Denali Education Center

Horseshoe Lake Hike
Denali Park Sign
The Dish Pit

Connecting people to Denali through fun, informative and inspiring programs.

Since 1989 Denali Education Center has been a non-profit educational partner of Denali National Park and Preserve. Through our partnership with the National Park Service and the support of the local communities we serve, we have been able to give visitors and Alaska residents of all ages the chance to form lasting connections to Denali and their natural world.

Denali Education Center’s secluded ten-acre campus, just across the Nenana River from Denali National Park provides an ideal setting to learn about, and come to truly appreciate Alaska. A walk in the park is just moments away! We enjoy frequent wildlife sightings of moose and the occasional bear.

Jobs in the Spotlight


Denali Education Center

Denali National Park, Alaska

Come cook in Denali with a fun, tight-knit crew as our Campus Cook!

  • summer

About Denali Education Center

Denali Education Center is a non-advocacy, for-purpose organization and a proud partner of Denali National Park and Preserve. Our mission is to promote understanding and appreciation of Denali through fun, informative, and inspiring programs.

Our wooded, 10-acre Denali campus is located 8 miles south of the Denali Park entrance, along the banks of the Nenana River. On this campus we host week-long adult learning vacations, community programs and events, youth programs, and public and private lectures. 

Through our formal Partnership with Denali National Park and Preserve and in cooperation with various organizations across Alaska, DEC hosts youth programs for youth in first grade through high school throughout the summer. Youth programs vary in length, but include 1-hour weekly offerings for 2-5 year-olds, week-long day-camps for 1st-8th graders, and week-long programs that explore Denali’s Wilderness -- offered with both backpacking and basecamp style itineraries. 

Denali Education Center is also a program provider for Road Scholar and creates and runs 11-day itineraries that travel across the state for adults over the age of 55. These learning vacations place an emphasis on education and aim to expose visitors to a more authentic Alaska, without sacrificing having fun! Depending on the itinerary, Road Scholars will spend three to five days on our Denali campus, hiking in the National Park and learning about the area, through fun, hands-on experiences. 

In June of 2020 DEC merged with the Northern Susitna Institute, allowing us us the opportunity to provide educational programs and community events to the Talkeetna area. Through this merger, DEC acquired a 3- acre campus in the heart of downtown Talkeetna, with a event space, a small employee housing unit, and a shop. We are delighted to be able to serve this community and look forward to how our programming will grow alongside it.  

Each summer, we are lucky to welcome hard-working, motivated, and fun individuals who collectively make all that we do possible. Be prepared to fall in love with our dynamic and fun work community!

The Employee Experience

Imagine a place so beautiful, people flock to see it every summer. Some people even consider it a "bucket list" destination, saving up for years to travel to see moose, bear, caribou and Dall sheep. Imagine gorgeous landscapes: craggy mountain peaks, rushing glacier-fed rivers, lush boreal forests.  Now imagine you work there. 

Alaska is pretty magical, and Denali Education Center's (DEC) campuses are no exception. Our Denali Campus is nestled on ten wooded acres along the Nenana River, adjacent to Denali National Park and Preserve. It's an area that feels hidden and isolated, even during the busy summer season. On the other hand, our Talkeetna campus is a little closer to "civilization" in the middle of a quirky, tight-knit Alaskan small town. 

Summer in Alaska is busy. There's something about the near-constant daylight that lends a special sort of energy to the whole season. We expect our employees to work hard, but there will also be lots of opportunities to play hard in the great outdoors.  

At DEC, teamwork and collaboration are essential to ensure the success of our summer season.  We strive to hire a diverse group of people that work together creatively and compassionately. DEC works to ensure that everyone's contributions are appreciated and individuals are encouraged to give their personal best.

Ideal Candidate

We are looking for hard-working, positive individuals, who play well with others, are passionate about the environment, and are ready to have fun. 

Room and Board

Our Denali campus offers single accommodation, free-standing, employee cabins. There are staff showers and laundry on-site, but all of our staff cabins are considered “dry” (i.e. no running water). There is one shared kitchen where staff are able to keep and prepare their own food.

Though there are small shops, restaurants, a tiny mercantile, and a clinic located about 10 miles north of our campus, we are about 120 miles, one way, from the nearest city. 

Employee Perks

Living and working in Alaska will change your life. No doubt about it. The grandeur of this place leaves an impression on you, and so do the people. We sometimes refer to our staff as family: the relationships made at DEC will extend well beyond your time here. 

You will have the opportunity to go camping and backpacking, hike with naturalists, go on shuttle tours into Denali's vast wilderness to view grizzly bears, moose, caribou, wolves, Dall sheep and hundreds of migrant bird species. We also partner with local tour companies, and our employees frequently elect to go flight-seeing to North America's tallest peak, or whitewater rafting on the Nenana River.

Getting Here and Getting Around

By Air:

Denali: Flights arrive at Ted Stevens Anchorage Airport or Fairbanks International airport. We are located along the Parks Highway 4-hours drive north of Anchorage or 2-hours drive south of Fairbanks. You can arrange ground transportation with either The Park Connection motorcoach from Anchorage or Alaska Yukon Trails shuttle from Fairbanks that will drive you to our property. Flight times and shuttle schedules usually require an overnight stay in either city.

Talkeetna: Flights arrive at Ted Stevens Anchorage Airport. We are located along the Talkeetna Spur about 2 hours north of Anchorage via the George Parks Highway. 

By Car:

Denali: Turn off the George Parks Highway at mile 231 at Denali Park Village on the east side of the highway. Continue downhill and straight ahead. Travel down the narrow one-way drive through the hotel property. When the road splits, take the right fork and continue to the right until it reaches a large parking lot. The Denali Education Center is located on the far side of this lot. The Charles Sheldon Center is the first building visible on our property with a colorful “Denali Education Center” sign out front. 

Talkeetna: Turn off the George Parks Highway onto the Talkeetna Spur Road. Travel north on the Spur Road 13.5 miles. The Denali Education Center will be on the left. Look for the colorful sign out front! 

By Train:

Denali: The Alaska Railroad departs once daily from either Anchorage or Fairbanks at about 8 o'clock AM. The Denali Depot is eight miles north of Denali Education Center's campus and we can arrange to pick you up at the depot.

Talkeetna: The Alaska Railroad departs once daily from Anchorage at about 8 o'clock AM. The Talkeetna Depot is located about a mile from our campus. 

For Fun

Seasonal employees in Denali National Park generally enjoy camping, backpacking, fishing, hiking, biking, ATV-ing, rafting, and kayaking, among other outdoor-centered activities.

How to Apply

Click the link below for a list of our current employment opportunities and their job descriptions. Please follow the  application instructions specific to each the job description. Interviews will be conducted by phone and/or virtually via Zoom. 

Contact Denali Education Center