Each year, volunteers contribute more than 60,000 hours to Denali National Park and Preserve. Retired couples, individuals, school groups, scouts, clubs and organizations - people just like you - donate their time and efforts to provide essential services at Denali's visitor centers, offices, kennel operations, campgrounds and even on the majestic slopes of North America's highest mountain. Our volunteers also contribute long hours constructing trails, eradicating invasive plants, gathering native seeds and assisting park researchers with a variety of projects.
More than 500 people annually make the time to give something back to this American treasure in Alaska. Depending on the opportunity, volunteers may donate several months at a time or perhaps a few hours. If this sounds like something you may be interested in, please read further.
During the summer months, housing within the park is limited. We have dedicated trailer pads with hook-ups in the headquarters area, and one trailer pad at Wonder Lake Campground.
If experiencing Denali in the winter interests you, we have lots of housing and projects to keep a person busy. The "off" season is a great time for us to organize and prepare for the busy summer.
Centennial Volunteer Challenge
Denali National Park and Preserve invites all Alaskans to participate in the Denali Centennial Volunteer Challenge during the National Park Service Centennial in 2016 and the park's 100th birthday celebration throughout 2017.
When people engage with their communities and volunteer, everyone benefits. Denali National Park and Preserve is part of the Alaska community. Whether a volunteer donates his time to his local school or a volunteer lends a hand in her national park, both places are enriched.
Participants in the 100 Hour Volunteer Challenge are encouraged to volunteer in Denali and in their communities.
Anyone who reaches 100 hours of volunteering in 2016, 2017 or a combination of both Centennial years will receive a thank-you gift from the Denali National Park Volunteer Program and a letter of recognition from Denali National Park and Preserve Superintendent Don Striker.
To participate, volunteers must:
be Alaska residents.
volunteer at least 10 of their 100 hours with Denali National Park and Preserve.
volunteer their community hours with non-profit, secular organizations (volunteer fire department, public school, community clean-up days, etc.) or a grassroots project, subject to approval by the Denali National Park Volunteer Program staff using federal guidelines and policies.
sign a National Park Service Volunteer Agreement and record their hours on the time sheet provided by the Denali National Park Volunteer Office.
For more information contact the Volunteer Office by e-mail or at 907-683-9504.
National Trails Day is Saturday, June 3
Kick off your summer with a day on the trail!
Join the Denali Trail Crew for a day of work on the trails.
Hike and Build
Try your hand at trail maintenance activities such as hauling brush, constructing trail and rehabilitating disturbed areas. Expect two to four miles of moderate hiking over uneven terrain.
This is a great opportunity to learn how trails are built in a sub-arctic environment. It will also be a chance to get your hands dirty as you help maintain a part of this special place.
Who: You and your friends / family. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
What: A trail hike with a purpose. Bring your own water, lunch, snacks andclothing layers, including rain gear. Safety gear and tools will be provided.
When: Saturday, June 3. Meet at 9 a.m. The work day will conclude at 2 p.m.
Where: Meet in the automobile (not RV) parking lot on the north side of the Denali Visitor Center, located at mile 1.2 on the Denali Park Road. Look for uniformed employees.
To kick off our centennial celebration Denali volunteers will be picking non-native dandelions. Come reduce the spread of dandelion seeds on Denali's frontcountry trails, learn about non-native and invasive species, and talk to us about future volunteering opportunities.
Protect the integrity of your park and then stick around for live music, hands-on experiences, educational opportunities, and Denali birthday cake!
Where and When: Please park at the day use area next to Riley Creek Campground and take the 7:50 shuttle to the Murie Science and Learning Center. We will provide safety information, protective gear, and tools for the event during the check in period. We'll leave the science center at 9 a.m. and return with your full bags at 11 a.m. Birthday party events will continue after the volunteer project.
What do I need? Bring a lunch, water bottle, snacks, hiking boots, rain gear, layers, and a birthday hat to celebrate 100 years of wilderness protection.
Need for Seed is Saturday, August 5
Want to learn more about native plants and seeds? Want to help collect seeds for future re-vegetation projects?
Join our Vegetation Crew to harvest seeds from some of Denali's native plants.
Work and Play
Help harvest and dry native seeds around the Denali Visitor Center
Learn about Denali's native plants and restoration projects in the park
Earn a free voucher for a future bus ride into the park
Who:You and your friends/family. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
What: Hands-on conservation work.
Bring: water, snacks, lunch, hiking boots, rain gear and clothing layers. Safety gear and tools will be provided.
When:Saturday, August 5. Meet at 9 a.m. The work day will conclude by 2 p.m.
Where:Meet in the automobile (not RV) parking lot on the north side of the Denali Visitor Center, located at mile 1.2 on the Denali Park Road. Look for uniformed NPS employees.
Overnight accommodations, dorm or campsite, may be available to those who need them. Please make arrangements for accommodations in advance by contacting the park's Volunteer Office.
Every volunteer will receive a thank-you gift, including a voucher for a shuttle bus ride in the park (you choose the date, includes park entrance fee).
Questions: Contact the Denali National Park and Preserve Volunteer Office byEmail or call 907-683-9504.
In their own words
"Volunteering at Denali National Park was a once in a lifetime experience. We were fortunate enough to work at Eielson Visitor Center ... and live at Toklat in the interior of the park. Wow! The people were absolutely wonderful. They were totally accepting of us and included us in all activities as if we were park service employees. Some have become lifelong friends. Their trust in us allowed us to staff the visitor center solo, give campground talks at Wonder Lake, and lead Discovery Hikes, our favorite activity.
We experienced bears just about every day. A nearby pack of wolves with six pups provided entertainment and inspiration. The views of "the mountain" were unbelievable. Hiking in the wilderness gave us a sense of life there and a sense of ourselves. We hope we were able to give a tiny bit back for what we received from the experience."
Bill and Barbara Wellman, 2004
"Spring newborns ... rushing streams ... beautiful flowers ... rugged, snow-capped mountains ... acres of untouched wilderness ... close-up sightings of wildlife living in their natural habitat, unaffected by human interference ... spectacular colors ... places to explore ... majesty Mount McKinley ... new friends! What better place than Denali National Park and Preserve to volunteer!"
Ron and Beth Shugan
Teklanika Campground hosts, 2006 - 09
America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Volunteer Pass
This pass is for volunteers who donate 250 hours on a cumulative basis. Valid for a year from the date of being awarded, it provides access to, and use of, federal recreation sites that charge an Entrance or Standard Amenity Fee. The pass admits the pass holder and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas and admits the pass holder plus three other adults at per-person fee areas. Children under 16 are admitted free.
If you have further questions, please contact:
Denali National Park and Preserve
P.O. Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755