Chitina

Look for dip netters in the Copper River from the Chitina-McCarthy Bridge at Milepost C 1.1 McCarthy Road. (Photo by Serine Reeves)

Population: 97
Chitina is located at Milepost 33 on the Edgerton Highway, 120 miles northeast of Valdez, and 66 miles southeast of Glennallen.
Visitor Information: Chitina Ranger Station for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, is staffed by Park Rangers and it has limited hours. The Alaska Geographic bookstore is also here; phone (907) 823-2205. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park visitor center at Milepost V 106.8 Richardson Highway; phone (907) 822-5234.

Chitina (pronounced CHIT-na) was established in 1910. Chitina was located at the northern terminus of the Copper River & Northwestern Railway and acted as a railroad and mining supply town for the Kennecott Copper Mines at McCarthy. Today, it is the gateway to the McCarthy Road and Wrangell–St. Elias National Park. Motorists stop in Chitina for food and lodging on their way to the Kennicott/McCarthy area. Gilpatrick’s Hotel Chitina, open daily May 1–Oct. 1, offers rooms with private baths, a full-service restaurant and a garden pub.

Attractions:

  • Copper River dip-net salmon fishery, open to Alaska residents only, runs June through September, with scheduled opening dates and hours announced throughout the season. Access to the river is via O’Brien Creek Road. (Warning: Copper River is extremely swift and can be hazardous.)