Great Alaska Endurance Race
June 20, 2023
Start Line Lodging
Denali100k Runners and their crews will be required to attend the pre-race meeting and dinner at the Alpine Creek Lodge at mile 68 of the Denali Highway at 5pm on June 20th.
Lodging is available at Alpine Creek Lodge and they have some room for RVs and tent camping. Really reasonable rates, particularly for RVs and tents.
Jennifer and Claude at Alpine Creek will make you feel right at home!
OTHER LODGING OPTIONS
There are additional camping and lodging options along the Denali Highway including the Tangle Lakes Inn at mile 20, the Maclaren River Lodge at mile 42, and the Clearwater Lodge at mile 82. Camping is available at Brushkana Creek at mile 104.
The Gakona Lodge has accommodations for approx. 28 people and other area lodging within an easy hour’s drive of the lodge or less can be found here:
Search AirBnB for the Gakona and Glennallen areas.
RV Campers can stay at Gakona RV Park
After the Race
The Denali135 & Denali100K race Finish Line is just outside the town of Cantwell near the junction of the Denali Highway and Parks Highway. Race staff will have a grill going until the last runner finishes and have some food and beverages ready and waiting there for runners and crew. Runners and crews with RV’s or who are car or tent camping are welcome to stay there after they finish their race and nearby lodging is also available just north of Cantwell on the Parks Highway. It is highly recommended to make reservations there or anywhere else in Alaska for that matter before March or April as reservations fill up very fast once Jan 1st comes along.
South of Paxson, There will be a post race dinner and party in the uniquely Alaskan little town of Talkeetna on June 22nd where runners, crews and race staff can kick their feet up, have some tasty eats and locally made beverages while sharing race stories, enjoying some live music and taking in the historic charm and hospitality of Talkeetna. First come first serve free parking for RV’s and tent camping. Many AirBnb and Lodge style lodging options are also available in and around Talkeetna. Tickets for the post race dinner party are available on the “Store” at the race registration site on Ultrasignup.com
Feel free to contact Race Director Sean@Spirit-Trips.com if you have any questions about fun stuff to do in the area post race.
The Denali Education Center is an amazing local Alaskan non-profit who works with Denali National Park whose entrance is 20 minutes away and whose mission is to “Promote understanding and appreciation of Denali through informative and inspiring programs” and they offer various Denali focused natural history interpretive programs. Contact them directly for more information.
It is imperative that runners and their crews reserve all of their lodging as soon possible since lodging starts to fill up in Alaska quickly after the first of the year. For lodging reccomendations email Sean@spirit-trips.com
All car rentals should be made the same time as lodging to ensure securing a rental vehicle. Only a limited number of rental car companies rent cars that can be driven on the Denali Highway due to the gravel surface of the road so Spirit Trips has partnered with Alaska 4×4 Rentals to provide competitive rental rates for SUV’s, Jeeps and Trucks that can be used as crew vehicles and driven on the Denali Highway and during your stay in Alaska.
This is a convenient arrangement since Alaska4x4 is located at the Anchorage Airport and make the pick-up and drop off of your rental vehicle super easy and straight forward.
As with lodging and car rentals…..RV rentals fill up quickly each year so reservations should also be made no later than January 15th.
Denali Highway driving tips and etiquette will be discussed during the mandatory pre race meeting at Alpine Creek Lodge.
Nothing too crazy…just a few tips to make your trip more enjoyable.
Sample Itinerary (7-8 days in Alaska total)
Since any trip to Alaska is a big deal, we thought we would give you a basic outline of what you could accomplish in a week’s time when you come up for the Denali100K or Denali135. It’s a biiiig state so we encourage you to take as much in as you can while you’re there.
Day 1 – Arrive Anchorage and pick up your rental car (and coolers….info on those in Runners Info Pkg)
Day 2 – Spend Day in Anchorage food shopping and taking in local sights.
Or……travel early to Gakona for the Denali135 or Alpine Creek Lodge midway across the Denali Highway for you Denali100K runners. Both offer super fun outdoor activities.
Day 3 – Arrive Gakona or Alpine Creek for Mandatory pre-race meetings and dinner.
Day 4 – Run the Denali100k or Denali135…and maybe finish for the speedsters!
Day 5 – Relax and recover at your place of lodging near Denali National Park
Day 6 – Post-race dinner party at Denali Education Center in Talkeetna….explore Talkeetna or Denali National Park area.
Day 7 – Grab some last minute Alaskan souvenirs in or around Anchorage Alaska and then head home with your badass Denali100K or Denali135 belt buckle.
If you have additional time, the Kenai Peninsula 4 hours drive south of Anchorage has some amazing scenery and activities galore. Rafting, Fishing, Gold Panning, Bear Viewing etc.
We know Alaska pretty well so don’t hesitate to ask us anything about how to make your Denali100K or Denali135 adventure a trip to remember!!
Contributing back to the communities where we hold our races is super important to us at Spirit Trips. In the case of the Denali50K, Denali100K & Denali135, we have chosen to raise awareness and donations for the Denali Education Center. The people at The Denali Education Center strive to bring awareness and appreciation for Denali National Park and their programs and outreach range from taking visitors on 2 hour interpretive guided natural history walks to multi day immersive nature programs for youth who without the Denali Education Centers outreach and passion, would never have a chance to experience the wonder of Denali.
Spirit Trips will be donating a portion of each race registration fee to The Denali Education Center and we strongly encourage our runners and their crew & pacers to do donate however they feel they can.
To share the words of Henry David Thoreau…..
“In Wilderness is the preservation of the World”