Carlo Creek Lodge was homesteaded in 1959 by my grandfather then my father bought it 20+ years ago before I took over operations and purchased the lodge over 10 years ago. I feel fortunate to be born and raised in Alaska with 25+ years in Denali. All cabins and structures were handcrafted by our family mostly out of black spruce. The famous big burls throughout the property are either from the property or collected while living off the rivers. Our lodge office features many antiques collected over the years or were family heirlooms or gifts. Above the desk is baleen and bottom jaw of whale both gifts from AK Native communities where our grandparents taught. Hides are from family hunts as part of our subsistence lifestyle when we were children are on display. You can also enjoy many pictures to escape back to the older Alaska frontier days.
You’ll get a taste of the homesteaders life at our lodge set on 11 acres south of Denali National Park. You will not find us offering TV or fancy hotel amenities. We want you to enjoy time with nature and relax and unwind from busy lives. Our wooded and creekside property started as a homestead on 48 acres in the late 1950s, when my grandparents started a new life here on the banks of Carlo Creek and the Nenana River. My grandfather Otto had come to Alaska as a rural bush teacher, before Alaska was even a state, and was driving along gravel roads looking for the right spot to literally put down stakes. He stopped in the Denali area, just for a rest, and was so smitten he stayed. His first buildings included a few cabins—with gas lights and no modern conveniences—as well as a small café in the lodge office. He turned his home into a summer lodge in 1959, and it’s been growing ever since.
As young children my brother and I assisted our parents with expanding the business and bringing electricity to the property. Many of my days were spent building cabins, clearing land, or assisting guests from all over the world. It was an amazing lifestyle. We had our own sawmill and handcrafted our current shared bath cabins and beautiful showerhouse. My parents decided it was time to retire and I opted to purchase the property and build lodge rooms and add a few additional options such as WiFi. Many guests say they can still feel a serious homesteader spirit especially as they often witness myself, my significant other, Kristin, and our furry friend, Loki, working on projects directly along with our staff.
And while Carlo Creek Lodge still feels nicely away from any tourist crowds, you’re not totally off the grid as you can walk to three restaurants across the street including a café that boasts of being the home of the biggest cinnamon roll in the Denali.