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Tonglen Lake Lodge

Tonglen Lake Lodge

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Tonglen Lake Lodge is Donna’s tribute to her community and to Denali. Idyllically positioned only 10 minutes from the main entrance of Denali National Park, Tonglen Lake Lodge is a wilderness retreat that allows you to escape the crowds and enjoy an authentic Alaskan experience that will leave you in awe.

Created by Hand
From the construction of the log lodge, private cabins, unique doors and furniture, Tonglen Lake Lodge is a celebration of handcrafted talent by local artisans. Everything from the railings, pottery, glassware and sculptures sets Tonglen Lake Lodge apart as a visual feast characterised by a never-ending artistic journey.

The Tonglen Experience
Denali National Park with its expansive 6 million acres of Alaskan wilderness which includes Mount McKinley (Denali), the highest mountain peak in North America, is a wonder of nature that attracts more than 600,000 visitors every year. If you need Denali Park lodging but like the idea of escaping the crowds then consider  Tonglen Lake Lodge which offers the space, comfort and peace to recharge while you enjoy an authentic, luxurious Alaskan experience in between excursions.
Our mornings begin with locally brewed coffee and delicious breakfasts that are made in-house to set you up for a day of adventure and when prefer to relax, our private log cabins, common areas and breathtaking scenery of the lake and mountains will ensure your comfort and tranquility.

Apart from our many onsite guest activities, which include local presentations and yoga classes as well as local art and music offerings, our evening campfires and dinners at the Lodge are favorites with our guests. Here, new friends are often made while our guests enjoy the first-hand stories of the area’s unique history shared by the Tonglen Family.

Photo Gallery

Tonglen Lake Lodge Amazing view of Tonglen Lake Lodge Artisan Cafe The Lodge Artisan Cafe Artisan Cafe selection Lake Lodge


Private Cabin
11 Alaskan-style bush cabins that are charmingly rustic and yet fully luxurious. From the king-sized bed, down comforters and Egyptian cotton, our guests do not have to sacrifice comfort and quality for a wilderness experience.
North wing room
Guest House: North Suite
The spacious, two-story guesthouse at Tonglen Lake Lodge comprising a North and South Wing of two separate private units, as well as upstairs and downstairs living rooms shared by both is perfect for those searching for Denali hotels.

Three rooms – all have a king-size bed (two have a ½ bath). There is also a private full bathroom off the main hallway.
South wing room
Guest House: South Suite
The spacious, two-story guesthouse at Tonglen Lake Lodge comprising a North and South Wing of two separate private units, as well as upstairs and downstairs living rooms shared by both is perfect for those searching for Denali hotels.

Room 1 – overlooking the lake, this large bedroom offers a king-size and single beds. Room 2 – two single beds (can be made into one king). There is a private full bathroom off the main hallway.


Denali National Park - Mount McKinley

Hiking in Denali National Park

6 Day Itinerary
  • Hike Denali National Park
  • Walk in Matanuska Glaciers
  • Learn through local glacier expert
  • Hike the North Face Hiking Trail
Camping, Hiking
Activity Level:
Tour Details
Admire beautiful Alaskan landscapes

Best of Alaska

10 Day Itinerary
  • Experience the scenery of Alaska
  • Explore Denali National Park.
  • Discover Seward's bustling harbors
  • Cruise in Prince William Sound
Biking, Hiking, Urban Exploration, Wilderness Lodge Exploration, Wildlife Viewing
Activity Level:
Easy Active
Tour Details
Moose browse in a lake in Denali National Park

Exploring Alaska: Hiking, Cycling and Kayaking Tour

6 Day Itinerary
  • Experience the rugged Denali Park
  • Cycle on Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
  • Kayak in Resurrection Bay
  • Hike the Triple Lakes Trail
Biking, Hiking, Kayaking
Activity Level:
Tour Details
Moose browse in a lake in Denali National Park

Alaska Coast to Denali

7 Day Itinerary
  • Kayak along Kenai Fjords
  • Explore Chugach Mountains
  • Take a journey to Talkeetna
  • Enjoy a wildlife cruise
Wildlife Viewing
Activity Level:
Tour Details


Private Guest Activities

Tonglen Naturalist Walks
Join our naturalist guide to explore the local trails while you learn about the fascinating fauna, flora, geology and history of the surrounding taiga forest and mountains. Approximately 1.5 miles in distance, requiring moderate fitness. Meet in the Artisan Café.
Tonglen Lake Lodge is much more than just a place to rest your head while you visit Denali National Park. A destination in its own right, Tonglen Lake is a sanctuary from where you can explore Denali while you recuperate from your adventures. If you would like the flexibility of exploring Denali at your own pace, we are here to guide you and ensure that you make the most of the many extraordinary experiences on offer.

Yoga Classes
Upon arrival at Tonglen Lake Lodge, be sure to check out our classroom for our yoga schedule. Classes also take place on the outdoor stage where the clean mountain air will help your body and mind to relax.

A Cultural History
Kianna Carlson speaks about the Athabascan Village of Cantwell, only 20 miles south of Denali, and the history of the Athabascan culture in our area.  Her local knowledge, accompanied by her long family history in Cantwell, makes her an excellent resource for our guests to learn about the history of our area.

Climb Denali Presentation
Jimmie Hendricks spent years working as a wilderness guide, unknowingly building the foundation for his  life accomplishments of homesteading, building cabins and ultimately climbing Denali. Join him on his journey and be inspired by Jimmie’s eloquent, yet down to earth presentation that entertains audiences from all walks of life.

The Alaskan Sled Dog & The Iditarod
Come and listen to Cali Best speak about growing up at Tonglen Lake and her experiences with the sled dogs that once lived right here! She was the youngest person to complete the Iditarod in 2003, at the age of 18.

Campfire Circle & Lawn Games
Every evening at 6:00 pm (weather permitting)
Relax on the swings around the campfire while you roast marshmallows and enjoy the company of fellow guests. This is often a time when Donna will join in to share stories that go back many years about life in Denali.

Tonglen Art & History Tour
Join owner and artist, Donna Gates, for a tour of Tonglen on Tuesday nights while you hear first-hand how Tonglen Lake Lodge was created. As a showcase of local artisan talent, Donna will introduce you to the log artistry, metalwork, pottery, stained glass, and mosaics that are all a part of the Tonglen Lake experience.

Full Service Private Guide Packages
A Multi-Day Guided Activity Package with Traverse Alaska is a great way to experience more of what Denali has to offer, and your local, professional guide will be with you every step of the way. All packages include your own private hiking guide with private transportation available during your entire stay, and plenty of room to add and customize a trip that is tailored for you and your group.

Trips can include: hiking, river rafting, and more adventures that are custom-designed for your group’s interests, activity level, pace and schedule. All Traverse Alaska guides have year-round experience in Alaska. They are professional, well trained in history, culture, flora, fauna, geology and safety (have Wilderness Medical Training). Packages can easily combine Traverse Alaska activities with lodging at Tonglen Lake Lodge.

Explore Denali National Park on a narrated bus tour or shuttle to venture deep inside this pristine wilderness.
Experience a premier wilderness lodge experience inside Denali Park with Camp Denali.
See Denali by air with Denali Air or Fly Denali.
Land on a Glacier with Fly Denali.
Experience the mountain tundra with a Heli-Hike.
Go fishing with Denali Fly Fishing Guides.
Experience an historic family homestead and sled dog kennel with Wolf’s Den Kennels or Husky Homestead Tours.
For your stay in Anchorage, the Copper Whale Inn
For wilderness and wildlife river trips around Alaska with Arctic Treks
Experience an historic family homestead and sled dog kennel with Wolf’s Den Kennels

Using our decades of local knowledge and experience, we have created sample itineraries that include a variety of additional excursions and activities to help you explore Denali.

Tonglen Lake Lodge offers: Active Travelers, Adventurous Travelers, Families and Leisure Travelers Sample Itinerary

Denali is a birder’s paradise. Depending on the season, it offers over 160 species for observation.


Our gallery is the proud host to the work of many talented, local Alaskan artists who embrace a variety of media. Included in the original art for sale is the work of Tonglen Lake Lodge founder and owner, Donna Gates.

Throughout summer, guests can look forward to an incredible line-up of musical performances at both our indoor and outdoor venues that will enrich their vacation in Alaska.


As a Denali hotel committed to the environment, you can join us by pre-ordering your meals so that we can minimize waste.
Enjoy fresh, locally sourced cuisine from our Artisan Café and Dinners at the Lodge.

The friendly ambience and creative aesthetic of the Artisan Café are a favorite with both Tonglen Lake Lodge guests and locals who love a Denali hotel with delicious pastries, wholesome breakfasts and carefully crafted espresso drinks made with, Alaskan-roasted Kaladi Brothers coffee.

Start the day with the aromas from our on-site bakery and a freshly ground espresso by award-winning Alaskan Coffee Roaster, Kaladi Brothers Coffee.

DAILY FROM 3:00 – 4:00 PM
Enjoy afternoon tea and confectionary, Denali hotel style,  after an adventurous day of hiking, birding, paddling or looking for wildlife in Denali National Park.

DAILY FROM 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Enjoy this magical time of day when guests share stories over Alaskan-brewed beer, fine wine and cocktails. Here, Tonglen Lake Lodge staff are available to help plan the following day’s excursions and provide complimentary snacks and appetizers.

The extraordinary dining room at the Lodge, with its wooden interior, double volume proportions and expansive mountain and lake views is the perfect venue to accommodate guests for a three-course dinner, every evening.


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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

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