Denali Discovery Center

Discovery Center
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Denali Discovery Center

Enhance your journey to Alaska with a visit to the Denali Discovery Center, the newest endeavor by local Alaskan business, Premier Alaska Tours. The handcrafted Douglas Fir timber frame contracted building is situated on the banks of Otto Lake. Named after Otto Mackey, a Finnish homesteader that came to the area in the late 1950’s.

Blending into the natural beauty of the area, the Denali Discovery Center is a showcase of fine American craftsmanship. Located 15 minutes north of Denali National Park, the Denali Discovery Center is beautifully set inside 47 acres of pristine Taiga Forest. Surrounded by birch, spruce, and quaking aspen trees with a stunning view of the lake. Moose, lynx, owls frequent the area, along with snowshoe hares and a myriad of migratory birds. Golden Eagles often frequent the mountain ridges just south of Otto Lake, leading to the possibility of viewing these majestic birds sore dive at speeds of over 160 mph.

This authentic Denali experience, under the shadow of Mount Healy, showcases 2.5 miles of nature trails meandering through native Taiga Forest, wildflowers, and hugging the lake shore. Private receptions and presentations by Naturalists, Mountain Climbers and former Park Rangers will have guests on the edge of their handcrafted seats. The serene and breathtaking landscape will create stunning memories to last a lifetime.

Discover Center Information

Denali Discovery Center
739 Otto Lake Road, Healy, AK  99743

Elevation – 1788 ft (544.98 m)

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Discovery Center Features

Otto Lake Trail Descriptions

The Otto Lake Trail system encompasses 1.2 miles of compacted gravel trail, and explores diverse ecosystems, including the shoreline of Otto Lake, mature aspen groves, mixed-spruce forest, sphagnum-bog, and subalpine tundra, all with expansive views of the Healy Ridge and the Nenana River Canyon. The trails are home to various wildlife in all seasons, from ptarmigan and hawks to moose and lynx.

The Lakeside Trail (1880’) has little elevation change, perfect for an easy stroll through the heart of the campus. It winds past the boathouse, hugging the eastern shore of Otto Lake, which melts out earlier than many bodies of water in Interior Alaska, making it a birding hot-spot especially during the Spring migration. While moving through mature aspen groves, hikers can watch for raptors, shorebirds, waterfowl and songbirds, and the occasional moose wading in the shallow water. Crossing one elevated boardwalk and terminating on a small peninsula, the trail offers stunning views across the lake to the Alaska Range in Denali National Park to the South.

The Lynx Loop (2725’) takes off from the southeast end of the Lakeside Trail and circles through open tundra, with gentle grades traversing the mounds and edges of glacially-carved landscape. Intact native plant communities abound, with Labrador tea, dwarf birch, and patches of bog blueberry and low-bush cranberry ripe for picking in fall.

The Meadow Loop (1485’) adds another quarter-mile of walking through aspen, spruce, birch and tundra, and a boardwalk that skirts the edge of a marshy wetland. The boggy expanse is home to sandpipers, moose with their calves, and hundreds of wild irises in early summer.

Pedestrians can walk the trails and follow the loops in any direction, for up to 2.5 miles of exploration. While moving their bodies through Denali's unique landscape, trail users can listen for bird song, wind in the aspen leaves, and of course, silence.

Premier Alaska Tours, Alaska, Adventure, Land Tours, Motorcoach Tours, Private Flight Tours, Railcar Tours
Premier Alaska Tours, Alaska, Adventure, Land Tours, Motorcoach Tours, Private Flight Tours, Railcar Tours
Premier Alaska Tours, Alaska, Adventure, Land Tours, Motorcoach Tours, Private Flight Tours, Railcar Tours
Premier Alaska Tours, Alaska, Adventure, Land Tours, Motorcoach Tours, Private Flight Tours, Railcar Tours
Premier Alaska Tours, Alaska, Adventure, Land Tours, Motorcoach Tours, Private Flight Tours, Railcar Tours
Premier Alaska Tours, Alaska, Adventure, Land Tours, Motorcoach Tours, Private Flight Tours, Railcar Tours
Premier Alaska Tours, Alaska, Adventure, Land Tours, Motorcoach Tours, Private Flight Tours, Railcar Tours
Premier Alaska Tours, Alaska, Adventure, Land Tours, Motorcoach Tours, Private Flight Tours, Railcar Tours
Premier Alaska Tours, Alaska, Adventure, Land Tours, Motorcoach Tours, Private Flight Tours, Railcar Tours
Premier Alaska Tours, Alaska, Adventure, Land Tours, Motorcoach Tours, Private Flight Tours, Railcar Tours