Murie Science and Learning Center

The Murie Science and Learning Center is the winter visitor center at Denali National Park. This summer season, it will be used primarily for research and education.

Denali National Park and Preserve is holding its fifth annual Winter Solstice Ski and Stroll from 4:30-7 p.m. Dec. 20. This is a family-friendly, community event open to all.

“It’s such a lovely event,” said Denice Swanke, Denali’s Superintendent, via news release. “Seeing your friends and neighbors pass by in the warm glow of the luminarias really sets the tone for the holiday season.”

Park rangers are hosting this special event at the Murie Science and Learning Center, which serves as Denali’s winter visitor center. Visitors can ski, snowshoe or stroll on a snowy winter trail, which will be lit by luminarias. Trails accommodate all levels of skiing or snowshoeing ability.

Hot drinks will be served around a campfire and parking is available at the Murie Science and Learning Center. In support of the Park’s Zero Landfill Initiative, staff encourage visitors to avoid feeding the landfill by bringing their own reusable coffee mug to enjoy the free hot beverages. Guests should also bring warm clothes, a headlamp and their own skis, snowshoes or warm boots.

“This is an awesome opportunity to see a side of the park most visitors never get to experience,” said Paul Ollig, director of Interpretation and Education, via news release. “Our rangers will be out and offering a variety of demos and interpretive talks relating to the science and history found in the park.”

The 1-mile route starts at the Murie Science and Learning Center, passes along the McKinley Station Trail, and then loops through Morino and Spruce trails. For participants’ safety, the loops will be one-way; people can make several loops if they’d like more mileage. A fireplace inside the center will serve as a cozy spot to warm up and indoor restrooms will be available. The event may be postponed if temperatures drop below 20 below.

For more information about winter activities and services available in the park, visit the Winter Activities page on the website: bit.ly/2PFnXMV.

Contact staff writer Alistair Gardiner at 459-7575. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors.