Denali National Park, Alaska
Natural Habitat's Alaska trips differ from most others in that we take pains to stay as close to nature as possible and away from crowds. This is especially important in popular locales like Denali National Park, where we seek to provide our small groups a genuine wilderness experience. That's why we stay at Kantishna Roadhouse deep within the park, surrounded by epic scenery and wildlife, not tourist throngs and gift shops. Kantishna Roadhouse, which dates to the early 20th-century gold rush in the area, is one of only three lodges inside Denali National Park, situated well beyond the boundary where park tour buses operate. Its remote location 90 miles from the park entrance allows guests an exclusive encounter with wild Interior Alaska, in solitude.
This historic backcountry lodge provides this rare experience for very few travelers each season. Guests arrive by private bus and settle in to cozy cabins built of Alaskan white spruce logs. Simple yet deluxe by Alaskan wilderness standards, the duplex and four-plex cabins have charming rustic decor including knotty-pine wainscoting and log beam ceilings, one queen or two full beds with down comforters and quilts, and private en suite bathrooms. Each has an outdoor veranda with benches for quiet moments observing nature. Cabins are conveniently located near the main lodge, which is the central gathering place. Enjoy lounge space around a crackling fire, peruse the upstairs library with its arge collection of Alaskan books, DVDs, puzzles and games; relax on the second-story screened porch overlooking Moose Creek; have a drink in the saloon, and savor hearty meals in the dining room. Dishes are prepared with the freshest ingredients possible, including vegetables grown in the large backyard greenhouse. Breads and pastries are baked fresh daily, and the menu often features fresh salmon, halibut and cod from Alaskan waters. Outside, a wraparound deck with rocking chairs beckons guests to sit back with a glass of wine and soak up the sublime scenery.
Kantishna Roadhouse aspires to be considerate of the environment. Electricity is produced on site by a 100kw diesel generator, making it a precious commodity that must be carefully conserved. As such, electrical appliances such as hair dryers, coffee pots, irons and electric alarm clocks are not provided in the rooms. Battery-operated alarm clocks are available at the front desk. Due to its exceptionally remote location, there is no radio, television, cell phone service or Internet access at the Roadhouse. A satellite payphone is available on the property for outgoing calls. This is truly a rare opportunity to unplug and experience an interlude of supreme peace and quiet. You won't want for things to do while you're here, though. A variety of daily activities is offered, including guided hikes, mountain bike rides, fishing, naturalist programs and the chance to observe wildlife and experience the stunning grandeur of Denali at far closer range than most visitors are fortunate to enjoy.