Denali Winterfest

a stylized blue logo of a snowflake and the words "winterfest—denali national park, denali borough"

Special thanks to Alaska Geographic for supporting Winterfest activities!


You are invited to come and celebrate Alaska’s longest season at the 18th-annual Denali Winterfest February 20-25, 2018!

This community-wide event features a variety of activities, with something for all ages, interests, and abilities. The full schedule of events can be found below, organized by day.

Denali Winterfest is organized and supported by the National Park Service, Denali Borough and Denali Borough School District, Denali Education Center, Doyon/Aramark Joint Venture, Alaska Geographic, and additional community organizations.

Daily


9 am-4:30 pm — Murie Science and Learning Center and Winter Visitor Center
Park information, backcountry permits and films; science exhibits and children’s play area; Alaska Geographic bookstore; ice grippers and snowshoes available for checkout.
  • 12 pm-4 pm — Ice Carving Demonstration, Tri-Valley Community Center, Healy
    Watch master carver Larry Moen create a frozen masterpiece.
  • 2 pm — Alaska Cello Intensive, Tri-Valley School, Suntrana Road, Healy
    Twelve cellists play a variety of popular and classical tunes in a free public performance at Tri-Valley School in Healy. Presented by Denali Borough School District, Kids in Motion, and Denali Arts & Humanities Alliance.
  • 6-8 pm — Art Night Free Workshop, Murie Science and Learning Center Classroom
    Capture the essence of Denali’s untouched landscapes in contour and color. Experiment painting impasto (thick, heavy paint) using palette knives to create a unique depiction of Denali’s grandeur in Tamar’s reduction painting style. Bring photographs you captured of Denali’s landscapes to paint from. Acrylic paints will stain and do not wash off easily, so dress accordingly. Space is limited, sign up via e-mail.
  • 2-9 pm — Youth Hockey Tournament, Tri-Valley Community Center, Mile 0.5 Healy Spur Road, Healy
    Come cheer for youth hockey in Healy! Hosting teams from Talkeetna, Delta, Tok, Copper Center and Fairbanks. Refreshments in the warming hut.
  • 6 pm — Winterfest Weekend Kickoff, McKinley Park Community Center, Mile 230, Parks Hwy
    Celebrate winter in Denali with friends, food, and your best cocktail concoctions (more info at facebook.com/denalieducationcenter). Bring an appetizer or dessert to share. Live music from the Iceworms at 7 pm. BYO plates, silverware, and beverages - cocoa, hot tea, and lemonade donated by the National Parks Conservation Association! Presented by Denali Education Center and the Zero-Landfill Initiative.
  • 8 am-9 pm — Youth Hockey Tournament, Tri-Valley Community Center, Mile 0.5 Healy Spur Road, Healy
    Come cheer for youth hockey in Healy! Hosting teams from Talkeetna, Delta, Tok, Copper Center and Fairbanks. Refreshments in the warming hut.
  • 10-11 am — “Winter Birds: A Talk and Walk”, Murie Science and Learning Center Classroom
    Join Avian Ecologist Emily Williams to learn about Denali’s winter residents – of the feathered variety! Program begins with introduction in the classroom, followed by 30-min bird walk outside. Wear warm layers and bring binoculars if you have them!
  • 10 am-12 pm — Guided Snowshoe Walk, Murie Science and Learning Center
    Join us for a fun and informative walk to discover the hidden joys of winter in Denali. Snowshoes available for checkout.
  • 10 am-3 pm — Snow Block Sculpting Competition, Denali Visitor Center Parking Lot
    Sign up for a snow block and pick up sculpting tools at the MSLC. Judging begins at 3:00 pm.
  • 10 am-4 pm — Permafrost Exhibits, Murie Science and Learning Center Indoor Picnic Area
    Learn about the hidden world of permafrost and ancient animals of Alaska through interactive exhibits, “Hot Times in Cold Places: The Hidden World of Permafrost”. Presented by University of Alaska Fairbanks Permafrost Outreach Team.
  • 10 am-4 pm — Ice Carving Demonstration, Murie Science and Learning Center
    Watch master carver Larry Moen create a frozen masterpiece.
  • 11 am-3 pm — Refreshments, Murie Science and Learning Center Indoor Picnic Area
    Snacks, light lunch, and refreshments provided by Doyon/Aramark Joint Venture.
  • 11 am-12:30 pm — Writing Winter Wonders: A Nature Journaling Workshop, Murie Science and Learning Center
    Join Krista Christensen, Denali Writer-in-Residence, as she leads a nature journaling workshop custom designed for winter observations. The workshop will include an introduction to purpose-based nature journaling, including journal set up, using templates, basic sketching skills, and notation strategies. It will also include a short 20-30 minute walk (weather depending) followed by an indoor guided writing session. Please bring your own journal and preferred writing and sketching tools (drawing/colored pencils or ink pens) and dress for outdoors.
  • 10 am-12 pm — Youth Cross Country Ski Races, Riley Creek Campground
    Ski races (ages 8-18), skate or classic ski and relay. The 0.8 km loop track will be open for preview at 10:00 am. Bring your own equipment.
  • 11 am-2 pm — Guided Ski Tour, Mountain Vista Rest Area at Mile 13
    Local skier Molly McKinley will guide skiers on river and tundra routes in the Mountain Vista and Savage River area. Participants should be comfortable skiing in ungroomed tracks and backcountry terrain. Bring your own equipment. This activity is dependent on safe snow conditions - call 683-9532 for status.
  • 11 am-11:45 am — “Be a Winter-ologist”, Murie Science and Learning Center Classroom
    Join us for three “just for kids” activities involving ice, glaciers, and snow!
  • 12-2 pm — Campfire and S’mores, Murie Science and Learning Center
    Warm up, make a s’more, and meet a National Park Service firefighter!
  • 1-4 pm — Mountain Bike/Fat Tire Bike Ride, Mountain Vista Rest Area at Mile 13
    Join local bike enthusiast Norm Sollie for a moderately strenuous bike ride on the Denali Park Road, if conditions allow. Fat and/or studded tires are recommended. Riders will watch for winter wildlife and the signs they leave behind. If snow pack does not allow, there will be a short hike alternative.
  • 1:30-3 pm — Memory of Place: Hike and Recycled Materials Art Project, Murie Science and Learning Center
    Join Denali Artist-in-Residence Katie Ione Craney to learn different ways of approaching and remembering a landscape. She will take you on a short 15-20 minute walk (weather permitting) to frame the surrounding landscape using small, hand-held viewfinders. Participants will bring their memory back to the classroom to create a visual using recycled materials. This class is for all ages, kids 12 and under should come with a parent/guardian. All materials are provided.
  • 1-6 pm — Warm-Up at Savage Cabin
    Visit with park staff at the historic Upper Savage River ranger patrol cabin. Enjoy a campfire, hot drinks and s’mores! Park at Mountain Vista Rest Area at mile 13. Walk 1/4 mile to cabin.
  • 5 pm — Winterfest Community Dinner and Bingo,Tri-Valley Community Center, Healy
    • 5-7 pm: Community dinner of chili, corn bread, hot dogs, vegetarian soup and desserts
    • 6-8 pm: BINGO! Prizes include gift cards for local, open-in-winter businesses.
    • 7:30 pm: Denali Borough Mayor’s Community Service Award presentation
    • Dinner and events presented and supported by Denali Borough, Native Village of Cantwell, Spanish International Travel Club, Denali Preschool and Learning Center, Tri-Valley School Chapter of the National Honor Society, Holland America-Princess and Doyon/Aramark Joint Venture.
  • 8:30 pm — Stargazing Party, Mountain Vista Rest Area at Mile 13
    If it’s a clear night, come join us at the Mountain Vista parking lot to view the waxing gibbous moon, some bright constellations, and maybe the northern lights. Dress warmly and bring binoculars and a head lamp if you have them.
  • 10 am-12 pm — Guided Snowshoe Walk, Murie Science and Learning Center
    Join us for a fun and informative walk to discover the hidden joys of winter in Denali. Snowshoes available for checkout.
  • 12:30 pm-2:30 pm — Natural History Ski Tour, Riley Creek Day Use Area
    Join local naturalist Jenna Hamm for a ski tour of the forest and creek areas near the park entrance. Participants should be comfortable skiing in groomed and ungroomed tracks and backcountry terrain. Bring your own equipment. To reach Riley Creek Day Use Area, turn left at Mile 0.2 Denali Park Road (Post Office), then pass the post office and turn left at closed gate. This activity is dependent on safe snow conditions - call 683-9532 for status.
  • 3 pm — Beauty and the Beast Party, Tri-Valley Community Library, Suntrana Road, Healy
    Family-friendly movie night at our local library with free food, cupcake decorating contest, make-your-own ornament station, and a fantastic showing of the 2017 live-action version of the classic telling of Belle finding her happy-ever-after. This event begins at 3pm with fun & food, movie will begin at 4 pm.

 

Last updated: February 15, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755

Phone:

(907) 683-9532
A ranger is available 9 am - 4 pm daily (except on major holidays). If you get to 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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