Visitors are drawn to 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 our warm Alaskan hospitality. Denali Education Center’s secluded 10-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—develop a campus that can host immersive Denali-based programs primarily for Road Scholar groups (formerly Elderhostel). By partnering with the National Park Service, DEC is able to provide extended Denali-based active learning experiences for its visitors. Through these programs, DEC creates land and park stewards, supports park research, and provides a hub for community gatherings. Over the past 32 years, the Denali Education Center has hosted roughly 18,000 guests to the Denali campus via these learning vacations.
DEC still hosts over 400 people on the Denali campus every summer via adult learning vacations. Over the years we have expanded the scope of our mission to include youth and community programming. Today our learning vacations not only generate ambassadors for Denali but also help to fund programs for local youth and the community.
The Charles 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 has received from the Denali community. 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 and two separate projector screens. DEC provides tables and chairs for group reservations. The Center’s maximum capacity for lecture-style seating is 90 people.
Please contact Program Director Hannah Noel at email@example.com, if you have questions or are interested in renting the Sheldon Center for an upcoming group event.
The Riverside Hall is perched along the banks of the beautiful Nenana River. This building is a hub of activity during the summer as it is where participants eat all meals and participate in classes and lectures. It is their home-away-from-home where they can peruse our library or relish a cup of coffee before breakfast. 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 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 wet gear or to host a gathering with your cabin-mates! Each cabin has two guest rooms which feature two double beds and a 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 allows visitors to stay in touch with the world beyond Alaska.
Turn off the George Parks Highway at Milepost 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 Railroad 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 their program. Please contact us at the Denali Education Center if you have any additional questions.
Irrespective of where your bus departs, let your driver know that you will disembark the bus at the “Denali Park Village” located at Milepost 231 of the Parks Highway. Our campus is an easy 3-minute walk from the hotel lobby bus stop.DEC Campus Access Map 2022
DEC Campus Detail Map 2022