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Denali Winterfest

  • Dates: 2/25/2024
  • Location: Denali Park Entrance and Healy
  • Time: Varies, See Description
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About
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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.

2024 Schedule of Events

Friday, February 23

  • 4 pm to 6 pm — Otto Lake Fat Truck Tours
    Location: Otto Lake, Healy
    Denali Fat Truck Tours with support from the Denali Chamber of Commerce will be providing free fat truck tour rides on Otto Lake, ice crafts, and hot chocolate to keep you warm during your adventures.

  • 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm — McKinley Village Kickoff
    Location: McKinley Village Community Center
    Join Denali Education Center, the McKinley Park Community Club, and Kids in Motion for an evening of pet and family fun! Highlights include a dog-pulling event (with awards), a chili and soup potluck with a dessert fundraiser supporting Denali Jr. Nordic, and the unveiling of the Denali Quilters Trail Barn Quilt.

    • 4:30pm – Dog Pull Registration – Household pets and sled dogs both welcome to be signed up for a size-based pulling event in front of the Community Center.
    • 5:00pm – Dog Pull Event
    • 6:30pm – Barn Quilt Unveiling and Dog Pull Awards
    • 7:00pm – Soup and Chili Potluck, Dessert fundraiser for Denali Jr. Nordic. Bring your own bowls and a dish to share!
    • 7:30pm – Music and Dancing

Saturday, February 24

  • 9:30 am to 5 pm — Winter Visitor Center
    Location: Winter Visitor Center (Murie Science and Learning Center)
    Rangers will be available to answer questions, play park films, and sign out snowshoes and snow sculpting tools.

  • 9:30 am to 5 pm — Indoor Picnic Area
    Location: Across from the Winter Visitor Center
    The unstaffed Indoor Picnic Area is open daily as a warm space with restrooms, park information, and limited seating.

  • 10 am to 12 pm — Guided Snowshoe Walk
    Location: Meet at the Winter Visitor Center
    Come explore the winter wonderland along a snowy trail with a ranger. *A limited number of snowshoes will be available for checkout at the Winter Visitor Center.

  • 10 am to 3 pm — Snow Block Sculpture Competition
    Location: Upper Parking Lot of the Denali Visitor Center
    Sign up for a snow block and pick up sculpting tools at the Winter Visitor Center. Judging begins at 3:00 pm.

  • 10 am to 4 pm — Warm-up at Savage Cabin
    Location: Savage Cabin (Mile 14, Denali Park Road)

    Come visit park staff at the historic Upper Savage River ranger patrol cabin. Enjoy a campfire, hot drinks, and s’mores! Park at Mile 13, and walk, ski, or snowshoe 0.25 mile to the cabin.

  • 10:30 am to 12 pm — Youth Cross-Country Ski Races
    Location: Riley Creek Campground, Caribou Loop
    Ski races (ages 6–18), skate or classic ski. The 0.8 km loop track will be open for preview at 10 am. Racers should check in by 10:30 am at the starting line. *Bring your own equipment.

  • 11 am to 1 pm — Refreshments
    Location: Indoor Picnic Area (Across from the Winter Visitor Center)
    Snacks, light lunch, and refreshments provided by Doyon/Aramark Joint Venture.

  • 1 pm to 2:30 pm — Kids Activity: Denali Winter Games
    Location: TBD, inquire at the Winter Visitor Center
    Drop by anytime between 1 pm and 2:30 pm for some fun kids’ activities! We are celebrating the winter games… Denali style!

  • 1 pm to 4 pm — Denali Sled Dog Kennels
    Location: Kennels (Mile 3.4 of the Denali Park Road)

    Visit the Denali Sled Dog Kennels to learn about past and current operations and to meet some of our canine rangers! The Denali Sled Dog Kennels are currently open Saturdays and Sundays only.

  • 1 pm to 2 pm — Denali Historic Slideshow
    Location: Winter Visitor Center

    Join Park Ranger Dan Irelan as he shares rarely seen historic images and slides from throughout Denali’s history.

  • 5 pm to 8:30 pm — Winterfest Community Dinner and BINGO!
    Location: Tri-Valley Community Center, Healy
    The Denali Borough will again be hosting their annual community dinner, award ceremony, and much anticipated BINGO! game.

    • 5 pm to 6:30 pm: Free community dinner, with the Denali Borough Mayor's Community Service Award to follow.
    • 6:30 to 8:30 pm: BINGO! game run by the Native Village of Cantwell, sponsored by the Denali Borough. All ages welcome to participate. Prizes available.

Sunday, February 25

  • 9:30 am to 5 pm — Winter Visitor Center
    Location: Winter Visitor Center (Murie Science and Learning Center)
    Rangers will be available to answer questions, play park films, and sign out snowshoes.

  • 9:30 am to 5 pm — Indoor Picnic Area
    Location: Across from the Winter Visitor Center
    The unstaffed Indoor Picnic Area is open daily as a warm space with restrooms, park information, and limited seating.

  • 1 pm to 4 pm — The Denali Sled Dog Kennels
    Location: Mile 3.4 of the Denali Park Road

    Visit the Denali Sled Dog Kennels to learn about past and current operations and to meet some of our canine rangers! The Denali Sled Dog Kennels are currently open on Saturdays and Sundays only.

  • 3 pm — The Ice Age: Adventures of Buck Wild
    Location: Tri-Valley Community Library, Suntrana Road, Healy

    Things are getting wild at the library! Come join the adventure with a fun-filled, family-friendly movie and activity night at the library. Crafts and snacks will be included, so prepare for some dino fun!

Denali Winterfest