During the Alaskan gold rush of 1898, mining claims were formed all over Alaska. One of these claims in the Wood River Valley led to the completion of the first structure “The Grizzly Cabin” on the property in 1907. Formal land ownership of the 20-acre camp was solidified in 1912 along the Wood River including “The Grizzly Cabin” and “Trapper’s Cabin”. In the early 1920’s during the construction of the Alaskan Railroad, the Wood River Camp property was expanded with more buildings and used as a basecamp for hunters providing meat for the railroad workers. Supplies, building materials, and a large sawmill were brought in over the course of several years by dogsled or horseback. This set the stage for Wood River Camp to become a privately run hunting expedition outpost. In 1965, world-renowned Alaskan big game hunting guide, Lynn Castle, bought the camp and named it Denali Wilderness Lodge. Construction of the remaining buildings, including the main lodge, Cheechako Hotel, Swiss Chalet, horse corrals, and guest cabins were added to make a fully functional world-class hunting destination. In 1991, Lynn perished in an airplane accident and the property was sold. From 1991 until 2006, Denali Wilderness Lodge was run as an eco-tourist destination. From 2006 to 2018 the Lodge was abandoned and fell into disrepair. In 2018, the current owners, the Thorgesens, purchased the property and renamed it to what most locals already referred to it as: the Wood River Lodge. This family of 12 is excited to be sharing their homesteading adventure with others. Restoration, repair, and modernization continue to this day.
Wood River Lodge has 12 rustic guest cabins that consist of one room and a private bathroom. Each Room has thermostatically controlled baseboard heat, bedding, linens, electricity, and basic essentials.
There are no kitchens and dining will be at the main dining area in the main lodge, the outdoor dining area on the deck, or the private dining area.
Each cabin has a theme and a certain bed configuration:
Explorer Cabin: 1 Queen/1 Twin
Sourdough Cabin: 1 Queen/1 Twin
Prospector Cabin: 1 Queen/1 Twin
Paddlewheeler Cabin: 1Queen/1 Twin
Eskimo Cabin: 1 Queen/1 Twin
Hunter’s Cabin: 1 Queen/1 Twin
Iditarod Cabin: 1 Queen/1 Twin
Fisherman’s Cabin: 1 Queen/1 Twin
Railroad Cabin: 1 Queen/1 Twin
Moose Cabin: 1 Queen/ bunkbed Twins
Bush Pilot Cabin: 1 Queen/ bunkbed Twins
Lynx Cabin: 1 Queen
Wood River Lodge would be happy to host gatherings for special events, weddings, reunions and more. Our main dining area seats 30 plus and we have extra cabins for special accommodations. Contact us to see if we can make your gathering a special and unique event!