Located at mile 33 Edgerton Hwy in Chitina, AK, about 1 hour from the Wrangell-St. Elias Visitor Center and Headquarters in Copper Center. (907) 823-2242.
Chitina Ranger Station is a must-stop for anyone visiting Chitina or venturing down the McCarthy Road to Kennecott. There are interpretive exhibits, trip planning, road updates, park & area information, and subsistence permits for eligible local rural residents.
Services available in Chitina include a post office, tire repair, cafe, hotel, B&Bs, and payphone. The log cabin station is decorated with historic photographs featuring the town of Chitina as a transportation hub, "where the rails meet the trails." Trains, stagecoaches, dog sleds, and steamboats all passed through Chitina on their way to the mining and commerce centers of Alaska during Chitina's boom years, 1910-1938. The heyday of Chitina (pronounced Chit-nuh) was directly tied to the operation of the Kennecott mines and the Copper River and Northwestern Railway. The railroad was built to haul copper ore from the Kennecott mines to Cordova. Chitina provided an intermediate stop for the trains and their passengers.
The 1910 log cabin, now the ranger station, was one of many built in the town of Chitina around that time. It was constructed for J.C. Martin, the local manager of the Ed S. Orr Stage company. The initials "J.C.M." are still clearly scrawled on the wooden ceiling. The home was praised in the local newspaper as "one of the neatest and most substantial log cabin cottages in Alaska." A local crew of craftsmen, working for the National Park Service, rehabilitated the cabin in 1991-92. Chitina History (pdf, 764 kb)
Last updated: June 22, 2022