Online Version 2013

A Spring and Summer of Extremes

The 2013 season began with a long, drawn-out winter, was followed by a heat wave, and ended with a landslide! April and May were among the coldest on record. Snow continued to accumulate and temperatures dropped to almost -30° F in early April. Our opening crew members were skiing and sledding in their free time through the third week of May. Yet for all the time spent digging pathways between cabins, summer ushered itself in right in time. June and July were two of the warmest on record, and we found ourselves musing about air conditioning! Soon enough, the thunderstorms started wildfires.

One lightning strike hit very close to home, igniting the spruce forest on top of Iron Dome, just two miles west of Camp Denali. Within an hour, an airshow commenced that had all our guests and staff out of doors and on top of roofs. Three water bombers lapped Wonder Lake scooping water (up to 12,000 pounds worth) to dump, with exqui­site precision, on the flames. A second fire a few miles east of Wonder Lake kept the Fairbanks-based fire crews in the area through the night. Never before had we experienced wildfires so close to Camp.

Eventually the heat subsided, bringing cooler and more typical weather patterns. To wrap up the season, a landslide occurred in mid-October on the east side of Sable Pass, depositing frozen soil over a 200-foot section of the park road. Thankfully, as of late October, the NPS road crew had the area cleared.

Back to Online Version 2013

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

Now hiring! We are seeking qualified applicants for the year-round Personnel Manager position. For more details visit the employment section of our website.