Tonya Schlentner, the owner of Denali West Lodge, has lived in the Alaskan wilderness from the age of just 3 months, when her parents moved to Mooseheart Lake where they built a cabin and “proved up” on 5 acres of federal land. She has been mushing sled dogs all of her life.
When she was 18, Tonya completed the 1,000 mile Yukon Quest sled dog race from Whitehorse in the Yukon Territories to Fairbanks. She spent five winters in the Italian Alps teaching dog mushing. From the beautiful Italian mountains to the spectacular Alaska Range crowned by Denali, dog sledding is her favorite mode of transportation.
Having lived in Fairbanks, Manley Hot Springs, the wilderness of the Kantishna River and Lake Minchumina, Tonya considers all of the Alaskan Interior her home.
While dog sledding is her favorite sport, Tonya also loves to explore the Alaskan bush by canoe, floating peacefully down glacier-fed rivers and streams, often getting a glimpse of her wild neighbors – the shy moose, beaver, grizzly and black bears, wolf, otter, lynx, trumpeter swan, eagles, and loons, just to name a few.
Tonya’s mom, Carol, will be at the Lodge when she’s not living the frontier lifestyle in her sod house in Manley Hot Springs. Carol loves to share her knowledge of Alaskan flora and fauna, as well as her philosophy of living in harmony with nature.
Come share our world.