Denali
National Park & Preserve Alaska

Denali Winterfest

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

The 21st-annual Denali Winterfest is tentatively scheduled for February 26–28, 2021. The event may not occur, depending upon the COVID-19 pandemic.


Each year, this community-wide event features a variety of activities, with something for all ages, interests, and abilities.

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.


Schedule of Events

The events below were for the 2020 Winterfest event. Browse them to get a general idea of what kinds of activities might occur. A 2021 schedule will be available in January 2021, if the event occurs.

Friday, February 21

6 pm — Winterfest Weekend Kickoff
Location: McKinley Park Community Center, Mile 230, Parks Hwy

Come celebrate winter in Denali with great friends, food, and fun for all. Join the Denali Education Center for live music, local art, and a potluck to help ring in the return of brighter days. A few food items and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided. Please bring a shareable appetizer or dessert to add to the spread! Remember to bring your own plates, silverware, and personal beverages - #dontfeedthelandfills. Presented by Denali Education Center and the Denali Zero-Landfill Initiative.

Saturday, February 22

  • 10 am to 12 pm — Youth Cross-Country Ski Races
    Location: 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. Racers should check in by 10:30 am. Bring your own equipment.
  • 10:30 am to 1:30 pm — Winter Ecology Guided Ski
    Location: Start at the Winter Visitor Center

    Enjoy an easy 2-3 hour ski up Hines Creek while learning about the ecology of Denali, from bees to birds to bears! Please be ready promptly at 10:30 am at the Winter Visitor Center. Bring your own skis, water, and snacks. Participants should be comfortable skiing in ungroomed tracks and backcountry terrain. This activity is dependent on safe snow and river ice conditions; check at the visitor center front desk or call 683-9532 for status.
  • 10 am to 3 pm — Snow Block Sculpting Competition
    Location: Parking lot of the Denali Visitor Center

    Sign up for a snow block and pick up sculpting tools at the MSLC. Judging begins at 3:00 pm.
  • 10 am to 4 pm — “Our Winter World” Exhibits
    Location: Winter Visitor Center Indoor Picnic Area

    Snow is one of the most critical resources on Earth, providing water for about 2 billion people, and playing a major role in cooling the Earth, but many people are unaware of these facts. Join us to explore the fascinating vital role that snow plays in climate, water resources, and human lives with hands-on displays, models and activities about snow from around Alaska, and the world!

    Presented by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and sponsored by the National Science Foundation

  • 10 am to 9 pm — Hockey Games
    Location: Tri-Valley Community Center, Mile 0.5 Healy Spur Road, Healy
    Hockey games all day at the rink. Come cheer on the hometown Coal Kings (youth) and Coal Queens (women) as they host teams from Fairbanks. Refreshments available in the warming hut.
  • 11 am — Snow Science Field Activity
    Location: Start at the “Our Winter World” Exhibits in the Winter Visitor Center Indoor Picnic Area

    Come on a short walk to look at the taiga (forest) snow and learn about the layers in a snow pit. Learn why these layers take on the textures they do, and what that means for animals, plants and people. The walk is also available at noon and 1 pm.

    Presented by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and sponsored by the National Science Foundation

  • 11 am to 11:45 am — Presentation: "Endure to Triumph"
    Location: Winter Visitor Center Classroom

    Join park ranger Jan to learn about building physical and mental endurance to overcome challenges in winter, and beyond!

  • 11 am to 12:30 pm — Dog Sled Rides
    Location: Riley Creek Campground
    Take a short ride with a local dog-mushing team! Children have priority.
  • 11 am to 3 pm — Refreshments
    Location: Winter Visitor Center Indoor Picnic Area
    Snacks, light lunch, and refreshments provided by Doyon/Aramark Joint Venture.
  • 11:30 am to 12:15 pm — Kids' Activity: Northern Lights and Arctic Lights
    Location: Winter Visitor Center Classroom
    Kids, join us in the Winter Visitor Center and discover why we have winter, why our days are shorter, and why our night skies "dance" here in Denali!

  • Noon — Snow Science Field Activity
    Location: Start at the “Our Winter World” Exhibits in the Winter Visitor Center Indoor Picnic Area

    Come on a short walk to look at the taiga (forest) snow and learn about the layers in a snow pit. Learn why these layers take on the textures they do, and what that means for animals, plants and people. The walk is also available at 11 am and 1 pm.

    Presented by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and sponsored by the National Science Foundation

  • Noon to 2 pm — Campfire and S’mores
    Location: Outside of the Winter Visitor Center
    Warm up, make a s’more, and meet a National Park Service firefighter!

  • 12 to 5:30 pm — Warm-Up at Savage Cabin with Park Sled Dogs
    Location: Savage Cabin (Mile 14)

    Visit with park staff and some of our sled dogs 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 12. Walk, ski or snowshoe 1/4 mile to cabin.
  • 1 pm — Snow Science Field Activity
    Location: Start at the “Our Winter World” Exhibits in the Winter Visitor Center Indoor Picnic Area

    Come on a short walk to look at the taiga (forest) snow and learn about the layers in a snow pit. Learn why these layers take on the textures they do, and what that means for animals, plants and people. The walk is also available at 11 am and noon.

    Presented by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and sponsored by the National Science Foundation

  • 1-3 pm — Guided Ski
    Location: Start at the Winter Visitor Center Indoor Picnic Area

    Join a ranger to explore a 2-3 mile loop from the Winter Visitor Center, and then onwards up Riley Creek. Bring your own skis, water, and snacks. Please be ready at the Winter Visitor Center promptly at 1:00 pm. Intermediate difficulty. Participants should be comfortable skiing in ungroomed tracks and backcountry terrain.

    This activity is dependent on safe snow and river ice conditions . Check at the visitor center front desk or call 683-9532 for status.
  • 1 pm to 3 pm — Guided Snowshoe Walk
    Location: Winter Visitor Center

    Join us for a fun and informative walk to discover the hidden joys of winter in Denali. Snowshoes available for checkout.
  • 5 pm — Winterfest Community Dinner and Bingo!
    Location: Tri-Valley Community Center, Healy

    Dinner and events presented and supported by Denali Borough, Native Village of Cantwell, Holland America-Princess, Doyon/Aramark Joint Venture, Tri Valley School, and Denali Preschool Learning Center.

    • 5 pm to 6:30 pm: Community Spaghetti Dinner
    • 6:15 pm: Denali Borough Mayor’s Community Service Award presentation
    • 6:30 to 8:30 pm: BINGO! All ages are welcome to participate. Prizes include a one-hour massage by Therapeutic Massage and other various gift certificates from local winter businesses.
  • 8:30 pm – Stargazing Party
    Location: Mountain Vista Rest Area at Mile 13

    If it’s a clear night, come join us at the Mountain Vista parking lot to view constellations, planets, and maybe the northern lights. NPS Night Skies technician Cameron Sanson will give a short astronomy talk at 9 pm. Dress warmly and bring binoculars and a headlamp if you have them.
  • 9:00 pm — Denali Game Night
    Location: The Totem Bar, Healy

    Head to the Totem Bar for a fun night of games and the chance to win some winter-themed prizes. Games will include pool, foosball, Pac-Man, X-Box games, over-sized Jenga, and more!

    Hosted by the Denali Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center.

Sunday, February 23

1 pm to 3 pm — Guided Snowshoe Walk
Location: Starting at the Winter Visitor Center

Join us for a fun and informative walk to discover the hidden joys of winter in Denali. Call 683-9532 to find out where to meet. Snowshoes are available for checkout at the Winter Visitor Center.



2pm Bigfoot-Fest
Location: Tri-Valley Community Library, Suntrana Road, Healy


Do you know what life as a bigfoot is like? Come find out with a fun-filled, family friendly event at the library. Hone your bigfoot hunting skills with a scavenger hunt. Make your own bigfoot feet and run an obstacle course.

Bring your sleeping bag and pillows to curl up and watch the movie Smallfoot to find out what bigfoot thinks of you and your small feet. Come in your jammies and join us for lots of laughs, yeti movie snacks, and bigfoot crafts for all ages.

 

Jump to date

By Park

By State/Territory

By Event Type

REPEATING EVENTS
  • Show
  • Hide
Loading Events...
 
 

Last updated: September 24, 2020

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.

Contact Us