Denali Park Village Hotel Review (by a guide)

Last Updated on August 29, 2023

Denali Park Village is the Denali National Park hotel operated by the park concessionaire (Aramark). It’s a comfortable and rustic hotel that is perfect for a stay in the Denali area.

How do I know? I’m a tour director and I stay here regularly with guests. I’m also a former Alaskan who has spent a lot of time in Denali. This is my favorite hotel in the Denali area. I like the location – being able to walk to trails and of course the thai food truck!

Denali Park Village is open from mid May through mid September. The staff do an amazing job of running such a busy hotel in rural Alaska that is only open four months a year (like everything else in Denali!).

The rooms are not fancy, but are clean and comfortable. The location is why you’re here! Take advantage of the outdoor spaces and the cozy lobby and lean in to being in one of the most remarkable places in the world.

A wooden and stone lodge building with a wooden deck around it and a few trees
The deck and Gold Rush Dining Room in the main lobby

Where is Denali Park Village?

Denali Park Village is located a few miles south of the entrance to Denali National Park. It’s about a 15 minute drive to the Visitor Center from the hotel.

Getting to Denali Park Village

If you have a rental car, it’s about a four hour drive from Anchorage or just over two hours from Fairbanks. Build in plenty of extra time for construction or RV and bus traffic on the Parks Highway.

You’ll also make lots of stops on your drive, so give yourself time for that!

If you’re taking the Alaska Railroad, you can take the shuttle from the train depot to the hotel (make sure to let them know you need this, or book through the Alaska Railroad). The train ride is about four hours to Fairbanks and about seven to Anchorage.

How do I get into Denali National Park from Denali Park Village?

If you have a rental car, you can drive to the park entrance and then hop on a transit bus, shuttle or national park tour to get into the park.

If you arrive by Alaska Railroad, you can take the shuttle that goes from Denali Park Village to the Denali National Park Visitor Center several times a day. You’ll also need to take the shuttle to and from the train depot when you arrive and depart.

If you’re taking one of the tours into the park, they will pick you up at the hotel.

Does Denali Park Village have a view of Mt Denali?

Distant mountains and a river in the foreground with trees and the deck of the Denali Park Village in the corner
The view from the deck at Denali Park Village

No. There are beautiful views of the river and surrounding mountains, but you cannot see Denali (the mountain) from the hotel. This is true for all the hotels near the entrance to Denali National Park.

Denali Park Village Rooms

The rooms at Denali Park Village are quite typical of National Park lodges in other locations – simple, basic, clean and comfortable. They do not have refrigerators or microwaves, but they do have coffee makers.

Almost all the rooms are two doubles. Most of the property does not have elevators, so if you are not able to use stairs, it’s important to let the hotel know when you book that you will require a room on the first floor. There are fully accessible ADA rooms, but a limited number so make sure to request this on booking.

Unlike many national park lodges, all the rooms have a small private bath.

They also have small cabins that are similar to the other rooms, but free standing.

Is there wifi or cell service at Denali Park Village?

Yes, however it’s a bit wobbly in this location in rural Alaska. My phone texts fine, but often drops calls. Phone service varies by carrier, but most people have at least a bit of service.

The hotel also offers free public wifi, but like all wifi in hotels in Alaska, it is not fast enough for streaming. You can probably send an email but you won’t be able to stream, so make sure you download anything you want to listen to or watch before your visit.

What are the food and drink options at Denali Park Village?

The deck outside the dining room at Denali Park Village. There are chairs and tables and propane heaters next to big interior windows
The outdoor deck

Denali Park Village has several options, though they are a bit limited and expensive in this rural Alaska setting where everything is seasonal.

For breakfast, you can grab a breakfast sandwich or a yogurt at the coffee stand in the lobby, or you can do the breakfast buffet in the dining room. Many tours go out early from the hotel, so the breakfast options open at 5am.

For lunch, the bar is open for food and the Gold Rush Dining room and the Burger Shack are both open in the evening.

The bargain meal (for lunch or dinner) is definitely the Thai Food Truck across the highway from the hotel. You can walk there on a paved underpass and eat an amazing meal for $20. It’s plenty for two people.

An orange food truck with a photo menu and a picnic table.
The Thai Food truck is an employee favorite

What is the property like? Is there anything to do?

A wooden sign saying welcome to denali park village and a flower basket

Denali Park Village has done a great job with creating multiple common spaces, both indoor and outdoor with fun things to do.

The lodge has a big fireplaces and lots of comfy chairs as well as puzzles and checkerboards.

Red chairs and benches between buildings at Denali park village with cornhole

Outside there are several hiking trails (see below) as well as the Plaza which has cornhole and firepits (with smore kits available!). There are beautiful flower baskets around the property.

A stone fire pit with a fire in it and a person's feet sitting by it. Some cabins in the background
Me enjoying an evening by the firepit

In addition to these free activities, Denali Park Village is also home to Cabin Nite, Alaska’s longest running dinner theater. In addition to a delicious all you can eat meal in a fun cabin atmosphere, the show is also really fun and funny!

If you book a tour into Denali National Park (which you should! Don’t miss out on getting into the heart of Denali) you can pick it up and return to the hotel. I recommend booking the two together.

If you want to take the transit bus instead, take the shuttle from the Village to the Visitor Center.

Are there hiking trails near Denali Park Village?

A river view with mountains and forest in the distance
View of the Nenana River from the Oxbow Trail

Yes! There are two wonderful trails in Denali National Park that you can walk to from Denali Park Village.

Denali does not have many formal trails, so having two excellent ones nearby is a treat. The Triple Lakes Trail goes almost 10 miles to the Visitor Center, so you’ll need to plan for a full day and a ride back if you do that one. You can also go just to the first or second lake (3 miles and 5 miles respectively).

The Oxbow Trail is a beautiful trail that has just been refurbished by the park service during the 2023 season. It’s about two miles round trip from the lodge with minimal elevation gain. The Oxbow trail is also completely accessible, with wide, graveled trails and no roots or rocks.

Final Thoughts

Denali Park Village is an excellent option for a hotel near Denali National Park, away from some of the hustle and bustle of the Nenana Canyon area but still close to the park.

It’s a good option with or without a car, if you plan accordingly.

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Jennie Flaming
Hi! I'm Jennie. I’m a fourth generation Seattleite who lived in Alaska for 7 years and I still spend lots of time there every year. I've been a tour guide for many years in both Alaska and Washington and am a field editor for the Milepost. I love to share the places I love with visitors, newcomers and my fellow locals. I’m so glad to have you along on the journey to experience your best adventure in Washington, Alaska and Western Canada!