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The Interior: Fairbanks & the Yukon Valley

Delta Junction

Location/Climate: On Delta River at the junction of the Alaska Highway (AK 2) and the Richardson Highway (AK 4). 12"/yr. precip., -65°F–91°F.

Population: 828 (4.4 percent native).

Travel Attractions: Travel services, bison herd, Tanana River access.

Getting There: Vehicle access via Richardson and Alaska Highways; regular small-plane air and charter air service.

Information: Visitor Information Center, junction of Richardson and Alaska Highways, Delta Junction, AK 99737, 895-5068, www.akpub.com/akttt/delta.html.

The area around the confluence of the Delta and Tanana Rivers was first occupied in 1904 by the Army Signal Corps as the site of the McCarthy Telegraph Station. The telegraph line eventually ran from Chitina and Tonsina, up through Delta and Fairbanks, and across to Saint Michael on the Bering Sea. The settlement served as a road-construction camp in 1919 when work began to turn the Valdez, or All-America Trail, into the Richardson Highway. It came to be known as "Buffalo Center" because of the introduction of a bison herd to the region in 1927. Bison can be observed in the area, particularly in the fall and winter when they concentrate east of town in the Delta Junction Bison Range south of the Alaska Highway. The construction of the Alaska Highway, the establishment of Fort Greely, and the building of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline all contributed to area growth.

Delta Junction offers your first view of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline if you’ve come from Canada. For a good look, stop 10 miles up the Richardson toward Fairbanks where the pipeline crosses the Tanana.

All travel services are available in Delta Junction.

Things to See and Do in Delta Junction

Alaska Homestead and Historical Museum—Homesteaders settled the area around Delta. A number of those settlers are today involved in farming barley. The museum features an operating sawmill barn, corral, and salmon drying racks, as well as a homesteader’s cabin and old equipment. There are also sled dogs and other animals. Dorshorst Road, south from Mile 1,415.4 Alaska Highway, 895-4627. Open May 30–September 15 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., free displays, tours $8.

Where to Stay and Eat in Delta Junction

Alaska 7 Motel, Mile 270.3 Richardson Highway, 895-4848. $55–$60. Basic accommodations.

AYH Youth Hostel, Tanana Loop Extension from Tanana Loop Road, Mile 271.7 Richardson Highway, 895-5074. $5 beds.

Kelly’s Country Inn Motel, Mile 270.3 Richardson Highway, 895-4667. $75. Basic.

Pizza Bella, downtown across from Visitor Center, 895-4841. Open daily 10 a.m. to midnight for pizza, pasta, and more.

Victorian Inn Bed-and-Breakfast, Mile 1,414.5 Alaska Highway, 895-4636. $65. Full breakfast, Victorian home.