Explore Denali Rafting

Join us, and come work in one of the most beautiful places in the world! Currently seeking experienced raft guides for the 2018 season!

Explore Denali is an outfitter offering rafting and hiking trips in the Denali area. We are located at the doorstep of Denali National Park.

On the glacially fed Nenana River, Denali National Park, Alaska

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About Explore Denali Rafting

Explore Denali is an outfitter offering rafting and hiking trips, located just outside the entrance of Denali National Park. We're a small, tight-knit operation. Our dates of operation are mid-May to mid-September.

We seek to provide meaningful, once in a lifetime experiences to our customers, sharing with them our love for the beauty of the Denali area. 

We offer competitive hourly wages, very affordable room and board, and consistently set days off. We are owned and operated by Aramark, which means that we also get the perks of free bus rides into the park. 

The Employee Experience

With no trail system within the heart of the park and permits issued on a first come basis, Denali National Park is a backpacker's dream come true. The backcountry of Denali is like no other place. Wildlife abounds in this park, and the awesomeness of the Mountain is difficult to put into words.

As an employee living, working and playing in the Denali area, you're able to get to know Denali in a way that tourists passing through simply aren't able to. You can explore the park every weekend for four months, experiencing nearly three seasons in your four months up there.

As an Explore Denali employee, you get the benefit of working with a small, tight-knit group, and all of the free rafting and hiking trips you want.

Ideal Candidate

Each position has its own particular requirements, but the overarching theme is that we are looking for team-oriented individuals who possess a strong work ethic. As mentioned above, we're a small tight-knit outfit, and so it's important that everyone contributes to the greater good. 

Room and Board

We offer room and board for $15/day. Rooms are dorm style, with one roommate and a shared bathroom. There are three buffet-style meals offered each day, including a fresh salad bar with lunch and dinner. 

Employee Perks

  • Unlimited free rafting and hiking trips
  • Six free bus rides on the Denali National Park road
  • Discounted or comp trips through other outfitters in the area
  • Discounts on gear through our pro deal programs 

Getting Here and Getting Around

You can fly into either Fairbanks or Anchorage and take either the train or shuttle to the Denali area. Employees receive discounts on the train as well as the shuttle service.

Our Jobs

Currently seeking qualified raft guides!

Our season begins mid-May through mid-September, with training beginning in early May. Again, we require individuals possess a strong work ethic and enjoy working in a team environment. Each position offers competitive hourly pay, with consistent days off to explore the Denali area.

CDL Driver (Raft Driver)

Drivers are responsible primarily for the transportation of guests and rafts in our bus. Additionally, our drivers help to load rafts on trailers and help to put equipment away at the end of each trip. This position requires substantial time near a swift moving river, and so it is imperative that applicants interested in this position be comfortable around a river environment. Below are some of the listed requirements for this position.


  • Current CDL
  • Trailer experience, or willingness to learn
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds
  • Self-starter
  • Strong work ethic
  • Team oriented mindset

Hiking Guide

We offer three hikes in the Denali area: Steps Through Time, Rock Creek, and Triple Lakes. Steps Through Time takes guests along a trail that leads to an old trapper's cabin on the side of a mountain. Both the Rock Creek and Triple Lakes hikes are located in the Denali Park front-country. The Rock Creek hike follows a winding path through boreal forest with scenic vistas, while the Triple Lakes hike stops at several lakes, frequented by both beaver and moose. The role of the hiking guide is to essentially connect their guests with the Denali area, providing meaningful commentary on the flora, fauna, and geologic history along their hikes. Thus applicants with backgrounds in the natural sciences are strongly preferred. Backgrounds in teaching, or guiding, in addition to a background in the natural sciences are highly valued. Hiking guides are responsible for transporting their guests to and from each hike, and therefore hiking guides need to over 21 years old in order to meet DOT regulation. Below are listed requirements for this position.


  • 21 or older (DOT regulation)
  • Background in natural sciences (Geology, Biology, Ecology, etc.)
  • Ability to hike for several hours a day
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Independent worker
  • Strong work ethic
  • Interest in the natural history of the Denali area, and willingness to learn more 
  • Self starter

Office/Support Staff

Working from our boathouse located on the banks of the Nenana River, our office staff book customers on our hiking and rafting trips. Office staff are required to be knowledgable of all of our trip offerings, and the best way to do that is to go on all of our excursions. We use several booking systems, and so it is crucial that our office staff are very familiar with computers, and are tech-savvy. Excellent customer service skills are paramount to this position, as our office staff are dealing with front desk sales agents. Throughout the day there is some down time, and a willingness to keep the boathouse presentable is required for this position. This involves cleaning the floors and bathrooms. Requirements for this position are listed below.


  • Computer/tech savviness
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Ability to operate under short durations of stress
  • Self starter
  • Team oriented attitude

Raft Guide

We run two sections on the Nenana: the Wilderness (Wildy) and Canyon. The Wildy is a 13 mile long scenic float trip, interspersed with class II-III whitewater, that we operate with 18 foot oar boats. The Canyon section is an 11 mile stretch with class III-IV whitewater that we run with our 18 foot oar boats and 16 foot paddle rafts. Both sections are beautiful and offer stunning scenery of interior Alaska, as well as fun, splashy whitewater. The Nenana is a "big water" glacially fed river, typically flowing between 7,000 - 10,000 CFS, though sometimes reaching commercially run levels of up to 18,000 CFS. We pay a competitive hourly rate, and pay for training, as well as Swiftwater Rescue Training certification. 

Requirements and preferences for hiring

  • Prior raft guiding experience on rivers rated class III or higher
  • Current First-Aid and CPR certification
  • Strong work ethic
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Team oriented mindset
  • Professional attitude
  • Oar experience preferred
  • Class IV whitewater kayakers preferred

How to Apply

Raft Guide: Marina-Services-Worker-Denali-Park-Villlage (listed as "Marina Services Worker")

Hiking Guide: Guest-Services-Worker-Denali-Park-Village (listed as "Guest Services Worker")

CDL Driver: Explore-Denali-CDL-Bus-Driver-Denali-Park-Village

Office Staff: Office-Worker-Denali-Park-Village