|a l a s k a j o u r n e y . c o m|
|Southcentral Mountains & Prince William Sound|
Edgerton Highway (AK 10)
Road Conditions and Attractions32 miles. Good, paved road, open year-round. Views of the Wrangells, Copper River valley, Liberty Falls.
This 32-mile route links Mile 82.6 of the Richardson Highway with Chitina and access to the McCarthy Road. An 8-mile gravel cutoff from Kenny Lake to Mile 91.1 of the Richardson saves time for those coming from or heading to Glenallen. At Mile 23.7 is the Liberty Falls State Recreation Site, offering camping and easy access to noisy Liberty Falls.
Location/Climate: 66 miles northeast of Valdez at the confluence of the Chitina and Copper Rivers. 12"/yr. precip., -58°F91°F.
Population: 64 (47 percent native, mainly Ahtna Athabascan).
Travel Attractions: River access, WrangellSt. Elias National Park and Preserve access.
Getting There: Vehicle access via Edgerton Highway (AK 10) from Richardson Highway (AK 4); charter air.
Information: Ranger Station, WrangellSt. Elias National Park and Preserve, Chitina, AK 99566, 823-2205, www.nps.gov/wrst.
Long an important settlement of Ahtna Athabaskans, Chitina is located on the west shore of the Copper River across from the confluence of the Copper and Chitina Rivers. With the construction of the railroad to serve the Kennicott mining region to the east, Chitina attracted non-native settlers and began to boom. Early travelers and settlers who arrived in Cordova via steamship could travel by train to Chitina, then on to Interior mining areas and towns by stagecoach, dogsled, or horse. The town faded with the closing of the mine and the end of rail service, but enjoys limited revitalization as a gateway to WrangellSt. Elias National Park and Preserve.
Visit the Chitina Ranger Station, located in the original home of the Ed S. Orr Stage Co., which served travelers after the turn of the century. Park and town information is available here. Ask here or elsewhere about informal lakeside camping near town. Before traveling on to McCarthy, gas up and check your spare.
Where to Stay and Eat in Chitina
Chitina Motel, 823-2211. Basic rooms are $60. Inquire at the grocery.
Itll Do Cafe, Main Street, 823-2244. Open daily. Itll do nicely.