The tallest mountain in North America, Denali is surrounded by a spectacular and untouched natural landscape, breathtaking views and charming small towns.

But Denali is one of the most isolated places on the planet and finding the right town to stay in can be a challenge. Which is exactly why we put together this guide for where to stay in Denali.

This article was written with one purpose in mind – to help YOU find the best place to stay for your trip to Denali. We’ve organized the towns surrounding Denali by interest so you’ll know exactly where to stay based on your travel goals and needs.

So whether you’re looking to hike, relax or take stunning photos, this guide will tell you everything you need to know – and more!

Get excited, some of the towns in our where to stay in Denali, Alaska guide just might surprise you!

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Denali

  • Where to stay in Denali first time – Healy
  • Where to stay in Denali on a budget – Talkeetna
  • Best area to stay in Denali for nightlife – McKinley Park
  • Coolest place to stay in Denali – Trapper Creek
  • Best neighbourhood in Denali for families – Talkeetna

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

FIRST TIME IN DENALI

Healy

Healy is a small town located at the northwestern edge of Denali. It is situated nearly 20 kilometres north of the park’s entrance and is the largest town in the region.

PLACES TO VISIT:
  • Navigate the rapids as you twist, turn and raft down the Nenana River
  • Eat delicious and filling American fare at 49th State Brewing
  • Sip a great coffee and enjoy a treat at The Alaskan Coffee Bean

Where to Stay in Denali

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Denali.

Best Airbnb in Denali: Cozy studio in good location

This studio has won the heart of many travellers. Located in a great area, close to a grocery store and gas station, you will have all your needs for your trip covered. Activities like golf, hiking tracks and others are nearby too, as well as restaurants and pubs. The incredible national park is 20min from this Airbnb, which is one of the must-see attractions in Healy.

Best Budget Option in Denali: Talkeetna Hostel International

This awesome hostel comes complete with a campfire, a grill and a relaxing hammock. It is located at the heart of Talkeetna and has three spacious rooms with comfortable beds. This hostel offers outstanding panoramic views, great activities and there’s plenty of great food nearby.

Best Hotel in Denali: Susitna River Lodging

This rustic hotel is our pick for the best hotel in Denali. It is located in quaint Talkeetna and provides comfortable accommodations with four charming rooms and a range of amenities. Guests can also enjoy features, like free wifi, luggage storage and an airport shuttle.

Denali Neighborhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN DENALI
Healy, Denali
FIRST TIME IN DENALI

Healy

Healy is a small town located at the northwestern edge of Denali. It is situated nearly 20 kilometres north of the park’s entrance and is the largest town in the region.

ON A BUDGET
Talkeetna, Denali
ON A BUDGET

Talkeetna

Talkeetna is a small town located south of Denali National Park. It was founded in the early 20th century as a railroad town and is known for attracting miners, prospectors and adventurers from near and far.

NIGHTLIFE
McKinley Park, Denali
NIGHTLIFE

McKinley Park

McKinley Park is an area that stretches along the eastern edge of Denali National Park. It is tucked in the Nenana River Valley and is surrounded by incredible natural scenery and stunning views.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Trapper Creek, Denali
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Trapper Creek

Trapper Creek is located south of Denali – and it’s our pick for the coolest town in the region. This small village is ideally located at the intersection of Petersville Road and is spread out along the Parks Highway.

FOR FAMILIES
Talkeetna, Denali
FOR FAMILIES

Talkeetna

In addition to being our pick for where to stay in Denali if you’re on a budget, Talkeetna is also our recommendation for families visiting the area. Not only is this small town set in close proximity to the southern entrance of Denali National Park, but it allows for easy access to a myriad of activities.

Denali National Park is a massive and expansive national park located in the state of Alaska. It covers more than six million acres of land and includes the highest mountain in North America, Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley).

A haven for hikers, climbers and outdoor adventurers, Denali is an incredible wilderness area. It attracts travellers from around the world to trek its network of trails, see its diverse wild landscapes, and to attempt to climb the magnificent mountain.

Although there are few places to stay within the park, the small towns and villages surrounding Denali are awash with accommodation options.

Healy is a town located nearly 20 kilometres north of the park’s entrance. It is the closest town to the park and caters to tourists. It’s where you’ll find restaurants and hotels, as well as tour guides, rental agencies and a golf course.

Travel south from here and you’ll arrive in McKinley Park. Set in the valley of the Nenana River, McKinley Park is located on the eastern edge of Denali. It offers easy access to the main visitor centre and is where you’ll find the best nightlife in the area.

South of the park is the charming village of Trapper Creek. Surrounded by the wild Alaskan countryside, Trapper Creek is the best place to stay if you’re a keen photographer looking to snap that perfect picture of majestic Denali.

And finally, across the river from Trapper Creek is Talkeetna. A small but lively village, Talkeetna is packed with tourist activities and attractions. It also boasts a good selection of restaurants, a handful of bars, and is where you’ll find a variety of affordable accommodation options.

Still not sure where to stay in Denali? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

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Denali’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Now, let’s take a look at the best towns and villages to stay in near Denali. Each is a little different from the last, so be sure to pick the town that is right for you!

1. Healy – Where to Stay in Denali First Time

Healy is a small town located at the northwestern edge of Denali. It is situated nearly 20 kilometres north of the park’s entrance and is the largest town in the region. Catering to tourists, Healy is where you’ll find a good selection of restaurants and hotels, as well as tuck shops and outposts where you can stock up for your excursions into the park.

This is our pick for where to stay if you’re visiting Denali for the first time. Not only is it in close proximity to the park, but from Healy, you can explore further into the Alaskan wilderness. It’s also set along the mighty Nenana River where you can enjoy a rousing day of whitewater rafting.

Healy, Denali

Things to See and Do in Healy

– Navigate the rapids as you twist, turn and raft down the Nenana River.

– See some of the park’s most famous animal residents, including grizzly bears, by taking a guided tour.

– Visit picturesque Wonder Lake and take in the sweeping views of Denali.

– Eat delicious and filling American fare at 49th State Brewing.

– Sip a great coffee and enjoy a treat at The Alaskan Coffee Bean.

– Enjoy tasty diner-style dishes at Rose’s Café.

– Grab a pint at the Trading Post Bar.

– Savour satisfying Eastern European dishes at Moose-Aka’s Food Truck.

Best Airbnb in Healy: Cozy studio in good location

This studio has won the heart of many travellers. Located in a great area, close to a grocery store and gas station, you will have all your needs for your trip covered. Activities like golf, hiking tracks and others are nearby too, as well as restaurants and pubs. The incredible national park is 20min from this Airbnb, which is one of the must-see attractions in Healy.

Best Motel in Healy: Aurora Denali Lodge

This is the best option for budget accommodations in Healy. This cosy hotel has 28 comfortable rooms with a variety of great amenities. You’ll also enjoy free wifi, scenic views, a ticket service and an on-site tour desk.

Best Cabins in Healy: Alaskan Spruce Cabins

The Alaskan Spruce Cabins are our top pick for where to stay in Healy. They offer comfortable lodgings with private bathrooms and a kitchenette. Each room also comes with complimentary tea and coffee supplies. This property offers free wifi, stunning views and a central location near cafes and bars.

Best B&B in Healy: Denali Primrose B&B

This charming and rustic bed and breakfast is ideally located in Healy. It is close to the river and the Alaskan countryside and is a short drive from 49th State Brewing. This property has two comfortable rooms with a variety of amenities and features. You’ll enjoy free wifi and incredible scenery.

2. Talkeetna – Where to Stay in Denali on a Budget

Talkeetna is a small town located south of Denali National Park. It was founded in the early 20th century as a railroad town and is known for attracting miners, prospectors and adventurers from near and far.

The town is located at the confluence of three rivers. It has a lively and vibrant atmosphere, and there’s plenty of fun to be had here. From parades and auctions to canoeing and beyond, Talkeetna is a town full of life.

It’s also where you’ll find the best budget accommodations in Denali. The town boasts a good variety of campgrounds, cabins and hotels, as well as the only hostel in Denali, which offer comfortable and charming accommodations at a great price.

Talkeetna, Denali

Things to See and Do in Talkeetna

– Enjoy a coffee at quaint and cosy Conscious Coffee.

– Choose from a great selection of beers at Denali Brewpub.

– Sink your teeth into a massive and delicious homemade burger at West Rib Pub & Grill.

– Savour tasty American foods and refreshing ice cream at Shirley’s Burger Barn.

– Kickstart your day with pancakes, bacon, cinnamon buns and more at Talkeetna Road House.

– Grab a slice of mouthwatering pizza at Mountain High Pizza Pie.

– Satisfy your sweet tooth with a tasty treat from Flying Squirrel Bakery Café.

– Hire a canoe and go adventuring at Talkeetna Lakes.

Best Hostel in Talkeetna: Talkeetna Hostel International

This awesome hostel comes complete with a campfire, a grill and a relaxing hammock. It is located at the heart of Talkeetna and has three spacious rooms with comfortable beds. This hostel offers outstanding panoramic views, great activities and there’s plenty of delicious food nearby.

Best Airbnb in Talkeetna: Comfortable studio cabin

This cute little cabin isn’t just affordable and charming at the same time, but also comes with a discount for flights with certain airlines, due to the host’s connections. Now you don’t get to see that very often! The cabin is absolutely charming and has everything you need – the host even offers to cook you dinner. This place is perfect for travelling on a budget.

Best Guesthouse in Talkeetna: Talkeetna Roadhouse

This comfortable guesthouse is ideally located in Talkeetna. There is a good selection of bars and restaurants nearby, and it is in close proximity to nature. This guesthouse has eight comfortable rooms outfitted with a range of amenities. You’ll also enjoy free wifi, a library, and luggage storage.

Best Hotel in Talkeetna: Talkeetna Hideaway

Conveniently located in Talkeetna, this hotel provides cosy rooms ideally designed for travellers. They offer a great variety of amenities, including laundry facilities, and free wifi. This charming two-star hotel is within walking distance of delicious restaurants, charming cafes, and a myriad of outdoor activities and adventures.

3. McKinley Park – Best Area to Stay in Denali for Nightlife

McKinley Park is an area that stretches along the eastern edge of Denali National Park. It is tucked in the Nenana River Valley and is surrounded by incredible natural scenery and stunning views. The town is in close proximity to the park’s entrance and is just a short drive to the visitor’s centre.

This small town is also where you’ll find the best nightlife options in Denali. Although you won’t find any nightclubs here, McKinley Park does offer a handful of bars, pubs and dinner theatre options for you to enjoy after a day in the park.

One of the area’s most popular attractions is the Denali Park Salmon Bake. Not only do they offer delicious cedar-plank salmon, but you can choose from more than 33 beers on tap and enjoy a rousing and entertaining night in Denali.

McKinley Park, Denali

Things to See and Do in McKinley Park

– Eat delicious local dishes at the legendary Denali Park Salmon Bake.

– Enjoy great American fare at the Gold Rush Dining Room.

– Catch an entertaining show at Music of Denali Dinner Theatre.

– Savour spicy and delicious Mexican plates at The Mariachi Moose.

– Don’t miss a night of food, festivity and fun at Alaska Cabin Night Dinner Theatre.

– Indulge in a Caribou Egg at Prey Bar & Eatery.

– Choose from 49 on tap beers and grab a slice at Prospectors Pizzeria and Alehouse.

– Trek along the majestic Mt Healy Overlook Trail.

Best Airbnb in McKinley Park: Spacious guesthouse studio

If you’re looking for nightlife in Denali, this Airbnb is a good option. You will have the whole beautiful studio for yourself as well as your private parking space next to the house. You will be close to all the main restaurants and pubs, but far enough to still have a good nights sleep. The studio also has an incredible view of the forest and mountain too.

Best Hotel in McKinley Park: Denali Park Village McKinley Park

Located in central McKinley Park, this three-star hotel is ideally located near Denali National Park. It is also close to great restaurants, bars, and nightlife attractions. This three-star hotel offers spacious and clean rooms with private bathrooms, hair dryers and coffee/tea facilities. You’ll also enjoy free wifi, room service and an on-site restaurant.

Best Cabins in McKinley Park: Denali Cabins

Denali Cabins are in a fantastic location for enjoying the best that Denali has to offer. It has 46 spacious rooms with essential amenities. This property offers luggage storage, tour desk and free wifi. Guests can also enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant and a tasty breakfast is also offered.

Best Lodge in McKinley Park: Carlo Creek Lodge

Carlo Creek Lodge is a fantastic three-star hotel – and is our pick for where to stay in McKinley Park. Rooms are outfitted with refrigerators, a kitchenette and free wifi. Guests can enjoy a range of facilities, including a tour desk and gift shop. It is also conveniently located for exploring Denali.

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4. Trapper Creek – Coolest Place to Stay in Denali

Trapper Creek is located south of Denali – and it’s our pick for the coolest town in the region. This small village is ideally located at the intersection of Petersville Road and is spread out along the Parks Highway. It offers easy access to Denali National Park as well as to the stunning surrounding countryside.

Have your cameras ready throughout your stay in Trapper Creek, because this is the best place to capture exceptional photos of the towering mountain. Travel down Petersville Road, towards the recreation country in the foothills of the Alaska Range, and you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of this natural giant.

Trapper Creek, Denali
source: C Watts (Flickr)

Things to See and Do in Trapper Creek

– Learn how to pan for gold on a scenic off-road adventure with Denali Gold Tours.

– Dig into a sumptuous plate of American-style food at 20320 Alaska Grill.

– Enjoy savoury seafood and tasty treats at the North Fork Restaurant.

– Grab a bite to eat at the rustic Trading Post.

– Sink your teeth into a half-pound burger at the Grizzly Bar.

– Savour a heavenly piece of pizza at Angela’s Heaven.

– Get that perfect shot of Denali.

– Rent kayaks and glide along the water as you take in the stunning Susitna River.

Best Airbnb in Trapper Creek: Cosy room-inn (with cookies)

Yes, you heard right. Cookies! This Airbnb in Trapper Creek isn’t just comfortable and cosy – you also get served the host’s homemade cookies all year round! With the best reviews, this place has made it to the top spot on the list of coolest places to stay in Denali. It even has a common area with a pool table.

Best B&B in Trapper Creek: McKinley View B&B

In addition to its central location in Trapper Creek, this bed and breakfast has comfortable guestrooms, barbecue facilities and a deck that offers spectacular views of Denali. Each spacious room includes a seating area and a private bathroom. A delicious American-style breakfast is also available each day.

Best Hotel in Trapper Creek: Trapper Creek Inn & RV Park

The Trapper Creek Inn & RV Park offers comfortable accommodations in central Trapper Creek. This property is conveniently located for exploring Denali, the Alaskan countryside and nearby Talkeetna. Rooms are outfitted with comfortable and custom furnishings as well as plenty of amenities to ensure a great stay.

Best Hotel in Trapper Creek: Mt McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge

This is the best place to stay in Trapper Creek thanks to its great views, charming rooms and delicious food. You’ll enjoy comfort in the heart of the Alaskan wilderness thanks to cosy beds and a range of fantastic amenities, like a wood burning fireplace.

5. Talkeetna – Best Neighbourhood in Denali for Families

In addition to being our pick for where to stay in Denali if you’re on a budget, Talkeetna is also our recommendation for families visiting the area. Not only is this small town set in close proximity to the southern entrance of Denali National Park, but it allows for easy access to a myriad of activities. From Talkeetna, you can enjoy a day of rafting on the river, hiking in the wilderness, or seeing incredible views as you flightsee over the mountain.

The town itself is also home to a good selection of activities. From museums and cafes to nature centres and zip lines, there are plenty of attractions in Talkeetna that your whole family will love.

Talkeetna, Denali

Things to See and Do in Talkeetna

– Explore the Talkeetna Riverfront Park and enjoy epic views of the Alaska Range.

– Fly through the air with the greatest of ease on a Denali Zipline Tour.

– Devour tasty treats from the fun and funky Conscious Coffee.

– Take a river walk and learn all about Talkeetna’s waterways and fish at the Susitna Salmon Center.

– Dive deep into the history of Denali and learn all about early climbers at the Talkeetna Historical Society Museum.

– Indulge in a square of homemade fudge at Anti-Dysania Espresso & Fudge.

– Rent bikes and explore the streets of Talkeetna on two-wheels.

– Visit Byers Lake and enjoy a scenic and serene nature stroll.

Best Airbnb in Talkeetna: Family Log Cabin

This log cabin is perfect for travelling families. Fitting up to six people, you can be sure that there is enough space for everyone. The Airbnb is very close to the downtown attractions and great for letting children play outside since the area is so calm and peaceful. This cabin will give you the true Alaska experience without having to give up the connection to civilisation.

Best Inn in Talkeetna: Swiss Alaska Inn Talkeetna

This is a great place to stay if you’re looking to enjoy the best of Talkeetna and Denali. Set at the heart of the town, this Inn is close to top sightseeing and natural attractions, as well as restaurants, museums and pubs. It has two cosy rooms and a great on-site restaurant.

Best Bed and Breakfast in Talkeetna: Meandering Moose Lodging

The Meandering Moose Lodge is strategically located in Talkeetna. It provides easy access to the town centre and its many dining and sightseeing options. This lodge has seven charming rooms with spotless beds and private showers. You’ll also enjoy free wifi, laundry facilities and delicious food.

Best Hotel in Talkeetna: Susitna River Lodging

This rustic hotel is our pick for where to stay in Talkeetna. It provides comfortable accommodations with four charming rooms and a range of great amenities. Guests can also enjoy features, like free wifi, luggage storage and an airport shuttle. There’s also a tour desk to help you plan the perfect holiday in Denali.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Denali

Denali National Park is a spectacular and unique destination for travellers. Home to the tallest mountain in North America, Denali is a haven for hikers, climbers and outdoor adventures. The Park is surrounded by distinct small towns that are packed with interesting attractions and burst with history and charm. With so much to see and do, there really is something for everyone in and around Denali.

Just to recap; the Talkeetna Hostel International is our pick for the best budget accommodations in Denali. It offers panoramic views and comes complete with a rustic back yard with a campfire, grill and hammock.

Our recommendation for the best hotel is Susitna River Lodging thanks to its location, range of amenities, and rustic and charming rooms.

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