The Denali Education Center (DEC) is a local non-profit organization located eight miles south of the entrance to Denali National Park. For 29 years they have been connecting people to Denali through highly memorable, immersive learning experiences for youth and adults. They proudly partner with the National Park Service to offer both adult learning vacations and summer programs for local youth.
While DEC does not have an official visitor center, you are welcome to visit and explore their campus. Take a stroll on the campus’ interpretive trail that winds its way through their 10-acre property to a sandy beach overlooking the Nenana River. For those who have not signed up for one of their Learning Vacations, Denali Education Center offers an evening program that may answer many of the questions you have about Life in Denali.
Life in Denali
Do you often wonder what it might be like to live in Interior Alaska? How far do people drive to get groceries? How does she live without running water? Where is the nearest medical facility? Is it really dark ALL THE TIME? This one-hour program will answer all of these questions and more as a year-round resident shares his or her experiences of living in Denali. Through personal stories, videos, or even photos from weddings and potlucks, you will learn about what draws people to live in such a cold, dark, unique, and truly amazing place.
Whether it’s their learning vacations, day programs, or community events, Denali Education Center has long worked to connect people to Denali, building lifelong friendships, and making lasting memories in the process. Located within walking distance of two park trails and only eight miles from the main visitor facilities, the Denali Education Center offers intimate and unique residential opportunities. If you are a part of a school group, conservation organization, or alumni group, DEC can offer you the chance to experience Denali in a way that you would be hard pressed to find elsewhere. Their multi-day Learning Vacations give their guests time to explore the subarctic at a pace that befits the vastly complex landscape that is Denali National Park.
If you are only in the Denali area for short time, make sure to check DEC’s community calendar for any upcoming Public Events. Many of these events are free - score!
During the summer months, Denali Education Center hosts a variety of events in their Charles Sheldon Center, all of which are aimed at bringing people together. Depending on the day, you might find the Sheldon Center offering yoga classes, featuring local art, hosting live music, selling local fare at farmers and artisans markets, or teaching workshops - and that’s just the short list! Events are often free or by suggested donation. The schedule is varied with events and activities constantly being added to their calendar throughout the summer. For details or specifics be sure to check out their upcoming Public Events.
The mission of the Denali Education Center is to promote understanding and appreciation of Denali through informative and inspiring programs - and what a place to do it! During your time in Denali, Denali Education Center wants to help you and your groups explore the park while they interpret the complexities of the sub-arctic. With their help, you could head home from Alaska with not only a checkmark but a deeper understanding of the far north. But be careful… once you understand how awesome Alaska is, you may never want to leave!