Saturday, September 14, 2019

Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge


After a one night stay at the Denali Princess Lodge, where we visited Denali National Park, our Alaska land tour brought us south to the Mt. Mckinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. located above the Chulitna River, and also surrounded by the majestic Denali National Park.  While on our bus ride we had spectacular views of the Alaska Mountain Range, which were robed in misty, foggy clouds, and surrounded by deep green forests and swirling rivers.


One interesting sight along the way was Igloo City! Sadly, I was not on the right side of the bus to get a clearer photo as we whizzed past, but you can see this unusual structure sitting on the side of the Parks Highway, near Cantwell, Alaska and midway between Fairbanks and Anchorage. Igloo City was originally constructed in the late 1970s by Leon Smith. His dream was to create a one-of-a-kind Alaskan lodge that visitors from all over the world would come to experience. Unfortunately, Leon’s dream of finishing the project and operating it as a popular igloo-shaped hotel never came to fruition mainly due to code violations and structural issues. The cost of updating the property to become structurally sound proved to be too high and he abandoned it. 



When we checked into the Mt McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge we heard the lodge boasts incredible views of Denali, also known as “The Great One,” in the native Athabascan language.  In fact, a view of the mountain was supposed to be framed by this wooden arch. As you can see the sky instead was filled with heavy clouds.  



There were many informational signs around the lodge's property, and I thought this sign answered succinctly the question as to why there are two names for the same mountain--both Mt. Denali and Mt. McKinley.




There were some interesting facts about glaciers on Mt. Denali and in all of Alaska.




I was impressed by all the beautiful flowers around the lodge buildings.  There were also outdoor fire pit seating areas and hot tubs, but again, the weather was not cooperating.  There is also a treehouse on the property with activities, but we chose to do a different evening activity instead.



We went to the main lodge and sat for a while on the large deck overlooking the mountain range, hoping Denali would peek through the cloud cover. If you click on the photo above to enlarge it you can see on the placard where Denali would be located.




We were among quite a few visitors peering on to the horizon...



hoping to see The Great One. 

I tried zooming in with my telescopic lens.....



....but look and wait as we might, Denali never graced us with a full appearance.



When it started to rain we left the deck for cover and observed a rainbow in the sky!


We warmed up for a while by a fireplace and then had a delicious dinner at the lodge's North Fork Restaurant.  We enjoyed shrimp cocktail, mini crab cakes, crab-stuffed halibut, Alaska King Crab and King Salmon.


After dinner, we went to Mt Mckinley's Princess Wilderness Lodge's Hudson Theater.



The theater is named after Cliff Hudson, longtime and heroic Alaska bush pilot.  Much of travel for Alaska residents involves airplane travel. The early bush pilots of Alaska brought supplies to remote villages and encampments, as there were few or no roads connecting communities. They also ferried people and goods in and out of the wilderness. Bush pilots played a key role in the development of the Alaska Territory, even after it became a state in 1959, and are still in demand now.



One of the planes used by Cliff  Hudson was on display outside the theater--a Luscombe Silvaire. 

We saw a film called Photosymphony, a 45-minute compilation of the Alaska Aurora Borealis that is set to classical music.   Since the peak season to witness the Alaska Northern Lights is between September and April, and our visit was in June, we thought this would be the best way to experience the magic of seeing the Northern Lights. 




We also saw a fascinating talk and slide presentation about Kahiltna Base Camp, a glacier where the mountain climbers fly in to and begin their descent up Mt. Denali.  

After seeing the many photos in the presentation I finally felt as if I had seen the mountain!

The next day we would be leaving the lodge and taking a bus ride to the very colorful village of Talkeetna, Alaska, where we would be boarding the train to Anchorage.  More on my next post!


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36 comments:

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

It sounds like a wonderful time! That food looked delicious.

A Bit of the Blarney said...

You have some very lovely photos, as always. There's something very romantic about the name Denali. I must admit I prefer it to Mt. McKinley. Thank you!

William Kendall said...

Beautiful views!

Vee said...

How disappointing not to see Mt. Denali~McKinley... I think you’ll just have to return. Good thing you saw the film that made you feel as if you had. Flowers in Alaska always surprise me...those are lovely.

Ruth Hiebert said...

The scenery in Alaska looks spectacular. I have never been there, but your pictures give me a small taste.

Kit said...

What a great trip! I felt the same way the first time I went to Mt. Rainier. It was totally socked in and I never got to see it. 😢 Kit

eileeninmd said...

Hello, what a great trip. Your photos of the mountains, flowers and the rainbow are gorgeous. The food looks delicious. The Lodge looks like a great place to stay. Enjoy your day, wishing you a great new week ahead!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

The views were spectacular even with the clouds and how neat to see the sun dog! I'm enjoying your photos of Alaska!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

You have captured some excellent blues and reds. The mountains are breathtaking!

Klara said...

simply stunning!

Maggid said...

Thank you for explaining about the double names . . Denali sounds lovely.
Your tip looks Splendid. Suddenly i want to go see for myself.
and . .
that's a breathtaking rainbow.
WOW!

Tom said...

...beautiful country in America's last frontier. Thanks for sharing.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

A fun stay Pat! Bringing back memories of our slightly different experiences in that beautiful area. No matter where you sleep at night, the views (and the awe of seemingly every minute you spend in Alaska ) are the same. It is a trip I would repeat with joy (sigh, so many places, so little time!). Thank you for the memories ... Your photos are wonderful!

Lorrie said...

What a beautiful location for a hotel. Even though Denali didn't show its head, there looks to be plenty of scenery to admire. The food looks delicious, too. What an adventure.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

What fun, Pat! Sorry to hear Mt. Denali was being fussy behind the clouds. I've had similar missed chances with Mt. Rainier. Your dinner has me drooling. That's too bad about Igloo City. It looks like a humoungous multi-storied yurt. I like yurts.

Angie said...

Pat - as I have said before, we plan at some point to visit Alaska, so I really value your first-hand perspective! So sorry the weather was not always cooperating for your visit, but as you know well, mountains make their own weather! I was thrilled and surprised by the glacier statistics, especially the one about the Great Gorge being twice the size of the Grand Canyon. Thanks so much for sharing the glorious photos with Mosaic Monday!

judee said...

Thanks for sharing your story and these great photos! We haven't made it to Alaska yet but it's on my list

ellen b. said...

Such an amazing part of our world. Beautiful photos. That seafood looked delicious.

Lady Fi said...

Magical shots!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Gorgeous views - I haven't had breakfast yet and now I'm starving.

Jeanie said...

The background is fascinating and the photos so incredibly beautiful. I would have loved that dinner too! The film looks really beautiful. Isn't "Denali" a most beautiful word? A mix of exotic and elegant and graceful. And so majestic, your mountains, even if you couldn't quite see it the way you wanted to.

XmasDolly said...

WOW Sounds like you & yours had a wonderful time and so many interesting and beautiful things to see and do! Thank you so much for sharing.

betty-NZ said...

Thanks for sharing your trip with us! It's certainly an interesting and unique part of the world :)

I appreciate your link on 'My Corner of the World' this week!

My Corner of the World

Veronica Lee said...

What a wonderful trip! Your photos are fabulous!

Cathy Kennedy said...

Pat,

What an awesome place! You did a great job capturing nature's beauty. I hope to visit Denali someday. We have not visited any of the parks west of us and we're in East Tennessee, so it would be a thrilling trip to see such grand tall mountains. Thanks for sharing and have a happy WW! ;)

Esha said...

Love the name, Denali. Thank you for sharing such lovely photos. I love the mountains since I grew up on one many moons ago! Must say, the food did look tempting to me.

Thank you for sharing and linking up with us this week.
Happy Wednesday and a fab rest of the week to you. :)

Cheers
Esha

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Absolutely beautiful photos!!! Just gorgeous! Thanks so much for stopping by and for taking the time to leave such a kind comment!
Hugs,
Debbie

Lydia C. Lee said...

The igloo city is very cool!!

Veronica Lee said...

Fabulous photos! I would love to visit Alaska someday.

Natasha said...

Lovely photo-essay, Pat. And thank you so much for linking up with us on #WordlessWednesday.

Enjoyed the surreal pictures.
Thank you for taking me to Alaska with you. :)

Have a cheery week!

Loni said...

Such beautiful pictures and great descriptions! It was a pleasure visiting your blog today! Blessings, Loni

Unknown said...

Looks like a wonderful place to stay. We took an Alaskan cruise years ago, but I would love to go back and visit each spot more in depth from land. Great photos!

Michelle said...

I will say, I prefer Denali :) Your photos are always spectacular and I like the fact that you always enjoy a fantastic meal with your adventures. The best! Thanks for linking up!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Spectacular country! I like that huge igloo structure. Thanks for taking us along on the tour with you!!

Lowcarb team member said...

Such fabulous photographs you've shared, thank you.

All the best Jan

Mother of 3 said...

What incredible views! Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Encouraging Hearts and Home. Pinned.