The McKinley Chalet Resort

Mike and I stayed at the McKinley Chalet Resort while on our Cruise Tour with Holland America.  The lodge is located just a few miles from the entrance to Denali National park.  Holland America owns and operates the lodge.  It is situated along the banks of the Nenana River, this lodge offers a perfect blend of rustic charm and modern comfort, making it an ideal choice for travelers looking to explore the majestic beauty of Denali.



Since it is nestled just minutes from the entrance to Denali National Park, the resort provides easy access to the park’s expansive wilderness, offering guests the perfect starting point for their Alaskan adventures.  With a range of accommodations, from cozy cabins to spacious suites, McKinley Chalet Resort ensures comfort and convenience. The rooms offer a mix of traditional Alaskan décor and modern amenities, providing a relaxing retreat after a day of exploring.

The resort features multiple dining options, including the inviting Karstens Public House which serves up hearty meals inspired by local Alaskan ingredients. Whether you’re seeking a casual bite or a more refined dining experience, there’s something to satisfy every palate.  The Princess Wilderness Lodge is beside the McKinley Chalet Resort.  There is a free shuttle that runs between the two locations.  Thy make several stops for the different restaurants, shops, accommodations and the main lodge areas.

Denali Square is the central hub of the resort offers a variety of shops, dining options, and entertainment venues. Denali Square is a lively gathering place where guests can enjoy evening concerts, ranger talks, and cultural presentations.

The following activities can be booked on site.  If you are on a Cruise Tour the Wilderness Tundra Tour is often included in your Cruise Tour Package.

  • Wildlife Tours: Get up close with Denali’s diverse wildlife, including grizzly bears, moose, caribou, and Dall sheep.
  • Hiking: Explore a myriad of trails ranging from leisurely walks to more challenging hikes, offering stunning views of Mount Denali and the surrounding scenery.
  • Rafting: Adventure-seekers can enjoy river rafting trips down the Nenana River, experiencing the thrill of Alaska’s wild waters.
  • Flightseeing: For an unforgettable experience, book a flightseeing tour to see Denali from the sky.

We had fun sitting in Denali Square and enjoying entertainment.  There were fire pits and rocking chairs placed around an area that included a stage.  The view was unbelievable.  The night we sat to watch and listen the country singer was from none other than Nashville, Tennessee!

I had two favorite restaurants – King Salmon Restaurant.  It was one of the pricier restaurants we ate at but the food was amazing.  You need to check out the salmon dip and the huckleberry ice cream.  Trust me- try it!

We also enjoyed eating at Grizzly Burger.  It is located next door to the King Salmon Restaurant.  They had delicious food.  Our crew enjoyed trying the shakes here too!  It has a very laid back, casual feel and we enjoyed our waitress who called the great state of Tennessee home!

Make sure you check the board of activities at the main lobby.  It was there we discovered that in the early afternoon there would be a dog sledding camp who would be visiting with puppies.  They were a couple of months old but we were told they started training at a few weeks old.  This was a treat.  We left from here to go see the dog sledding demonstration at the National Park.


Tara Waldrop loves traveling the world with her husband, Mike.  Exploring God’s handiwork is at the top of her list of things to do! As an avid reader if Tara isn’t off on an adventure, she probably is reading about one.  She owns Tailored Travel, a full-service travel agency with a team of agents ready to help you cross off the next destination on your list- including this beautiful place.  You can reach Tara at or by calling 423.7748523.