Guided hiking is our premier activity at the Roadhouse. Join us on our popular daily walking and hiking excursions. Guided hikes leave 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 are a must. Please be sure to bring a pair of boots with good ankle support that are water resistant 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 three miles long and about one 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. Occasionally, if we have enough interest from guests, we will also offer another shuttle in the evening after dinner. Please ask the guides at the front desk about availability.
Dog Team Presentation
One of our most uniquely Alaskan activities is our dog team presentation. Emmitt Peters Jr., son of Iditarod Dog Mushing Champion Emmitt Peters Sr., will regale you with a talk about dog mushing in Alaska. Afterwards, he will take you to meet our team of Alaskan sled dogs, harness them up and take them for a run. Since there is no snow in summer to run a sled on, the team is run with an ATV, which is a common way to exercise dogs in the summer. This presentation is educational as well as entertaining—be sure to have your camera ready!
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 Quiley’s cabin still stands today, just off Denali Park Road. We hold regular guided tours of the Quigley cabin, where you can hear all about her strong willed attitude and the legends surrounding her life in Kantishna. This is an incredible opportunity to take a quick peek inside her home, where she lived off the land for decades in the Denali backcountry. Please ask guides at the front desk about availability.
The Kantishna district was the sight 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 complimentary “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.
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.
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. McKinley comes into range. Binoculars and cameras will be put to great use as you enjoy the amazing landscapes and animals of Denali.
Activities Available for Purchase
Give yourself a true gift and the special attention you deserve during your stay with a full body massage. Our in-house massage therapist offers one-hour and 1.5 hour massage treatments in a private and tranquil spa setting. After an adventurous day of hiking, biking or fishing, any aches, pains, or tension will be released as you connect with yourself and with nature during this luxuriating treatment. Chair massage is also available in the afternoons. (Note: Massage is not included in the package price.)
Flightseeing tours can be booked at the Roadhouse front desk. Kantishna Air Taxi offers a variety of tours around Denali Park and around Denali, the tallest mountain in North America. While views of Denali park from the road and trails can be incredible, a view from the air is unmistakably awe inspiring. With an airport nestled back in Kantishna Valley, the Kantishna Air Taxi is able to get you up and close to Denali’s large cliffs and glaciers. Visit Kantishna Air Taxi for more info about their flightseeing opportunities and pricing.