naturalist foray, moderate hike, or strenuous hike. We are also happy to assist you in planning independent outings, including biking, canoeing, and fishing. The libraries and living rooms at both lodges and Camp Denali's Natural History Resource Center are always available for reading and relaxation. Each evening after dinner, we feature programs to further enrich your understanding of the sub-arctic and arctic regions. Click here for additional information about our activities.
We provide round trip transportation between our lodges and the Denali National Park entrance. You will need to make independent arrangements for arrival to the park. Please see our Travel Logistics section for additional information.
Our lodges have been family-owned and operated for over 30 years. The Cole/Hamm family resides year-round in the Denali National Park community and bring a lifetime of experience to running Camp Denali and North Face Lodge. We are the only lodges in the park with views of Denali, and also the only lodges allowed to moor canoes at Wonder Lake. Our Historic Operator status with the National Park Service gives us the exclusive ability to travel through the park and lead naturalist-guided hikes in the wilderness heart of Denali.
Yes, we live with them, and toward late summer, other biting insects follow. Regular-strength repellent, long sleeves, and loose pants provide adequate protection. Insects are not as abundant here as in some areas of Alaska. If you are particularly affected by them, however, you may wish to reconsider visiting Interior Alaska.
Sturdy, over-the-ankle, well-broken-in hiking boots, warm layers, and lightweight rain pants and jacket are essential. Linens, towels, soap, shampoo, and conditioner are provided for guests. For a more comprehensive suggested packing list and information about gear available to borrow, click here.
Our rate is inclusive of round-trip transportation between the Denali Park railroad depot and our lodges, all meals, lodging, naturalist-guided activities, and use of our canoes, bikes, fishing equipment and outdoor gear. Retail purchases, gratuities, and optional flightseeing tours are not included. (Please Note: We don't accept credit cards. Please keep this in mind and plan to bring cash or check during your stay to pay for your additional purchases.)
Neither Camp Denali nor North Face Lodge holds a liquor license; however, you are welcome to bring your own bottle.
No, we do not offer any laundry facilities for guest use due to our remote location and the fact that we generate our own power. We are able to provide use of our tub sink and clothesline, as well as drying racks that are provided in each room and cabin.
We do not have cell service or internet access. Each lodge has a pay phone (calling card required) for outgoing calls. In case of emergency, incoming calls should be directed to our office at 907-683-2290. Do not plan to send or receive faxes or email. Mail days are Mondays and Fridays.
Yes. At North Face Lodge, all guests rooms have electricity. At Camp Denali, we have portable lithium CPAP battery packs, with 110 volt power intervers, for use in the cabins. Bring them to your hosts to be recharged as needed. Be sure to tell our reservations staff if you require a CPAP when booking Camp Denali.
Alaska Geographic is a good source for books, maps, and field guides about Alaska's natural and cultural history. Visit their website at www.alaskageographic.org.
North Face Lodges's elevation is roughly 1700 feet. Camp Denali sits on the ridgeline above it at 2100 feet.