Teacher Checklist

a group of hikers point in the distance
A class trip to Denali can be logistically complex. Use our teacher checklist to help plan and perfect your itinerary.

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How exciting for you and your students to visit Denali in person! A class field trip can be logistically complex and challenging for a sizeable group. The Denali Education Team created this planning checklist to help you consider all the details behind the scenes of a successful and memorable trip.

Before Your Visit

  • Request an academic fee waiver if applicable. National Park Service regulations allow academic institutions to obtain a waiver of park entrance fees, provided the visit is for academic or scientific purposes, and the resources or facilities that the group intends to use support those purposes.
  • Arrange transportation. How will you get to and from the park? How will you get around once you arrive? Make arrangements and secure funding for buses, large vehicles, or personal vehicles to transport your group to, from, and within Denali. Consider using the rail system and park transit as available and appropriate.
  • Consider options for camping and lodging. Will you spend the night in or near the park? There are opportunities to camp in Denali as well as camping and lodging outside the park. Groups should make reservations months in advance, since accommodations often sell out.
  • Research food, water, and amenities. Will you bring enough food and water from home or buy locally? Options are limited around here! When and where will you eat?
  • Plan your itinerary. Consider which park sites and ranger programs will support the learning goals of your class. Research your choices carefully to ensure that each will fit your schedule and accommodate the size and impact of your group.
  • Select your chaperones. We recommend at least one chaperone for every six students. Read more about the characteristics of a great Denali chaperone.
  • Prepare your students. Are your students prepared for a trip to Denali? Before you arrive, discuss Leave No Trace principles, wildlife safety, and campground expectations if applicable. Supplement your learning goals with our educational resources or schedule a virtual ranger visit.
  • Pack your bags. Think about the weather during the time of year when you plan to visit and bring what you will need for the safety and well-being of your group.
  • Check current conditions. As your field trip approaches, check the current conditions on the park website. Use zip code 99755 to view the weather forecast in any weather app.

Upon Arrival

  • Pay entrance fees and ask for updates. All visitors aged 16 and older must pay a park entrance fee to enter Denali unless qualified for an academic fee waiver. If your group does not qualify for a waiver, or your waiver does not cover every adult in your group, you will need to pay entrance fees at the Denali Visitor Center (summer) or the Winter Visitor Center (winter). At the visitor center, you can also ask for updates to current conditions that may influence your trip.
  • Know where to go. If you have arranged to meet one of our education rangers, make sure you have a map of where to go.
  • Know where to park. Parking may be influenced by the size and number of vehicles you bring as well as parking needs of other visitors. Make a plan for parking at each location that your group will visit, plus a backup plan in case parking is full.
  • Find bathrooms. Traveling to Denali is a long ride! Know your options for bathrooms before you arrive in the park.

During Your Visit

  • Draft a student behavior contract. Encourage students to help draft a plan for protecting the park and respecting themselves and other visitors. Consider using or carrying a symbol (a bandana, stuffed animal, secret handshake) to remind students of the contract throughout the visit.
  • Put your plan in action. Learning and exploring in Denali is an incredible way to make real-world, hands-on connections to your curriculum.

After Departure

  • Encourage your students to make a difference. How has Denali inspired your students to think differently about the world? Is there anything about the park that inspires ideas for a positive change they could implement at the school or local level?

Additional Support

Now that you have thoroughly reviewed our teacher checklist and browsed all embedded links, you are welcome to email the Denali Education Team requesting further assistance with your field trip planning. Be sure to include the following information in your message so we can best support you:
  • Your application for an academic fee waiver if applicable
  • Your group size, number of students and adults, and student age range
  • Your learning goals and themes for the trip
  • Your transportation method(s) to, from, and within Denali
  • Your trip dates and times and rough daily itinerary
If your group qualifies for an academic fee waiver, you may also request a custom ranger-led walk or greeting. Please email us for availability and details, and again, be sure to include the above listed information in your message.

Last updated: August 8, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755


907 683-9532
A ranger is available 9 am to 4 pm daily (except on major holidays). If you reach the voicemail, please leave a message and we'll call you back as soon as we finish with the previous caller.

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