Denali Dispatch

It is our pleasure to present Denali Dispatch, a journal of the goings-on at Camp Denali.

 

Written by members of our staff, Denali Dispatch is an opportunity to peek into life in Denali: notable events, wildlife sightings, conservation topics, recipes from our kitchen, and insights into the guest experience at Camp Denali. Denali Dispatch 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.



Turning Toward Summer

December 30, 2021

by Simon Hamm

As our good friend Kes Woodward often reminds us through his art, here in Interior Alaska the winter solstice takes on a special significance.  At this latitude, it marks a palpable turning from the quiet depths of hibernation, to the promise and excitement of spring’s unfolding.
 
It feels quite fitting, therefore, to be sharing the exciting news that Camp Denali is officially moving ahead with fly-in operations for the 2022 summer.
 
Many of you have been exceedingly patient as we have spent the fall navigating what the closure of road access means for us.  It’s no small proposition to convert from a drive-in to a fly-in lodge, and isn't something we wanted to rush into.  Over the past few months, we have explored countless scenarios and iterations.  While we work to update our website, we wanted to share the following key points right away:

  • Camp Denali WILL operate this coming summer.  Our schedule remains consistent with previously-published dates for 2022.  We will open on June 3, and will close on September 12, with three- and four-night stays beginning every Friday and Monday, respectively.
  • We have partnered with a locally-owned air taxi with over 30 years’ experience conducting scenic and charter flights in Denali and around the state. They will be the primary provider for all transportation to and from Camp Denali.  Regular service will travel to and from the park entrance, with custom destinations available by request.
  • Strong natural history focus, Alaska-sourced, fresh, and tastefully-prepared cuisine, and active, in-depth visitor experiences remain unwavering cornerstones of our program.  A reduced guest count ensures that our customer service and attention to detail will continue undiminished.  The extent of road access eastward from Wonder Lake is subject to park management, and may not be known until closer to the summer; however, we anticipate having no shortage of diverse hiking options in the heart of the park, and having those nearly, perhaps entirely, to ourselves.
  • In light of the many revisions to our scale and logistics, we are compelled to increase 2022 rates, the single biggest factor being the need to fly everything in and out for the next couple years.  In a stroke of extraordinarily good timing, last summer we completed a solar-power array capable of sustaining Camp Denali’s electrical needs.  This not only fits our aim of sustainability, but saves the expense and challenge of flying several thousand gallons of generator fuel over the coming seasons.  Similarly we managed, amidst the abrupt road closure in 2021, to stage vehicles, supplies, and other necessities onsite, thereby avoiding significant flight expense.  All things considered, we are very pleased to announce a new rate of $1100 per-person nightly, in-line with many fly-in lodges around Alaska.  This figure, plus tax, is all-inclusive of your time at Camp Denali.  A separate charge of $500 per person covers your round-trip flight from the park entrance with Kantishna Air Taxi, and includes a “fly-by” scenic tour of the Alaska Range, weather permitting.

We are genuinely excited to be moving ahead in this new direction, and hope that you are able to join us for a summer unlike we've had since the earliest days of Camp Denali.  

At the time of writing, we are working towards finalizing additional logistical details and updating our system in order to accept new reservations. Please check back for updates, or give us a call for current information.
 
Thank you for your patience as we have worked through the planning process to switch to fly-in operations.
 
We extend warmest wishes at this turning of the seasons, and eagerly anticipate all the promise and amazement of an Alaskan return toward summer.

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