The viewing spot
We came to the viewing spot past the main lodge where Mt Denali was framed by a wooden structure.
The mountain was clear and not covered in clouds and we joined everyone else posing and taking pictures.
Further down the road we came to the Fireside Patio where we could see open fire pits with logs piled up ready to be lit. The next building was the 20,320 Alaskan Grill where we planned to eat later. We checked with one of the servers if we had to reserve a table and luckily we didn’t. Past the restaurant the road dipped down to the lower group of buildings.
At the side of the restaurant was a plane on a plinth just by a small theatre where we could watch films or hear presentations from the on-site naturalists.
I was fascinated by the plane and by its history. It was a Luscombe Silvaire.
Exploring the Lodge grounds
At the Main Lodge we went into the Base Camp bar. There was a long queue waiting for tables both inside and outside. Instead we opted to sit on the bar stools opposite the bar to have our drinks.
Later back at our building we sat outside on the bench to wait for our suitcase to arrive and to have a rest after our morning of travelling. At 3.15 pm a pick up truck pulled up and four staff began emptying the trailer of suitcases for our building.
Rather than unpack we just took out our clothes for the next day. Then we went looking for the walks inside the property.
The first walk was along the Lodge Trail. This gave us lots of views of the Chulitna River.
Along the trail there where informative plaques about the wildlife, plants and trees. We learned that the trail is sometimes used by moose so there were lots of warnings that if this occurred it would be closed immediately!
This trail led us back to the Main Lodge. The next trail, the Hill Trail, carried a warning that it was steep in places as it wound its way up the hill and away from the Main Lodge.
The information plaques continued as we walked up the hill. Now there were views of the mountains and then at the top of the hill we could see the tree-house that was built on the site during a networked TV programme.
This trail ended in a large gravel turnaround area at the side of the approach road to the lodge. This was where we could’ve joined the next trail but that would’ve meant walking down the approach road which had no pedestrian path. We did go as far as the Jurassic Park style entrance before turning back. We then followed this road back to our building.
Again after all that exercise we sat outside on the bench we enjoyed a quiet glass of wine. Just like the Denali Wilderness Lodge we had no access to the Internet away from the main buildings.