The Denali Highway

Mile 42 on the Denali Highway is the Maclaren River Lodge owned and operated by Alan and Susie with their gracious host Heidi when we visited this lodge on our Alaskan Adventure Summer 2011.  We arrived on a really rainy day, it was cold and we were hungry.  As usual not really planning where and when we would stop we came across the Lodge.  Settled into our rooms, Heidi gave us a space heater, went back to the restaurant, ate, used the WiFi and drank beer.  Most impressively was we were able to get warm and were greeted by very nice folks.

The rooms are simple, two twin beds and the bathroom/showers are a short walk from the rooms.  You can upgrade to a room if available for fancier accommodations with bathrooms and running water. We just needed a bed.  Food is home-made, really good and hits the spot.  We felt at home here for some reason and while there are some other options to stay while traveling the highway, we highly recommend the Maclaren River Lodge.

One of the few lodging options
Welcome sign


Restaurant/Lodge - good food and Beer

 Your hosts Susie & Alan Echols
They have spent many years living in the area. Taking over the Maclaren Lodge in 2003 they are known for their gracious hospitality.

The lodge is located on the Denali Highway in the majestic Maclaren river valley near the base of the Maclaren Glacier. This is high alpine country, the Denali Highway is the states second highest highway pass.

Travelers from Paxson end of the Denali Highway, we are just short 42 miles the first 20 miles is on paved road. Those arriving from the Parks Highway it is 92 miles, with only the first three miles being paved.

The Denali Highway during the winter months is closed to thru traffic. Access during the winter months to the lodge is via snowmobile, dog team, or air transportation.

Maclaren River Lodge
HC 02 7282 Gakona, Alaska 99586

(907) 822-5444

Tire repair shop and more
Warm and cozy inside
Our bunk house - not fansy but clean and comfy
Borrowing the air compressor trying to stop the Tigers from Stalling this Summer 2011
Queen of the Denali

Alaska’s Four Seasons Wilderness Lodge “Open Year Around”

Call Alan or Susie for more information on Maclaren River Lodge
(907) 822-5444

Maclaren Lodge

Maclaren River Lodging

The “Lake Cabin”
This cabin is set up to be self sufficient on propane heat and lighting. It has a queen bed and a set of bunks – 2 more mattresses in the loft

Price:$100 per night

lake cabin Maclaren lodge

Whitey’s Cabin
This was the site of one of the oldest cabins on the Denali Highway. The original cabin was in major need of repair and every effort was made to use the original logs for the rebuild.

Price:$25 per person/per night

Whitney Cabin

The “River View Duplex”
Satellite TV and a shared deck for BBQing overlook the river. Available with handicapped accessible baths.

Price:$150 each side/per night

river view Maclaren lodge alaska

The “Musher’s Cabin”
This cabin is used in the winter as a resting place for the dog musher’s. It allows the musher’s to be close to their dogs that are sleeping on the river flats. This cabin sleeps five, all of which are bunk style beds.

Price:$25 per person/per night

Mushers cabin Maclaren Lodge Alaska

The ” Fox Den”
This unit is a set of Atco units originally used at the Valdez Creek Gold Mine located in the old town of Denali.

Rooms are set up with a queen bed and a single bed. These rooms do not have running water in them. They share a common bathhouse.

Price: $60.00 per night / per room, double occupancy. An additional $10 per person for 3 or more.

atco lodging Denali Highway alaska

Author: advgrrl

Avid ADV rider! This Blog is all about the adventure in adventure riding. Researching new bikes, routes, accessories, learning about other riders and hopefully a great place for others to comment and explore with me. PLUS, up and down's, wildlife, my dogs, my life!


  1. We stopped for lunch there in July of 2013 on our way down from Denali. Great place, cozy, beautiful view, good food and friendly folks.

  2. Loved the food at the restaurant on our land tour in 2015!!! Thanks to Susie & Alan Echols – good job!

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