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McKinley Chalet Resort, Denali National Park

Chalet style resort with easy access to Denali National Park.
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Key Details

Rating: 4.3

Starting Rates: $321.00

Phone: +1 907-683-6450

Official Website: Hotel Website

Check Prices + Reviews: Check Prices

Gallery

Description

Location

Address: Mile 238.5 Parks Hwy

Location & First Impressions

McKinley Chalet Resort Gateway to Denali National Park
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Nothing beats being a stone’s throw from a major national park, especially with Denali National Park’s majestic backdrop. Pulling up to McKinley Chalet Resort is exciting for anyone who loves cabins.

The resort has several buildings that blend into the forest—so well that you might be surprised that there are almost 600 rooms. In the center of the resort, there’s also Denali Park Village, with several stores offering traditional “Northern” home decor. I loved these wood-carved moose heads.

Hand-carved wooden moose and bear decorations for sale in Denali Park Village, Alaska
Denali Park Village crafts (Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers)

The Check-in Experience

It should be noted that the building you check in at isn’t where you’re staying. If driving in, leave everything in the car until you arrive at your building. Check-in is quick and comes with a map, so finding a room is easy. The atmosphere was inviting, and the interactions with staff were warm.

Room Overview

If there were one feature that would have me back over everything else, it would be the heated bathroom floors. It can get pretty chilly, especially after a long day outside. Returning to walk across a warm floor after a shower or changing clothes was beautiful.

The rooms are cozy but not super decorated—at least not the regular rooms. I would say most rooms are reminiscent of log cabins. They all have great views, as is to be expected.

Property Amenities and Facilities

McKinley Chalet Resort Outdoor Dining, Alaska
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

When considering a resort, it’s common to picture a pool, gym, and spa. To many, a resort is a whole vacation all in one place. While McKinley Chalet Resort is an excellent place to stay, it seems like a misnomer to signify it as a resort. You’d find many hotel amenities, such as free Wi-Fi and hair dryers. Perhaps they think amazing scenery will suffice. It helps, to be fair.

Dining & Cuisine

Kartens Public House, Denali National Park
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

There are five places to get some sustenance at McKinley’s. Two are full-service restaurants. One is a casual bar and restaurant, Karstens Public House, another is an espresso bar, and the last is something extra special. Music of Denali Dinner Theater is a laugh-filled hour of good food and storytelling.

This was a trip highlight after a long day of hiking. For one, it’s an all-you-can-eat situation. So, be sure to work up an appetite.

Next, a show is full of music that details the first men to make it to Denali’s summit. Lastly, the show ends with a complimentary beverage for you to discuss your thoughts with other patrons. It was definitely a great time.

Unique Selling Points

The vibe is adventure, and the staff wants to help you experience it. There is a shuttle from the resort to Denali National Park, but the assistance doesn’t stop there.

Let the attendant know you want to go river rafting, ATV riding, or even wildlife watching, and they will set up these excursions for you. That’s top-notch service.

Surrounding Area

Serene Horseshoe Lake in Denali National Park, Alaska, reflecting spruce forest and mountains.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

McKinley Chalet Resort is only three miles from the entrance to Denali National Park, which is home to the tallest peak in the US. So, it’s unsurprising that over half a million people visit Alaska each year.

If the outdoors isn’t your thing, coming to McKinley’s probably won’t be as fun as it might seem. That’s because there are plenty of parks and river-related things to do, but not much else. Of course, other than a handful of restaurants like the amazing Prospector’s Pizza and Ale House.

49th State Beer on the Patio of Prospector's Pizza
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Verdict: Is McKinley Chalet Resort Worth the Price?

Breathtaking panoramic view of mountains from McKinley Chalet Resort at Denali National Park
Denali view from McKinley Resort (Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers)

Rooms cost $150 up to $300 a night, depending on when you’re booking. As always, in real estate, location is everything. So, that price point definitely makes this McKinley Chalet Resort review favorable. The proximity to the mountains and the homey environment are worth traveling so far away from a major town to experience.

For someone looking to escape and take in the wilderness, I wouldn’t recommend any other hotel in the area. Where else will you want to cozy up on the bathroom floor? That was a first, but definitely a feature I won’t forget. Similar to looking out at the glorious landscape.