Experience True Nature Alaska Wilderness Adventure Tours beyond Imagination



 

DEP#05 Alaska Caribou Lodge: Denali State Park Hiking Tour Packages

Caribou Lodge | General Information

The Caribou Lodge is located on a remote lake above timberline in the Talkeetna Mountains just southeast of Denali National Park and is closer to Mt. McKinley than the park headquarters or entrance. Nature and tranquility are our only neighbors. The location is our home year around and a private paradise in the Alaskan wilderness or “The Bush,” as it is known to Alaskans. The lodge offers fantastic views of Mt. McKinley and the Alaskan Range to the west and to the east overlooking the lake, stands the beautiful Talkeetna Mountains. Wildlife is generally good in the area. Caribou, moose, grizzly bears, sheep, black bears, wolves, coyotes, fox, wolverine, ermine, otters, eagles, short-eared owls, ptarmigan, ducks, loons, Canadian geese, and swans have all been observed from the comfort of the lodge and the cabins. Wildflowers abound mid July through August. The many berries come ripe in July. The long days of summer bring awesome sunrises and the tranquility of the Midnight Sun as it slips behind Denali is a sight to behold. The aroma from the kitchen will make your mouth water. Hearty Alaskan meals are served family-style in the lodge. Sourdough pancakes and biscuits top your breakfast plate. Homemade jellies, breads, soups, pies, and pastries are just some of the delicious treats that you’ll experience. A small and personal operation without the crowds, Caribou Lodge offers a relaxed learning experience with an Alaskan wilderness family. We have 20 years living in The Bush, we know the country and wildlife well and enjoy sharing it with a limited number of guests. “Live like a local”, with locals! Come join us!

  • Tour Itinerary

  • Dates | Rates

  • Denali Park Information



 

Accommodation

Your cabin is cozy and comfortable. A centrally located shower house is available along with a sauna for you pleasure. We generally limit the number of guests to ensure you have a private personalized stay. The aroma from the kitchen will make your mouth water. Hearty Alaskan meals are served family-style in the lodge. Sourdough pancakes and biscuits top your breakfast plate. Homemade jellies, breads, soups, pies, and pastries are just some of the delicious treats that you'll experience.


 

Activities

Recreation activities are limited only by your imagination and the seasons. You can view wildlife, observe the flora and fauna, ply you lens in unlimited photography opportunities, or take a leisurely boat ride around the lake and try your hand at catch and release fishing. In season fields of wildflowers and mouthwatering berries will delight your eyes and tantalize your taste buds. You can take one of the many hiking options, from the short hike to Bear Point for a 360degree panoramic view of Mt. McKinley, the Alaskan Range, the valley below, the Talkeetna Mountains and to the North as far as the eye can see. Or you can hike to one of the nearby lakes, streams, and beaver ponds, for observing the wildlife, trying your hand at gold panning, a little fishing, or just enjoying the cool, clear mountain waters and basking in the scenery around you.


 

Backpacking Tours

For the more adventuresome we offer several excellent guided lodge/backpacking combinations, ranging from a short 3-day lake and stream hike for the easy traveler to a 5-day fly-in to a high mountain glacier lake and pack back to the lodge. For the hearty mountaineers we offer an 8-day excursion over the mountains to the foot of the glacier and a loop route back to the lodge--all through some of the most scenic areas Alaska has to offer. Please contact us for detailed itineraries.


 

Transportation

In summer, access is available by floatplane only, which operates daily from Anchorage, Wasilla, Willow, and Talkeetna. Scenic flights to Mt. McKinley and the area are also options for your flight to the lodge or during your stay. Depending on the number of people, location of departure, and scenic flight option, we will quote your price to your desires. A sample: from Talkeetna, rates will range from $100 to $180 per person round trip. Minimum two passengers.





Rates in US $ / per Person Adult
May 15 - Jun 05 / Sept 01 - Sept 20 - 2 Nights at the lodge, 1 Night camping accommodation $ 775.00
6 Days / 5 Nights - A lake hopping excursion - 3 Nights at the lodge, 2 Nights camping accommodation $ 1295.00
6 Days / 5 Nights - Flight to an alpine lake beneath a glacier - hike back to the lodge - 2 Nights at the lodge, 3 Nights camping accommodation (Additional flight cost) $ 1435.00
8 Days / 7 Nights - This one's for the HEARTY! - 3 Nights at the lodge, 4 Nights camping accommodation $ 1835.00

 

Departure Days
Individual Departures from May - September

 

Services included
  • Lodging
  • All meals
  • Daily guided hiking and use of all lodge facilities
  • Camping Equipment including packs, tents, pads, cooking equipment)




Denali National Park - FAQ

  Q:
A:
Where is the Park?
The Park is located on the George Parks Highway - 120 Miles south of Fairbanks and 240 Miles north of Anchorage. There are only a few smaller communities such as Talkeetna, Cantwell and Nenana between these two major cities and therefore the Park area is somewhat isolated.

  Q:
A:
How do I get to Denali?
The national park area is easily accessible via the paved George Parks Highway or with the Railroad.

Railroad
Denali Star & the Midnight Sun Express | Daily departures from / to Anchorage, Talkeetna and Fairbanks

Bus and Van Service
Daily departures from Anchorage and Fairbanks

Car
Rent a car, van, or 4x4 in Anchorage and drive to Denali National Park. One-way rentals are available between Anchorage, Fairbanks and Seward.

  Q:
A:
Can I drive into the National Park?
Private vehicles are not allowed beyond the Savage Creek Ranger Check Station at Mile 15 of the Park Road – except with a permit. Therefore the National Park Service offers a shuttle bus system from approximately end of May until the middle of September (depends on weather conditions) between the Visitor Center and Wonder Lake, at the end of the 90 Mile long Road. The busses are departing from 6:00 am onwards about every 1/2 hour. Passengers have the opportunity to get on and off the bus at any point along the park road for hikes and wildlife viewing. This allows visitors to explore the park at their own pace and leisure. Note: Advance reservations for the shuttle busses are absolutely necessary. If you arrive without shuttle bus reservations you may have to wait one or two days in order to get a ticket.

  Q:
A:
How long will it take to visit the Park?
The shuttle bus service offers a number of well worth visiting destinations.

Savage River | this is the farthest point (15 Miles from park entrance) visitors can travel in their own vehicle on the park road. At this point there is a small parking  area, picnic tables, and the trailhead for the Savage River Trail (about 2 Miles) Visitors can make use of the free Savage River Shuttle that runs regularly between the entrance area and the Savage River. The Savage River Campground is located at Mile 13 and Savage campers with tickets can be picked up at the bus stop for the shuttle into the park.

Sanctuary River | 23 Miles from the park entrance provides an established campground and a park ranger station. There are seven sites for tent camping and access is by bus. Campers with tickets may use the Park Shuttle system, and great hiking is available in the vicinity of Sanctuary campground.

The Teklanika River | 30 Miles from the park entrance runs through Igloo Forest, creating large gravel bars for easy travel. A rest stop at Teklanika provides restrooms, and expansive views from the deck. Campgrounds are nearby at Teklanika and Igloo Creek campgrounds.

Polychrome Pass & Rest Area | 46 Miles from the park entrance offers a spectacular view of the colorful Alaska Range. The Polychrome Glaciers are nestled in the hills to the south, while bears and caribou often wander on the river bars below. For a day hike, walk along the ridge behind the rest area and enjoy alpine scenery. Buses run as far as Polychrome from June to August.

Toklat | at Mile 53 is a 6-hour round trip. Toklat River is an area of braided glacial rivers and towering cliffs where Dall sheep are often seen. Grizzlies sometimes graze on the riverbed’s soapberries. Buses run as far as Toklat from late May through Mid-Sept weather permitting.

Fish Creek | a trip to the newly build Fish Creek Visitor Center, at Mile 66 takes about 8-hours (round trip) and is the closest location for scenic views of towering Mt. McKinley.

Wonder Lake | at Mile 85 is an 11-hour round trip. The beautiful lake offers a picture perfect view of Mt. McKinley. Along the road to Wonder Lake, alder and willow-carpeted hills are dotted with kettle ponds. Look for beaver along the way, and be sure to keep an eye out for blueberries in late summer and fall. Buses run to Wonder Lake June 8 through Mid-September weather permitting

Kantishna | at Mile 90 is about a 13-hour round trip. The gold mining area is primarily a destination for backpackers heading for the national parks backcountry sections or for clients who are staying at various remote backcountry lodges in the viciity of Kantishna. One Bus travels to Kantishna between June 8 and September 11. Kantishna is primarily a destination for lodge visitors and backpackers headed for the backcountry. Please respect the private lands you may encounter in this area.

  Q:
A:
What about Sightseeing within Denali National Park?
Denali National Park and Preserve is famous for North America's highest mountain peak - 20,320-foot tall Mount McKinley, spectacular landscapes, rugged mountain peaks and abundant wildlife. More than 6 million acres encompass a complete sub-arctic eco-system.

  Q:
A:
What about Wildlife Viewing?
Denali National Park is home to a variety of wildlife. Moose, Grizzly Bears, Caribous, Dall Sheeps, Wolves, Foxes, Golden Eagles, Beavers, and a multitude of migratory birds and waterfowl are plentiful throughout the park. Moose and Grizzly Bear sights are possible and rather common even within the improved sections of the park.

  Q:
A:
Will I see Mt. McKinley?
The more time you spend inside the park, the better are your chances to see Mt.McKinley The entire mountain is visible only on a few days during each summer, however you may be fortunate to get a view of Mt.McKinley or some of the other mountain peaks and glaciers of the Alaska range during your stay. Even when the clouds obscure your view of the mountain from ground level, you can frequently see it while on a hike that gains elevation, or on a flight seeing trip.

  Q:
A:
Are any hotels directly in the Park?
Only a very limited number of remote wilderness lodges are operating within the national park boundaries. Please check our page: Denali Wilderness Lodges. Most  hotels are located at Denali Village – along the Parks Highway – one Mile from the visitor center.

  Q:
A:
Can I buy beverages or food in the Park?
There is no food or beverage service available on either the busses or anywhere past Mile 2 of the park road. Please plan ahead and bring your own snacks, lunch, and beverages. Restrooms are available at approximate one-hour intervals along the park road.

  Q:
A:
Which services are available near the Park?
Within a few miles of the Park entrance there are lodges, restaurants, gift shops, gas stations, small convenience stores, and various other visitor related services.

  Q:
A:
What’s about other Activities?
There are a number of outfitters and soft-adventure companies operating near the park boundaries. Some of the activities include: flight seeing adventures, helicopter flights, rafting, float trips, sled dog tours, evening dinner theater. Please refer also to our individual sightseeing pages.

  Q:
A:
How is the Weather?
Weather in Denali is extremely variable. Many of the rangers tell visitors to expect sun, wind, rain, clouds and even snow - sometimes all on the same day. Temperature can range from the mid 20's in early May and September to 85 degrees in July. Normal temperatures are in the high 60's with nights cooling off to between 40 and 50 degrees. Wearing layers of clothing makes it easy to regulate your body temperature. Also, you'll find that a good waterproof raincoat is invaluable. It will be daylight for 24-hours a day throughout May, June and the first half of July.



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