Denali Weather

Posted By: Kelly

August 11, 2012

During the course of just a few months we experience quite the gamut of various weather here in Denali National Park. It can be a little confusing for the senses at times, but it is exciting to experience the daily changes in weather. Just a week ago my husband and I were taking a hike along the ridge above Camp Denali when sprinkles on our shoulders grew to raindrops. We stopped for lunch at the top of the ridge where we enjoyed a little tea and watched the snow flakes begin to fall. We decided this was a good time for a warm crackling fire in the wood stove. The large fluffy flakes continued for almost an hour before the clouds parted and the sun came out; it was cool but clearing so we decided to continue our hike. Thirty minutes later the rain returned, but we only had to hike another quarter mile before we were in the sun again, with a breeze at our backs.


In startling contrast, the past couple of days the sun has been shining brightly – the staff shed their top two layers of warm clothing and out came the shorts and sandals!  The temperature has been hovering around 75 F and a refreshing dip in Nugget Pond next to Camp Denali Lodge was in order. We’re enjoying the light of the summer and watching the wildflowers dancing in the light breeze. A typical day in Denali can be a bit of a climatic culture shock.  A bluebird sky morning can turn to rain by 2pm, or a hard rain (and even some snow!) can clear to sunshine within minutes.  We are only 30 miles away from the highest mountain in North America, and our weather shows it!


Don't forget the rainbows. So far this season I have counted several. Two weeks ago, after a day of dark clouds, rain, and booming thunder (with a little lightening for good measure) there was a beautiful patch of sunlight shining through the evening clouds. That night we were treated to a stunning bright rainbow in the valley.

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Denali Dispatch

It is our pleasure to present Dispatches, a journal of the goings on at Camp Denali & North Face Lodge. Written by members of our staff, Dispatches is an opportunity to peek into the special sightings notebook, brush up on Denali National Park issues, read about our ongoing projects in sustainability, and maybe get a whiff of what’s cooking in the kitchens. Dispatches will carry on through the winter, when we hope to share stories of snowy ski adventures, deep cold, and the events of a small Alaskan community.