FAQ

What is your cancellation/deposit policy for CO-VID 19? 

In light of Corona Virus, we have relaxed our policies so you can cancel up to 72 hours prior to arrival and receive a refund of your 1st night’s deposit. See details below.

  • Creekside Cabins: Deposit/Cancellation Policy: We require a one night’s deposit at booking, with the balance collected the 72 hours to arrival. Refundable up to 72 hours to check in date less a $25.00 cancellation/processing fee.  All no-shows are charged in full.

  • Carlo Properties: Deposit/Cancellation Policy for the Carlo Property (Carlo House, Carlo Guest Cabin, Carlo Loft): We require a one night’s deposit at booking, with the balance collected the 72 hours to arrival. Refundable up to 72 hours to check in date less a $50.00 cancellation/processing fee.  All no-shows are charged in full.

What precautions are you taking for CO-VID? 

The comfort and safety of our guests and staff is our #1 priority. We have increased our sanitation measures in our restaurant, lodging and public spaces and will continue to implement health recommendations and mandates from the State of Alaska. To see more details, visit our CO-VID Information Page.

Will I need a mask walking around the property?

All of our staff interacting with guests will be wearing masks. We encourage our guests to wear them when social distancing is not possible, however it is not required.

When should I book my park tours?

As soon as possible! Park Tours fill up quickly and many are running at a limited capacity to ensure space for social distancing for 2021.

  • We also highly recommend booking your other tours – ATV, Rafting, etc. early. Nothing is due until check-in and all tours can be cancelled up to 72 hours in advance without penalty.

  • Having a hard time deciding what to do? Reach out via email or call 907-683-2277 to chat with a local expert, knowledgeable about the area.

I booked my tours through you. How do I know where to go?

We will send a confirmation email with some details about your tour at the time of booking. At check-in our front desk staff will give you a voucher, directions and let you know what to bring and expect on your trip.

What CO-VID policies are being practicing on the tours? 

All of our business partners are working hard to ensure a safe and healthy summer. We have included any pertinent information in the tour descriptions on our website. When you check-in we’ll be sure to remind you of their specific policies.

I have a park pass; can I apply that to my park tour? 

Absolutely! We need a copy of your photo id and park pass to issue a credit. Please email it to info@mckinleycabins.com and we will apply a $15 credit to your account. 

How many activities can I fit into one day? 

We offer tours of varying lengths so depends on what you choose. There are short tours 2-4 hours (rafting, Husky, ATV Trailblazer and Cabin Nite, etc.), half day options (Tundra Wilderness Tour, Denali Hwy Jeep Tour, fly fishing, Traverse Alaska’s guided hike) or full day tours to Kantishna (13 hours!). Most guests choose to spend one whole day exploring the park and then their second day doing one or two additional area activities. 

Where are you located? 

We are located at Mile Marker 224 off George Parks Hwy- 13 miles south of the Denali National Park Entrance. Look for the Creekside sign on the side of the road.  

How far are you from Anchorage?  

We are between 4 to 5 hours from Anchorage. Most of our guests fly into Anchorage and drive a rental car down the scenic George Parks Hwy.

What stops should I make along the way?  

We recommend stopping for lunch in Talkeetna- a cute little mountain town with restaurants, breweries and incredible views of the South Face of Denali when visible. Let the views be your guide!  Mt. Denali is visible in many places on the drive up.  Mile 135 the south view point has incredible views and a nice bathroom area.

How far are you from the park?

13 miles south of the park entrance (it takes about 20 minutes or less to drive there).

Where are the nearest gas stations?   There is a gas stations 14 miles in either direction- Cantwell is 14 miles south of us on the drive back to Anchorage. There is also a gas station in the “Canyon Area” – a busy area one mile north of the Park Entrance with shops, restaurants a gas station and small grocery store.

Do we need a car?  

Yes! Our property does not include transportation to and from the park entrance and almost all tour providers do not pick up at our property. We highly recommend renting a car in Anchorage for the best price, however, if they are coming in on the train there is a local car company called Keys to Denali that provides curbside pick-up for the train depot. There is a NO reliable taxis or other ride shares (UBER/LYFT) available in our remote area. 

How far can I drive my own vehicle into Denali National Park? 

You can drive your vehicle the first 15 miles of the National Park to Savage River. In May you able to drive your vehicle to Teklanika (30 miles in). To really experience Denali, we highly encourage a bus tour to see more of the park.

How long is the park road?  

The park road is 92 miles long and ends in the Historic Mining Town of Kantishna. There are several options to explore the park road ranging from inexpensive, non-narrated hop on hop off transit buses to full day narrated tours including lunch and activities. Check with our knowledgeable front desk staff for what will suit your parties needs best.

How can I order lunches to-go?  

Lunches to-go can be ordered at the front desk anytime before 9pm for the following day. We are happy to accommodate dietary restrictions and offer gluten-free and vegetarian options. To pre-order click here.

Does my cabin have a kitchen?  

Only our housing rentals (Carlo Loft, Carlo Guest Cabin and Carlo House) have kitchens. They are stocked with some basic spices, oils, and pots and pans available for your use.

All other cabins/rooms have a coffee maker, mini fridge and microwave in the rooms.

Are there groceries available? 

A small grocery store (Sled Dog Liquor/Great One Grocery) is located in the Canyon, 14 miles north of us. It has all the necessities but sell them at a premium price. We recommend purchasing groceries on your drive in from Anchorage, there are several large grocery stores (Carrs/Safeway, Fred Meyers, Walmart) on the side of the hwy. We also have 3 Bears (similar to a Walmart or Fred Meyer) located in Healy, a 25–30-minute drive from Creekside.

What other restaurants are in the area?  

We highly recommend 229 Parks Tavern -the chef Laura Cole was on top chef and is a James Beard nominated chef. The food is fine dining, but the dress code and ambiance is Denali casual. (Located 5 miles north at Mile Marker 229). Moose-Aka’s is another excellent restaurant that serves incredible Serbian food. For fast and casual we recommend Denali Doghouse (both located in the Canyon).

How are the mosquitoes?  Mosquitoes are jokingly referred to as the Alaska state bird. They are prevalent but there are precautions you can take – wearing loose fitting clothing and no scented lotions or perfumes. We also sell deep woods off bug spray. Mosquitoes are often worse on the hiking trails or fishing (remote areas where you are the only warm-blooded creature around).

What clothes should I pack?   In Alaska we say don’t let the weather dictate what you do, just how you dress! So, for packing that means lots of layers, often the weather changes frequently, even in just one day. Most of our guests are able to hike short trails in just good quality tennis shoes, hiking boots are not required. We recommend good quality jackets- especially a waterproof rain jacket. Wool socks are a bonus too! Most tactile hiking gear is not necessary, but we recommend bringing binoculars and a good camera if you have them to taken in the incredible views.

Are the Northern Lights visible? What time of year is best to see them?  

The Northern Lights are just starting to become visible at the very end of our season-early September. The front desk keeps an eye on the Aurora Forecast and will have high visibility nights posted. Some guests will set night alarms for themselves to wake up at 2 or 3 for a chance to see them or have an aurora “watch” and stay up hoping to see them from their balconies. The staff is just as excited as the guests so everyone shares tips for where they think the best spot is with each other. Ultimately it just comes down to luck if you get a chance to see them!

Where is a good viewing spot of Denali?  

You can drive your vehicle to Mile 9 of the park – that is the first and easily accessible spot that if Denali is visible you will see from there. The views get better and better the further into the park you go. Don’t worry, your driver will make stops for great viewing.

When will I get the best weather?  

Because weather is so unpredictable in Alaska it is not recommended to make your plans based on weather. Peak Season is from Mid-June to the End of August. However, each part of the season brings its own beauty, and even in the peak season we can have rainy and cloudy stretches.