Denali Backcountry Lodge
Photo courtesy of Denali Backcountry Lodge
Denali Backcountry LodgeDenali National Park and Preserve, which at 6 million acres ranks as America’s third largest national park, gets roughly 400,000 visitors who come each year in hopes of spotting the park’s own version of the Big Five (grizzly bears, moose, caribou, wolves, and flocks of Dall sheep) and to take in majestic views of the highest mountain peak in the country. Only a fraction of that number, however, escape the crowds and tour buses to make their way to the tail end of the 92-mile-long Park Road, which winds deep into the heart of Denali’s rugged backcountry to the old gold town of Kantishna. Those who do are rewarded with this all-inclusive vacation resort with 42 rustic cedar cabins, some of which have a private deck facing secluded Moose Creek. (All come equipped with private indoor bathrooms and heaters, welcome treats in these parts). Activities range from morning yoga classes and gold panning to guided hikes and mountain biking excursions. After an invigorating day outdoors, guests can pamper themselves in the new spa, which offers treatments like Swedish massage with hot stone therapy.