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Denali National Park: Discover Wild Alaska

Program Number: 8690RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/25/2013 - 8/31/2013;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Denali National Park, Alaska
Price starting at: $1,395.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: National Parks
Meals: 17; 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian    

In Denali National Park, enjoy the influence of the short but intense growing season that inspires visitors, locals and wildlife alike. Discover the sometimes surprising, always extreme conditions that shape life in Denali. Inside the park, look for Mount McKinley, moose, caribou, Dall sheep, grizzly bear and wolves. Revel in the beauty of the Alaska Range and stretch your legs and mind with walks and presentations led by expert resident naturalists.




Highlights

Meet the four-legged heroes of Denali at the only park in the U.S. National Park Service system that has a kennel of working sled dogs.
Enjoy stunning scenery and wildlife-watching opportunities on a daylong journey into Denali National Park.
Explore the rich habitat of Horseshoe Lake, the Nenana River and the Triple Lakes Trail on naturalist-led hikes.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to three miles. Elevations up to 3,900 feet.




Date Specific Information

8-25-2013

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Denali Education Center




Denali National Park

Established in 1917, this 6 million-acre wilderness is home to 20,320 foot Mount McKinley, and wildlife such as moose, caribou, Dall sheep and grizzly bear, and is considered one of the most intact sub-arctic ecosystems in the world.



Accommodations
Cabins near Nenana River.
Meals and Lodgings
   Denali Education Center
  Denali National Park 6 nights
 Denali Education Center
Type: Cabin
  Description: The Denali Education Center campus was built in 1990 along the eastern boundary of Denali National Park, on the banks of the Nenana River. This quiet wooded campus, consisting of 12 cabins and Riverside Hall, was the first in the U.S. built exclusively for Road Scholar programs. All facilities are on the ground floor with four steps leading into each cabin. The longest walk from your cabin to Riverside Hall is about 200 yards on a gravel walkway, and the shortest is about 15 yards.
  Contact info: Milepost 231 George Parks Highway
Denali Park, AK  99755 USA
phone: 907-683-2597
web: www.denali.org
  Room amenities: Our location is idyllic, rooms and services are simple. Each cabin at the Denali Education Center has one bathroom that may be shared by up to four people. There is no housekeeping during the week, though fresh towels are available mid-week. Rooms do not have clocks, radios, TV’s, microwaves, or hair dryers. All rooms are non-smoking. There are no phones in the rooms, though cell phone reception is fine. Emergency calls may be received in the office, as needed. An answering machine will receive calls after hours or when staff is in the field.
  Facility amenities: Laundry facilities are available for $2 per wash and $2 per dry, laundry detergent included. Internet access is available nearby.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Each cabin has two rooms with one shared bath.
  Additional nights prior: $117/room/night plus tax Please call (907) 683-2597 or contact roadscholarprograms@denali.org to reserve a room for additional nights.
  Check in time: 12:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $117/room/night plus tax Please call (907) 683-2597 or contact roadscholarprograms@denali.org to reserve a room for additional nights.
  Check out time: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check-in and register any time between noon - 5:00 p.m. on campus. Orientation begins at 5:00 p.m. You will be staying at Denali Education Center that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast. Room checkout is 10:00 a.m. You will be staying at Denali Education Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Participants must sign and return both the Participant Information & Supplemental forms.
  Parking availability:
Free parking is available at Denali Park.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Denali National Park
  Nearest city or town:  Fairbanks
  Nearest highway: George Parks Highway
  Nearest airport:  Fairbanks
  From End of Program
  Location: Denali National Park
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Anchorage

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Train
Alaska Railroad
phone: 800-544-0552
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$150
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

7.5 hours 

   

Use a taxi to get from the airport or hotel to the train station in Anchorage. The Denali Education Center provides transportation from the train station to campus once you arrive in Denali. If you arrive via the Alaska Railroad, please make sure you have “Denali Education Center” and your name written on a tag on the outside of your luggage. There will be a program coordinator waiting at the Denali depot (there is only one stop in Denali) to meet you and bring you to our campus.

 

Fairbanks

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Train
Alaska Railroad
phone: 800-544-0552
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$66 train from Fairbanks to Denali
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

4 hours 

   

Use a taxi to get from the airport or hotel to the train station in Fairbanks. The Denali Education Center provides transportation from the train station to campus once you arrive in Denali. If you arrive via the Alaska Railroad, please make sure you have “Denali Education Center” and your name written on a tag on the outside of your luggage. There will be a program coordinator waiting at the Denali depot (there is only one stop in Denali) to meet you and bring you to our campus.

 

Anchorage

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Park Connection motor coach
phone: 800-266-8625
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$80 - $90
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

5.5 hours 

   

The Park Connection motor coach picks up in downtown Anchorage. The same coach stops in Denali at the McKinley Village Lodge, a three minute walk from our campus. The Denali Education Center provides transportation, on request, from the McKinley Village Lodge to our campus.

 
Driving Directions
  Anchorage or Fairbanks The Denali Education Center is located on the east side of the Parks Highway at Milepost 231, behind the McKinley Village Lodge (240 miles north of Anchorage, and 125 miles south of Fairbanks). From the highway, turn into the McKinley Village Lodge driveway, continue downhill and straight ahead. Travel down the narrow one-way drive through the hotel property until it reaches a large parking lot. The Denali Education Center is located on the far side of this lot. After you check in and unload your bags you will be asked to park your car or RV in a free parking lot in front of the McKinley Village Lodge for the duration of your stay at Denali.
Elevation Note: Participants will travel to 3900 feet during the trip into Denali National Park.

Equipment Requirements: Waterproof footwear with ankle support and proper raingear are both highly recommended.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Independent arrivals and Introductions
(Sunday, August 25)
   
 Arrive To: Independent arrivals, noon to 5pm.
 Afternoon: Orientation.
 Dinner: Riverside Hall
 Evening: Introductions.
   
Accommodations: Denali Education Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Meet the sled dogs of Denali
(Monday, August 26)
   
 Breakfast: Riverside Hall
 Morning: Get oriented to the landscape and introduced to the history of Denali National Park on an interpretive tour that travels the first 17 miles of the park road.
 Lunch: Bag lunch
 Afternoon: Meet the four-legged heroes of Denali and watch a mushing demonstration at the only park in the US National Park Service system that has a kennel of working sled dogs.
 Dinner: Riverside Hall
 Evening: Guest speaker TBA. Schedule for expert local evening presenters in Denali will be announced on first day of program.
   
Accommodations: Denali Education Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Welcome to the Subarctic
(Tuesday, August 27)
   
 Breakfast: Riverside Hall
 Morning: Learn about the sometimes surprising, always extreme, conditions that shape life in Denali and define a subarctic ecosystem in “Welcome to the Subarctic.”
 Lunch: Riverside Hall
 Afternoon: Explore the the world's largest biome, the northern boreal forest, on an optional guided walk along the Roadside or Rock Creek trail. Up to 3 miles and 400 ft elevation change.
 Dinner: Riverside Hall
 Evening: Guest speaker TBA.
   
Accommodations: Denali Education Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Journey to the heart of the Park
(Wednesday, August 28)
   
 Breakfast: Riverside Hall
 Morning: Enjoy stunning scenery and wildlife watching opportunities on a day-long journey into Denali National Park by shuttle bus to Eielson Visitor Center.
 Lunch: Bag Lunch
 Afternoon: Want to hike independently in this pristine wilderness? You may leave the shuttle bus behind and travel cross-country at any time throughout the day.
 Dinner: Riverside Hall
 Evening: Free Time
   
Accommodations: Denali Education Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Wildlife of Denali
(Thursday, August 29)
   
 Breakfast: Riverside Hall
 Morning: Discover the extraordinary animals that call Denali home and learn about their marvelous adaptations to life at high latitudes in “Wildlife of Denali.”
 Lunch: Riverside Hall
 Afternoon: Explore the rich habitat of Horseshoe Lake. Join an expert naturalist for a 1.5 mile round-trip walk with 250 feet elevation change.
 Dinner: Riverside Hall
 Evening: Guest speaker TBA.
   
Accommodations: Denali Education Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Triple Lakes Trail
(Friday, August 30)
   
 Breakfast: Riverside Hall
 Morning: Explore the piece of the Park closest to your home away from home on your choice of trails. Join an expert naturalist for a guided walk along the shores of the Nenana River, opposite our campus. The walk is 2 miles with 25 ft of elevation change. Or, opt for a hike on the Triple Lakes Trail and travel up to 4 miles with 200 ft of elevation change.
 Lunch: Riverside Hall
 Afternoon: Free time to rest and relax, explore the park independently, or pursue optional activities like rafting, flightseeing or visiting the kennels of an Iditarod champion.
 Dinner: Riverside Hall
 Evening: Program wrap-up
   
Accommodations: Denali Education Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Independent departures.
(Saturday, August 31)
   
 Breakfast: Riverside Hall
 Morning: Independent departures. Check-out at 10 am.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Alaska: History of the 49th State


Author: Claus M. Naske


Arctic Village


Author: Robert Marshall


Birds of Denali


Author: Carol McIntyre, Nan Eagleson, Alan Seegert, and David Allen Sibley


Coming Into the Country


Author: John McPhee


Last New Land


Author: Wayne Mergler


Make Prayers to the Raven


Author: Richard Nelson


Minus 148 Degrees: The First Winter Ascent of Mount McKinley


Author: Art Davidson


Mount McKinley: Conquest of Denali


Author: Bradford Washburn


Naturalist’s Guide to the Arctic


Author: E.C. Pielou


Roadside Geology of Alaska


Author: Cathy Connor


The Geology of Denali National Park and Preserve


Author: Michael Collier


The Wilderness of Denali


Author: Charles Sheldon


Two Old Women: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival


Author: Velma Wallis


Two in the Far North


Author: Margaret Murie


Wilderness and the American Mind


Author: Roderick Nash


Wildflowers of Denali National Park


Author: Verna E. Pratt


Wolves of Mount McKinley


Author: Adolph Murie




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