Wrangell - St Elias National Park & Preserve

Wrangell - St Elias National Park & Preserve

Chitina Ranger Station

Latitude, Longitude: 61.517129, -144.433651

Historic log cabin. Explore the exhibits and watch the 22-minute park movie. This is a great location to check on local events, current conditions of the McCarthy Road, and plan a trip to Kennecott & McCarthy.

Services available in Chitina include a post office, gas station, store, tire repair, cafe 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 to make it so again.


The Chitina Ranger Station is located at the end of the paved Edgerton Highway and the beginning of the gravel McCarthy Road, one of only two roads into Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve