Visitors are drawn Denali for numerous reasons, but people come to our campus to take in the beauty of the Park, explore the mysteries of the subarctic, and enjoy warm Alaskan hospitality. Denali Education Center’s secluded ten-acre campus, just across the Nenana River from Denali National Park provides an ideal setting to learn about, and come to truly appreciate Alaska.
Our campus is open from mid-May to mid-September and provides a wonderful opportunity for school organizations, conservation groups, alumni travel groups, and other organizations to bring their members to our campus for an incomparably fun and enriching travel experience in Denali.
For more information about booking your group on our campus visit our Group Reservations page!
The original vision of Denali Education Center(DEC) was simple—open a campus and host immersive Denali-based programs for Road Scholar groups (formerly Elderhostel). By partnering with the National Park Service, DEC found that it was able to fulfilled a visitor need where the park was unable. Specifically to provide extended Denali-based active learning experiences for its visitors. In the process of filling this void, DEC was also able to create land and park stewards, support park research, and provide a hub for community gatherings. Over the past 29 years, the Education Center has been able to host roughly 18,000 guests to their campus via their learning vacations. We are so excited to see what the coming years will bring.
Though DEC still hosts over 400 people on our campus every summer via our adult learning vacations, over the years we have expanded the scope of our mission. Today our learning vacations not only generate ambassadors for Denali- they also help to fund programs for local youth as well as our community.
The Sheldon Center is a vital part of DEC’s community gatherings. This amazing post and beam structure, completed with over 4,000 volunteer hours, speaks volumes about the support and appreciation DEC is so lucky to receive from the Denali community. Throughout each summer this large lecture hall sets the stage for local artists, live music, evening presentations, yoga classes, and much more.
The Sheldon Center is outfitted with a projector as well as two separate projector screens. DEC is able to provide tables and chairs for groups reservations. The Center’s maximum capacity for lecture-style seating is 90 people.
Please contact our Program Director, Hannah Noel, if you have any questions or if you are interested in renting the Sheldon Center for an upcoming event.
Also located on our campus is Riverside Hall. Perched along the banks of the beautiful Nenana River, this building is a hub of activity during the summer. Here participants can take a moment to peruse our library or enjoying a quiet cup of coffee before breakfast. Also housed within Riverside Hall is our commercial kitchen, making it an ideal place for group meals as well as formal classroom space. Featuring a small deck that overlooks the Nenana River- Riverside Hall is an ideal place to enjoy a quiet moment during your visit to our campus.
All of our newly-renovated guest cabins are located along a wide gravel walkway that winds its way through our 10-acre campus. Each cabin shares an enclosed porch- a perfect place to hang any wet gear or to host a gathering with your cabin-mates! From the covered porch, all cabin rooms have two double beds and private bath. Amenities include linens, heat, electric outlets, soap, and views of wild surroundings. With the absence of TV, radio, microwave, fridge, hairdryers, etc. we hope to encourage guests to unplug, get outside, and truly enjoy their time in Denali. That being said, complimentary Wi-Fi connection throughout our campus and good cell reception does allow visitors to stay in touch with the world beyond Alaska.
Turn off the George Parks Highway at mile 231- look for the Denali Park Village sign. Continue downhill and straight ahead. Travel down the narrow one-way drive through the hotel property. When the road splits, take the right fork and continue to the right until it reaches a large parking lot. The Denali Education Center is located on the far side of this lot. The Charles Sheldon Center is the first building visible on our property with a colorful “Denali Education Center” sign out front. If you will be staying overnight on campus, continue down the gravel road to the left of Charles Sheldon Center. Check-in for residential programs at Riverside Hall. Independent travelers can check-in at our Program Office, next door to Riverside Hall.
The Denali Depot is eight miles North of Denali Education Centers campus. Complimentary transportation to and from the depot is provided for program participants on the first and last day of the program. Please contact DEC if you have any additional questions.
Irrespective of where your bus departs, let your driver know that you will de-board the bus at the Denali Park Village- located at mile 231 of the Parks Highway. Our campus an easy 3-minute walk from the hotel lobby bus stop.