Online Version 2012

Looking Back...

When we purchased Camp Denali from its founders, we bought more than a business. We inherited a trust to live lightly with the land, so that park visitors could experience simple living without destroying the wilderness setting they had come to explore. So, when we acquired North Face Lodge, it was not because we wanted to expand.

By 1987, business opportunities within the new parkland established by the Alaska Lands Act of 1980 had caught the imaginations of a few entrepreneurs. The idea of a major resort in the Wonder Lake region in view of Denali, which had been blocked in the 1960s, reared its head once more. Trouble was that this time the most desirable plot of land didn’t belong to the National Park Service; it was for sale– a private inholding in the park’s new geographic heart. The land’s development was clearly a threat to the park’s wilderness legacy, and it lay directly below Camp Denali.

We tried to find a way to return the broken business and crumbling infrastructure to tundra. In the end, with the support of many former Camp Denali guests, North Face Lodge became ours to nurture back to health, beginning with a renovation that retained its capacity and footprint on the land. Twenty-five years later, the fellowship and values that staff and guests alike have contributed and received at this small north country inn have generated a unique following. Most significantly, the North Face Lodge story has contributed to the legacy of stewardship we inherited at Camp Denali over sixty years ago.      

-Wallace and Jerryne Cole, Fall 2012

Back to Online Version 2012

The Newsletter of
Camp Denali,
North Face Lodge,
& Parkside Guest House

November 2013

Edited by Jan Tomsen

Illustrations by William D. Berry 

P.O. Box 67
Denali National Park, AK 99755
(907) 683-2290

The enthusiasm of our staff is what makes our guest experience so memorable! 

General staff positions are available for the 2014 season, as well as the following professional seasonal positions: Dinner Cooks, Skilled Maintenance Workers, and Naturalist Guides.

Registered Nurses are encouraged to apply for any of our positions.

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.

If What They Say Is True...

that life

begins at forty

I was premature

My second life -

not second childhood -

no- a whole, real life

began at thirty-eight

when I came here -

here to Alaska -

alien milieu

of wilderness,

strange life-styles,

different ways.

Turned forty-five,

I formalized my adaptation

in a rite-of-passage -

acquisition of

some twenty acres,

strewn with gold.

My summers there,

apprenticeship and mastery,

in part were spent

upon my knees

with chisel, dandelion pick,

trowel and spoons,

in part calf-deep

in icy water,

waders, rubber gloves.

My eyes

turned eagle-sharp to spot

one pin-point fleck

of treasure

to increase my hoard

or, more often, to assist

slow-learner tourists

to a “real” experience...

no salted dirt,

no tall, convenient trough

to stand at comfortably;

success not guaranteed,

but always found.

My forties, fifties, sixties,

early seventies

that second life flowed on.

Three decades plus

wrought changes

in the creek,

the tourists,


All things must end,

(another saying, that),

and so -

I’m on my third life now,

excepting memories.

© Louise Gallop

Used by permission of

Louise Gallop Estate

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We have a very exciting lineup for 2015!