“It all started in the fall of 1951 when Celia Hunter came down from Fairbanks to visit Woody and me at McKinley Park. That weekend we flew our Cessna 170 out to the airstrip at Kantishna.
A mile and a half from Kantishna we left the road and began climbing up a ridge above Moose Creek. As we ascended, we gained a full panorama of the Alaska range. While we drank in the beauty of the subarctic scenery stretching before us, The Idea began to take form.
We mused on the current trend in Alaska. Awake to the tremendous tourist potential, promoters were keen to develop tourist attractions. But all plans called for making living in Alaska just as comfortable and convenient as in the States. We believed, though, that there are those who seek experiences genuinely Alaskan, who want to feel that they become “sourdoughs” and catch the spirit of the bush country–even if it means living without running water and electric lights, and taking the mosquitoes with the scenery. And here was the ideal spot to try our ideas.”
–Ginny Hill Wood. Excerpts from “The Building of Camp Denali”, Sierra Club Bulletin, June 1954
We will be celebrating Camp Denali’s 60th anniversary next summer. Join us June 4-7 to learn about our history and favorite stories from former staff. Stay tuned to our website or Facebook to learn about other celebratory activities throughout the summer.
Illustrations by William D. Berry and Amanda P. Devine
P.O. Box 67
Denali National Park, AK 99755
The enthusiasm of our staff is often what makes the guest experience so memorable. If you know of someone who would be a good fit for our organization, encourage him or her to view the employment pages of our website, www.campdenali.com. General staff positions are available for the 2013 season, as well as the following professional seasonal positions:
**Registered Nurses are encouraged to apply for any of our positions.
Denali is what America was; it’s the old and new, the real and ideal, the wild earth working itself into us on days stormy and calm, brutal and beautiful, unforgiving and blessed. It’s where we came from, long before agriculture, television and designer coffee, before our goofball ideas of having dominion over all living things, before our modern, paradoxical definitions of progress and prosperity, and too much stuff; it’s the lean, mean, primal place buried in our bones no matter how much we might deny it, no matter how fancy our homes, how busy our routines, how cherished our myths. Denali resides in each of us as the deep quiet, the profound moment, the childhood lost and found again, the open space and rare chance to be observant, truly alive.