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Phone: (800) 580-3494

Alaska Experts for over 25 years

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Discover The Native Athabaskan Village Of Eklutna

January 30th, 2017 by Corey A. Edwards

Tour the Athabaskan Native village of Eklutna in in Alaska’s Matanuska Valley.

Colorful Spirit Houses in Eklutna cemetery.

You’ll enjoy an amazing mix of native history and outdoor adventure when you tour Alaska’s Native Athabaskan village of Eklutna.

Eklutna is in Alaska’s Matanuska Valley, 25 miles outside of Anchorage. Eklutna is presently home to around 70 residents.

The village dates back at least 800 years, making it the area’s oldest continuously inhabited settlement. The Athabaskan people have lived in the area for thousands of years and they are still here, relying upon the land for their subsistence and traditions.

Russian Orthodox missionaries discovered the village when they came here in the early 1800s. It was they who built St. Nicholas Church that still stands here, the oldest building in greater Anchorage. It was their influence, too, that melded with Native customs to produce the colorful Spirit Houses that cover graves in the cemetery.

A visit to Eklutna Historical Park reveals much about Alaska’s rich history. Not just Native history but also that of the combination of cultures that went into creating this great state. A visit to The Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage is also revealing and a wonderful precursor to visiting Eklutna.

The Alaska Native Heritage Center showcases and preserves Native culture. The 20-acre facility highlights village communities, dwellings, and lifestyles of Alaska’s eleven cultural groups. The Alaska Native Heritage Center provides a unique opportunity to explore Alaska’s diverse Native traditions, history, and contributions.

Nearby Eklutna Lake State Recreation Area is a recreational paradise with more than 27 miles of hiking and mountain-biking trails as well as kayak rentals. Eklutna Lake is seven-miles long and incredibly scenic with glaciers and the Chugach Mountains as a backdrop.

Visitors to the lake can count on seeing some of the area’s iconic wildlife, as well. The lake is known for sightings of foxes, eagles, and black bears, to name just a few.

If you have the opportunity, be sure to visit Thunderbird Falls and take a gander off the viewing platform at the water cascading into the rocky gorge below.

Eklutna Historical Park

Visiting Eklutna Village is a snap with Alaska Adventure Unlimited! Eklutna Historical Park, Alaska Native Heritage Center, and Eklutna Lake are part of seven of our guided tours!  Essence of Alaska, Gem of Alaska, Pride of Alaska, Alaska Photo Safari, Best of Alaska, Grand Discovery Alaska, and Full Circle of Alaska!

Book your multi-day guided tour with Alaska Adventure Unlimited today!

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