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
The collective knowledge, talent, and warm hospitality of our staff are what make our guest experience so memorable.
General staff positions are available for the 2015 season, as well as professional-seasonal positions.
Registered Nurses and EMTs are encouraged to apply for any of our positions.
If you know of someone who would be a good fit in our community, encourage him or her to view the employment pages of our website.
In 1964, the Wilderness Act was signed into law. At the time it protected over nine million acres of federal land according to rigorous standards that represent the highest level of federal land protection in the United States. Fifty years later, 109.5 million acres have Wilderness designation, 52% of those in Alaska, including Denali's original, two million-acre core.
For five days in July 1963, the Executive Council of The Wilderness Society held their annual meeting at Camp Denali. In attendance was a truly impressive list of people well-known for their pioneering work in land and wildlife conservation: Olaus and Margaret Murie, Adolf and Louise Murie, Howard Zahniser, and Sigurd Olson, among others. In the Tundra Telegram from that year Ginny describes what a good show the park put on for the group:
The weather cooperated and so did the caribou migration. A highlight of the meeting was the Friday trip to Eielson Visitor's Center, from which point hikers scattered in all directions, following caribou bands or simply exploring the canyons, ridges, and the Thorofare River bar.