Some old English guy named Will wrote that “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
So now that Mt. McKinley officially has been renamed Denali, maybe it’s a good time to test Shakespeare’s thesis and find out for yourself whether a mountain – a really big mountain – by another name is as just as majestic and awe-inspiring.
Indeed, now’s the time to plan your visit next summer to Denali and the massive, six million-acre Denali National Park and Preserve. The name change, made official by President Barack Obama in early September is heightening American’s – and others’ – desire to visit this amazing American gem. Next year also marks the Centennial anniversary of the National Park system. Accordingly, there will be special celebrations throughout the 2016 tourist season. And as a result next summer the Denali is expected to host a record number of visitors. So it’s a good idea to make you plans now in order secure the kind of amazing accommodations that can turn your Denali visit in the summer of 2016 into the trip of a lifetime.
Denali is North America’s tallest mountain at 20,310 feet above sea level. Less well-known is that Denali is the world’s third-most “prominent” mountain in geologic terms. More noticeably, Denali is one of the world’s “biggest” mountains because of its girth, because it dwarfs several nearby peaks that reach over 14,000 feet, because of its remarkably distinct 18,000-foot linear rise base to peak. For those reasons to the human eye Denali appears to be bigger than almost any mountain on earth – including the 8,000-foot taller Mt. Everest.
In addition to “The Great One” (which is what “Denali” means in the ancient, almost extinct language of the local indigenous people) the whole area is filled with breathtaking vistas, vast forests, wide expanses of tundra and dramatic glaciers. There’s also an abundance of wildlife – bears, caribou, moose, foxes, horned sheep, wolves, wolverines, squirrels, rabbits and other critters, all amazingly adapted for surviving the long, bitterly cold winters. An amazing assortment of similarly-adapted eagles, falcons, swans and other birds also live in the Denali region.
Three of our five North America-based cruise lines – Princess, Carnival, and Holland America – take vacationers north along Alaska’s dramatic southeastern and southern coasts each summer. One of them, Princess, is the gold-standard of Alaskan travel. Not only does Princess offer more Alaskan sailings each year than any other line, its Alaskan Lodges division offers visitors the same world class service and accommodations on land. And three of our five Princess Alaskan Lodges are in the Denali area.
The Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge is the closest and most comfortable place to stay when visiting Denali National Park. The park entrance is only a mile from our front door. And with its expansive deck overlooking the Nenana River and dramatic views into the park the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge is the ideal spot to relax, visit with friends, and savor the exquisite landscape.
South of Denali National Park, in the adjacent and just-as-beautiful Denali State Park on the Chulitna River, we offer the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. It’s a true wilderness retreat with a host of recreational activities, exceptional amenities, and awesome views of Mt. McKinley.
North of the mountain and the park we offer the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge, Fairbank’s most refined hotel. Though it’s a little further away from Denali, Fairbanks, which was founded around the turn of the 20th century by miners consumed with the gold fever, is where the locals say that the real Alaska begins. Visit in the summer and you’ll get to experience the midnight sun even as you stroll through the nearby downtown area and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks campus. The Lodge also is close to popular attractions such as the El Dorado Gold Mine, the Riverboat Discovery, and Pioneer Park.
Whichever Princess Alaskan Lodge you select you can count on enjoying exceptionally comfortable rooms, warm service, and the best dining Alaska has to offer.
And while you can fly to Fairbanks to enjoy any of these three amazing Princess Alaskan Lodges, the best way to get there is via an Alaskan Land-Sea Vacation package. After sailing north through the inner passage, you will transfer to special domed Princess rail cars for a dramatic ride north through the Alaskan wilderness before reaching the Fairbanks-Denali area and settling in for a few days in North America’s most glorious natural setting.
Just know that whatever way you get there, and whichever Princess Alaskan Lodge you visit, you’re certain to have an incomparable travel experience in Alaska.