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Princess Mt. McKinley Lodge

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Many times when you do a land sea package through Princess one of the lodges they use for the land portion is Princess Mt. McKinley Lodge. This lodge is located at mile marker 133 on Parks Highway just inside Denali State Park. This lodge faces Mt. McKinley or as the local natives call it Denali. The lodge is 40 miles from Denali but believe me Denali stands out amongst the other mountains. The drawback is that Denali is so tall that it creates its own weather system with clouds most of the time. In fact if you see Denali you are considered a part of the 30% club. The lodge will call you, if you request it, anytime day or night if the mountain is visible. It is an amazing site when it is out.

The lodge is a series of many buildings that house the guests as well as the main lodge building and an extra restaurant. There are several hiking trails on the property but none are very long but some are very steep.

The main lodge has a bar in it, a restaurant, a coffee bar, a tour desk, a gift shop and a small meeting room they call a theater. There is also internet computers available for guest use. The main deck on the lodge does face Mt. McKinley.

The guest housing is spread out over the property. There is shuttle service that runs around the property to take guests all over the property. You will see a small bus go by every 10 to 15 minutes. This shuttle service runs from early morning until around 11:00 P.M.

The lodge power comes from generators on the property, there is no power from any town or power company. There are artesian wells that provide water for the lodge. This water is very clean and very good drinking water. There is an antena that provides cell service, however if you get about a mile away you sill have no service.

The guest rooms do provide television through a satellite. The guest rooms do NOT have coffee machines in them. If you want coffee you must go to the lodge to purchase it.

In the theater they do have several different lectures provided by local rangers about the area and the wildlife. There are also several lectures on things like the big earthquake in the 60's and WWII battles in Alaska. These are all free. There are some lectures that do have a fee so be aware of what you are seeing.

There is a small playground on the property for kids.

You may see moose and bear on the property. Be aware they are wild and are dagerous. They will block off certain areas of the property if bears and moose are seen. These areas will stay blocked off until the area is safe.

The lodge will hold several events every summer to depict the various holidays throughout the year, such as Halloween or Christmas.

There will be a shuttle bus to the town of Talkeetna. There is a charge for this suttle and the ride will take about an hour. Talkeetna is a small town with some nice shops and good restaurants. Talkeetna is where mountain climbers must sign in and prove they can climb a mountain before they ever try to climb Denali.

There are some tours provided from the lodge. Tours include gold panning, flight tours, river tours and an old western chuckwagon and lunch trip. Of course because of where you are the prices can get a little high for some of the tours.

The lodge does NOT have a medical facility like on a ship. There is a couple people that if they are there working do have EMT training. If there is a medical emergancy it will be quite a wait before help will arrive.

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Is this the lodge that has the dinner show on property? If so, very fun show and delicious barbeque salmon! (And you don’t need to be staying there to participate – other cruise lines offer it as an excursion from their own lodges.)

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Okay, so the Alaska Cabin Nite Dinner Theater is located at the McKinley Chalet Resort – one of the properties used by Holland America for their cruise tours. We were staying at the Grande Denali Lodge used by Royal Caribbean for their cruise tours. Everyone who booked the dinner theatre got bused over and back from our hotel.

Now, to bring this back around sort of to the original topic, the dinner theatre is right next door to the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. The Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, while still very nice, is a completely different property than the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge described in the original post.

So all this just goes to show that I really need to pull out the old photos and refresh my memory before I tell a story from 2003! :unsure:

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