• pond surrounded by green brush, reflecting a distant range of snow-covered mountains that are dominated by one massive mountain

    Denali

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

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  • Road Open to: Mile 30 (Teklanika River)

    The Denali Park Road is currently open to Mile 30, Teklanika River. If wintry conditions occur, the road may close at some point closer to the park entrance. More »

Runnin' with the Kennels

About This Blog

Sled dogs have held an essential role in the life and culture of Alaska for thousands of years. In Denali – the only national park in America with a working sled dog kennel – they now perform essential wintertime duties in a vast expanse of designated Wilderness area. Follow this blog for updates on their ongoing adventures, and accomplishments.

Working Together for Wilderness in Gates of the Arctic

March 10, 2014 Posted by: Jen Raffaeli

Kennels staff and canine rangers leave Denali for an oil barrel haul and Wilderness Act outreach in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.

 

A Few Degrees of Separation

February 09, 2014 Posted by: Patty Del Vecchio

In a warm January that created challenging mushing conditions, we reflect how global climate change is incorporated into the definition of wilderness.

 

Searching for Scat

January 15, 2014 Posted by: Jamie Dittmar and Julie Carpenter

One of the kennels main projects this winter is providing assistance collecting scat samples for a study of mesocarnivores in the park.

 

Happy 50th Anniversary Wilderness

December 22, 2013 Posted by: Jayme Dittmar

The Denali Kennels is dedicating all blogs this winter to the Wilderness Act to celebrate it's 50th Anniversary.

 

Tradition, Tenons, and Drills... oh my!

November 10, 2013 Posted by: Lauren Gomes

On Nov.1, 2013 sled builder Matt Emslie trained the kennels staff in the art of traditional basket sled building. He helped us replace a very worn set of runners on the summer demo sled that he built for us a few years ago.

 

More than the leash

September 11, 2013 Posted by: Jayme Dittmar

The tie between volunteer dog walker and canine ranger extends far beyond the leash that physically connects them.

 

The Personalities Behind the Cute

July 18, 2013 Posted by: Jayme Dittmar

Prusik, Munter and Clove just finished their puppy testing to help us determine their abilities and training strategies we can use to prepare them for the trail.

 

Summer 2013 Pupdate

June 19, 2013 Posted by: J.Raffaeli

The story behind this year's litter of pups. How the breeding was chosen.

 

Winter Wrap Up

June 11, 2013 Posted by: J. Raffaeli

A look back at a few of the projects the kennels dogs assisted with this winter.

 

Retiring Dogs and the Adoption Process

February 05, 2013 Posted by: Jen Raffaeli

After many years of dedicated service, our NPS canine rangers deserve a wonderful retirement just like our human rangers.

 

The Toklat Narrows

February 05, 2013 Posted by: S.Hayes

Kennels staff hauls supplies along the North boundary, travel the Toklat Narrows, and Tephra earns a gold star for her performance in lead.

 

Zen and the Art of the Gee Pole

December 12, 2012 Posted by: Jess Toubman

A more in depth look at our recent training in how to use the traditional gee pole to steer a heavy sled.

 

Being your Best: How We Train our Canine Athletes

November 26, 2012 Posted by: Corrie Lane

What goes into training a Denali sled dog? We discuss the different aspects of training and maintaining a working sled dog including mental and physical training as well as nutrition and health.

 

The Scoop on Poop

August 26, 2012 Posted by: Julie Carpenter

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The Perfect Puppy

August 23, 2012 Posted by: Jen Raffaeli

This blog was written to supplement the Puppy Paws Episode 4 video. If you haven't seen the Puppy Paws videos you can watch them on the kennels page at http://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/kennels.htm. Read on if you are curious to know more about what traits, both physical and mental, we are looking for in our puppies.

 

The Dogs Days of Summer

August 03, 2012 Posted by: Bryan Marshall, Kennels SCA

This week, we take you behind the scenes of one of Denali's most popular Ranger programs, the summer sled dog demonstration. Enjoy this sneak peak and perhaps you will get a first hand view of the action at some point this summer. It happens three times a day during peak season and you can find out more at http://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/kennels.htm

 

Pupdate - Tatum, Carpe, Koven and Cache

June 05, 2012 Posted by: Jen Raffaeli

An update on last summer's puppies - Tatum, Carpe, Koven and Cache.

 

The Next Generation

May 11, 2012 Posted by: Jennifer Raffaeli

Well, last summer’s pups are nearly grown up. Not really, but in many ways it feels like it. They are not quite full sized adult dogs yet, but they have outgrown their fluffy puppy bodies and are acting more and more like grown up sled dogs. They are excellent skijorers and joined the team with the big dogs pulling the sled on patrols. So what is next? It is time to think about the next generation.

 

Animals Wild and Domestic Define Denali's Winter Wilderness

March 22, 2012 Posted by: Jenn Raffaeli
 

Helicopter or Huskies? The Triple Lake Trail Haul

January 27, 2012 Posted by: Matt King and Jess Toubman
 

Sometimes Dog Mushing can be a Drag

January 24, 2012 Posted by: Michael Raffaeli
 

The gift of breaking trail

January 07, 2012 Posted by: Jenn Raffaeli
 

Experiments in Insulation

December 30, 2011 Posted by: Sarah Hayes
 

Let the patrols begin(and the hard work continue)!

December 22, 2011 Posted by: Michael Raffaeli
 

Falling in and out of Fall at the Kennels

December 02, 2011 Posted by: Jessica Toubman
 

Cabin Stocking

November 13, 2011 Posted by: Jenn Raffaeli
 

What is the "Dog Box"?

November 07, 2011 Posted by: Alex Lindeman
 

How Quickly They Grow Up

August 23, 2011 Posted by: Jenn Raffaeli
 

How Pingo's Puppies Came To Be

August 15, 2011 Posted by: Kristin Knight
 

A Special Project

April 06, 2011 Posted by: Michael Raffaeli
 

Springtime in Alaska

April 06, 2011 Posted by: Jenn Raffaeli
 

Wind, Whiteouts, and Wonder...or not

March 20, 2011 Posted by: Kristin Knight
 

100 Degrees of Separation

February 20, 2011 Posted by: Michael Raffaeli
 

A Silent Appreciation

February 06, 2011 Posted by: Kristin Knight
 

Sled Dogs and Iron Dogs

January 14, 2011 Posted by: Jenn Raffaeli
 

The Right Dogs for the Trail

January 04, 2011 Posted by: Kristin Knight
 

On dogs and trail-breaking

December 29, 2010 Posted by: Kristin Knight
 

Reading Ice

December 20, 2010 Posted by: Jen Raffaeli
 

Days on the Trail

December 18, 2010 Posted by: Jen Raffaeli
 

Breaking Trail to Mile 28

December 12, 2010 Posted by: Jessica Toubman
 

A mattress-hauling adventure

December 09, 2010 Posted by: Kristin Knight
 

First Night Out of the Season

December 07, 2010 Posted by: Michael Raffaeli
 

Every Winter Lover's Nightmare

December 07, 2010 Posted by: Michael Raffaeli
 

Just another day at the office

November 21, 2010 Posted by: Kristin Knight
 

And We're Off!

November 15, 2010 Posted by: Kristin Knight
 

Waiting for snow to fall

November 07, 2010 Posted by: Kristin Knight
 

Did You Know?

a white, two-peaked mountain

Mount McKinley, located within Denali National Park and Preserve, is the highest mountain on the North American continent. Measured from the 2,000 foot lowlands to its snowy summit at 20,320 feet, the mountain’s vertical relief of 18,000 feet is greater than that of Mount Everest.