Camp Denali - A lifestyle, not just a summer job
Camp Denali & North Face Lodge are separate lodges one mile apart, on private land deep in the interior of Denali National Park, Alaska. We are family-owned and operated with a common staff working between both lodges.
Near the end of the 90-mile gravel road leading into Denali National Park, our private piece of land is a six-hour bus ride from the nearest convenience store, ATM, or restaurant, and a nine-hour drive from Fairbanks, the nearest city. We are as remote as they come in Denali, and the only lodge inside the park with a view of the mountain on a clear day.
About Camp Denali & North Face Lodge
We asked former staff to fill in the blank. Here's what they had to say.
Imagine Working in a Place Where...
...you're continuing a tradition that began in 1951 and continues with a small, family-owned business.
...the continent's tallest mountain graces your morning and evening, bathed in a beautiful light.
...you don't have to cook or wash dishes unless you're being paid to do it that day.
...walking up a big hill to work every morning and spending a day chopping firewood and washing buses gets you super in-shape!
...it matters which direction the matches in the matchbox lay.
...you get to eat professionally prepared meals, made from quality local and organic ingredients.
...you can walk to work under the northern lights in the fall.
...you are never alone, yet you are never alone.
...your coworkers share a strong appreciation for detailed, complete work.
...you can experience wilderness and feel completely at home, at the same time.
...mosquitoes are as plentiful as cookies.
...the beauty of the landscape is mirrored in the community we foster.
...fringe benefits include chocolate croissants and bus tickets to encourage exploration of Denali National Park.
...our guests dream of coming to work here.
...you work alongside 50 good friends every day.
The Employee Experience
Our mission is to provide active learning experiences and foster stewardship of the natural world through a tradition of excellence, community, and place.
WORKING AT CAMP DENALI & NORTH FACE LODGE
Our remote location and commitment to stewardship require us to be a resourceful team. More often than not, we bake it, we sew it, we build it, we fix it, we grow it, and we recycle it. A sense of place grows from the earnest work of maintaining this enterprise, from the camaraderie and friendships that grow, and from our commitment to provide the best quality experience for our guests in a setting that is beyond compare.
Choosing to work at Camp Denali means embracing the small community that will be your home for four months of the year. Our staff work collaboratively and share close living spaces and common rooms with one another and our bi-weekly turnover of guests. We work hard, and take pride in our work. The exceptional experience we offer to guests is the first and most important thread we have in common each season, but we find time amidst the long hours to play games of capture the flag, have weekly meetings, watch movies, watch moose feeding on the pond in front of the dining hall, and so much more.
Working with Camp Denali is an opportunity to connect with coworkers, of all ages and backgrounds, and to form a family. We fill in for one another when we're sick, lend a hand to coworkers who are having a bad day, and share and teach one another our non-work related talents like playing music, carpentry, knitting, sewing, and dancing.
Staff members at Camp Denali work an average of about 45-60 hours each week to provide excellent service for our guests. Most of the jobs are physically difficult and by mid-summer can be tedious. Our guests notice the smiles and friendly interactions with every staff member they contact. Attention to the details of cleanliness and presentation are legendary.
Fifty-one staff members live on-site to care for approximately seventy guests each day of our season. Every summer we hire 10-15 new-to-Camp-Denali staff.
In addition to seasonal staff for Summer 2020, at present, we are hiring one full-time, year-round position: Program Manager. We are also searching for a new extended-season (May 1-Sept 30) Facilities Manager. Note that year-round positions are based on-site at our remote lodges from May-September, and near the entrance of Denali National Park from October-April (~20 miles south of Healy, Alaska). Room and board are provided by the company for the summer months and are the responsibility of the staff member for the winter months. For more information, please read about each position on our website, or in the Jobs section of Coolworks!
How do we boil down the essence of the exceptional employees we search for and hire each year at Camp Denali? It's a difficult task, but for starters, they exhibit these important qualities:
Positive attitude...Strong work ethic…Initiative...Attention to detail…Flexibility…Cooperation…Professionalism…Effective communication...Dependability...Dedication to the community...Openness to personal growth...Focus on providing excellent customer service.
Room and Board
In the summer months, we live remotely and off the grid, surrounded by the vast expanses of Denali National Park. All new staff and most returning staff share housing with one or two roommates. Housing varies: from bunks in a tent frame cabin to a shared room very similar to a dorm room, or a two or three-person cabin. We treat our guests like houseguests and as such open the staff community to them, as well. All of us will put on a smile to help a guest whether we are officially working or not. We share shower facilities, outhouses, water spigots, and public spaces with other staff and guests, and are expected to keep them clean and tidy.
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner are prepared and served by our excellent cooks to staff at a set time every day. We source as much of our food as possible locally and organically and pass on quality food to our staff, as well as guests. You don't have to cook or wash dishes for the entirety of the summer unless you're being paid to do it that day!
Meals and housing are provided at no cost to employees for the duration of the summer.
In the winter months, our year-round staff are responsible for their own housing and board, although we're happy to help you locate options in this small community. Many rental options consist of "dry" cabins to which you may need to haul your own water in and dishwater out. Our office is located about 20 miles south of Healy, Alaska. Although on the road system (2.5 hours from Fairbanks), this is still quite a small, remote community, but offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor winter adventures!
Location, location, location! One reward for our dedicated work is the most sought-after view in Denali National Park - the mountain, framed through the windows of so many of our buildings - each day of the summer. Bus tickets, provided by the company each summer, offer plentiful opportunities to further immerse oneself in Denali National Park. Our location is unique among Denali businesses and provides a particularly good jumping-off point for accessing the more remote, less-traveled units of Denali.
Base wages are found on the individual job descriptions on our website, and room and board are provided at no cost for the summer season. As there are no ATMs, convenience stores, restaurants, or really anywhere at all to spend money without a five-hour bus ride, working with us is a great opportunity to save up money!
Staff receive a travel stipend of $575 ($0-$200 for Alaska residents) upon completion of their contracted work season, as well as an annual uniform allowance.
Beyond compensation, our location is the best in the area for gaining easy access to great, backcountry hiking adventures on your time off. We are also unique in comparison with other Denali businesses regarding our proximity to and view of the Alaska Range. With chocolate croissants, desserts galore, and a mess of delicious organic food being served to you daily, you'll dread the fall and a return to grocery shopping and menu planning!
See individual job descriptions for information about additional benefits provided to our Supervisors and year-round Managers.
Getting Here and Getting Around
We provide a travel stipend to seasonal employees on completion of a full season, to help with transportation to Anchorage or Fairbanks. Company transportation is provided from Anchorage to Camp Denali & North Face Lodge, via a nine-hour bus ride, at the start and end of the season. Four hours of this drive traverses 90 miles of the famous Denali Park Road. Once on-site, you'll be on foot, bicycle, or National Park Service bus to explore the park, or to travel the five hours back to the park entrance. Most of our staff choose to stay on-site at our small lodge for the full duration of the season, with the exception of hiking adventures.
Camp Denali & North Face Lodge create a community that welcomes and appreciates do-it-yourself fun and adventure. The outdoors usually plays a significant role in staff members’ days off. Our location provides excellent access to some of Denali’s tantalizing backcountry adventures. Whether you want to day hike locally or in the high alpine areas of the park, explore harder-to-get-to areas of the park with a backcountry camping permit, canoe in Wonder Lake, fish, bike, swim, botanize, photograph, sketch, or join one of our naturalist-guided hikes, you will no doubt find many summers' worth of outdoor adventures and enjoyment while living at the end of the Denali Park Road.
Our unique and isolated location encourages and requires community, and staff members frequently step up to share their talents and knowledge. In the absence of concerts, bars, and restaurants, staff creatively fill time off with personal hobbies and community events. In years past, folks have put together yoga workshops, triathlons, a chess competition, staff bands, movie nights, and tundra Olympics. The company hosts one all-staff gathering each month of the summer; in July we get a chance to enjoy the secret talents and hobbies of staff members in the talent show. In August we exchange handmade gifts for one another. Other staff events have included Murder Mystery parties, a Scavenger Hunt, and Costume Party/White Elephant Gift Exchanges.
Company-hosted staff gatherings are alcohol-free; at other times the moderate consumption of alcohol by staff over 21 and within the boundaries of our company policy is permitted. While the use of marijuana is legal in the state of Alaska, it cannot legally be transported to our properties, as all means of travel require crossing federal land (Denali National Park), on which possession of marijuana is still illegal. Transporting marijuana across Denali National Park property in company vehicles is prohibited.