stories of denali

meet alaskans who live and work near denali

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Denali Park volunteer Craig Patterson celebrates. Rangers and volunteers spend weeks on the slopes of Mt. McKinley every spring, assisting mountain climbers so they can have a safe experience on Denali's mountain peaks. Photo, National Park Service

Living In Denali's Shadow


Reality TV shows allow a glimpse into an Alaskan lifestyle full of high drama. Actually, the people who live and work throughout Alaska feel very much like ordinary Americans. They just happen to live in Alaska where three weeks of 40 Below is "a cold spell" that eats up your woodpile. Here are some stories of the Alaskans who have lived and worked "in Denali's Shadow."

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Denali People


Meet local people who have lived in towns near Denali National Park.

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Working in Denali Park


It's challenging working in a park where hundreds of thousands of people descend on a very short summer season. Visitors have high expectations for their visit to this great wilderness. Some of the people who have worked here tell what they do.

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Art in Denali


Winter gives people time to create, dance, play the fiddle and work on projects. They do work in leather, basketry, quilting and story telling. Here is a glimpse of some of those people.
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Willow Ptarmigan at Denali by Buck Shreck

Thinking of Biking the Park Road?

Alaskan Tim Weld, biked the Park Road from Wonder Lake out to the Entrance Area -- at night -- to avoid bus traffic.
His advice: It is a long, hard ride. Don't try to do it in one night. Also, buses ended up being useful when a grizzly sow with cubs appeared out of nowhere and a bus came along just in the nick of time.