Things To Do
Kantishna Roadhouse features an abundance of unique opportunities for you to explore the wonders of Denali’s wilderness. You will find Kantishna to be a fascinating travel destination and your personal opportunity for an exciting adventure in Alaska’s Last Frontier. Summer provides long days to enjoy and take part in any or all of our activities while still leaving plenty of time to relax and just soak up the area’s beauty and tranquility. Each day we offer activities that can be educational as well as fun for all ages. Each evening, our guide staff will help you plan your activities for the following day. If you want to plan your own excursion, ask a guide for maps and recommendations – they are always happy to assist.
Guided hiking leaves the Roadhouse each morning—you can choose a two hour walk or take a bag lunch and hike for up to six hours. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced trekker, the Roadhouse offers an opportunity for you to explore the Park on foot and learn about the wildlife and flora of the Kantishna Hills from one of our experienced Naturalist Guides. Footwear is important and good hiking boots with ankle support that are water resistant are a must, as you will be hiking over rocks and through boggy tundra at times on most of our intermediate and challenging hikes.
Wonder Lake Shuttle
Often referred to as the crown jewel of Denali, Wonder Lake is one of the largest lakes in Denali National Park, and it’s conveniently located a short 10-minute shuttle ride from Kantishna Roadhouse. At about 2 ½ miles long and 1/2 a mile wide, the crystal blue waters of Wonder Lake make this one of the premiere places to see Denali and the rest of the Alaska Range. We offer at least one shuttle every day to Wonder Lake, just after breakfast. If you’re one of the lucky 30%, you might just see the elusive mountain. Please ask the guides at the front desk about availability.
We highlight uniquely Alaskan activities whenever possible in our daily presentations. You may learn about dog mushing or watch a skilled craftsman build a pair of snowshoes. Alaskan Native presenters will regale you with facts and stories about life and survival in remote Alaska.
Fannie Quigley Cabin Tour
During the Kantishna gold rush, there were thousands of male gold miners who traveled to Kantishna Valley to strike it big, but there was only one Fannie Quigley, a frontierswoman and miner renowned for her independence and fierce skills to survive in the backcountry. Even though she never found a fortune of gold in Kantishna, her story is perhaps the most fabled of all Kantishna miners. Just a short shuttle or hike from the Roadhouse, Fannie Quigley’s cabin still stands today. We hold regular guided tours of the Quigley cabin. This is an incredible opportunity. Please ask guides at the front desk about availability.
Every evening at the Roadhouse, one of our naturalist speakers presents on an educational and exciting topic about Kantishna, Denali, or the surrounding area.Below are a few of the exciting presentations we have in our rotation.
If mountain biking is on the top of your list as a favorite outdoor activity, rev up the pedals of one of our mountain bikes and spend some time exploring the countryside. Pedal to Wonder Lake or investigate the old mining roads in the area. Ask a guide to assist you with a bike selection and please wear the required helmet for your protection. Daypacks and water bottles are also available for your use.
The Kantishna district was the site of a gold rush in the early 1900s. Every afternoon you will have a chance to slip on a pair of rubber boots, grab a pan and head for Moose Creek with a guide to learn the history and methods of the old-time prospectors and try your hand at panning for a little “color”. Any gold you find is yours to keep and we are happy to create a complementary “Gold Card” for you at the front desk—your gold flakes will shimmer and shine when they are laminated onto the black card. Kids of all ages—9 to 90–thoroughly enjoy this activity and are astounded to learn about the legendary lives and times of the early prospectors
Moose Creek flows through our property and Arctic Grayling (a member of the trout family) are abundant in its crystal clear waters; so whether you’ve always wanted to try your hand at fly fishing or you’re an experienced fishing enthusiast, this is the activity for you. Hip boots and both fly and spinning rods are available for guest use and your first lure or fly is complimentary. A selection of tackle is available for purchase at the front desk and fishing licenses are not required in the Park. A solitary morning or evening spent casting in the ripples is a unique and wonderful way to connect with nature. (Note: We practice Catch and Release fishing at the Roadhouse.)
During your travel to and from the Kantishna Roadhouse you will have excellent opportunities to see wildlife in their natural habitat. The height of the bus and its large sliding windows provide the perfect viewing platform as you meander through the Park. Our experienced Driver/Guides are expert wildlife spotters and will stop the bus whenever an animal or view of Mt. Denali comes into range. Binoculars and cameras will be put to great use as you enjoy the amazing landscapes and animals of Denali.