The Cowboy Way
An agricultural community located at the junction of the Alaska and Richardson highways and the confluence of the Tanana
and Delta rivers.
Delta has huge farms that grow everything from buffalo to barley. At heart, it’s a cowboy town. Yet, there’s
also a large immigrant Russian population.
And, Delta is the missile launch site for the Missile Defense System, in addition to being near
a huge new gold mine.
Down on the Farm in Delta
Delta Junction is 96 miles south of Fairbanks, along the windy Delta River where it meets the Tanana River. It’s
also where the Alcan Highway ends.
The Richardson Highway continues to Fairbanks as Route 2.
This is a farming community, with 30,000 acres
of farms growing barley, oats, wheat and other crops, as well as dairy cows, beef & buffalo.
The Roadhouse operated from 1909 to 1947 on the Valdez-to-Fairbanks Trail.
The builder, John Hajdukovich, had a Swedish woman,
Rika Wallen, operate the roadhouse. She was given the roadhouse for $10 in 1923.
The roadhouse is now in Big Delta State Historical Park,
furnished in 1920-1930 style, and open to the public for free
The U.S. Army Signal Corps built a telegraph station here in 1907 --
as it did at other roadhouses.
This historic roadhouse has been outfitted into a museum by the Delta Chamber of Commerce.
1905, it was originally built by John Sullivan on a steep section of
the Valdez-to-Fairbanks trail. When the Alaska Road Commission moved
the trail 4 miles to make travel easier, the Sullivans tore down the
roadhouse and moved it, too. Their “new” location ended up on Fort
Greely property -- on a bombing range.
For years, the soldiers protected the old roadhouse, until several years ago it was moved again -- by helicopter,
It is outfitted with original artifacts taken from the old roadhouse -- and features dozens of historic photographs.
Home of the $2 Bed and Grub
Roadhouses were commonly built in a difficult section of the trail where people had to fix their sleds and vehicles,
or at a river crossing, where they had to dry off.
The roadhouses were about 10 to 15 miles apart, within walking distance. They charged
a hefty price for the time – $1
or $2 for a meal, and up to $2 for a bed.
Delta's Early History
This area was home to Tanana Indians living near the Alaska Range.
After gold was discovered in Fairbanks, there was
a ferry at Rika’s
for freight being trucked north from Valdez. The federal government imposed a tax here to encourage use of the Alaska Railroad instead.
Mud Bog Races: Down and Dirty
the top draws at the Fair in Delta, along with the pie-eating competition.
The Galloping Glacier
The Black Rapids Glacier is across the river from the Black Rapids Roadhouse.
three months in 1937 the Black Rapids Glacier made national news by
advancing across the valley at the rate of a mile a month – it was
known as the “galloping glacier.”
27-mile long glacier has since retreated, but the moraine can still be seen from the Richardson Highway pullout.
Scenery South of Delta
About 60 miles south of Delta Junction on the Richardson Highway, you cross through the Alaska Range at
Isabel Pass, and enter the Copper River Valley.
The road here is good and the grades are gentle, even though you reach 3,000 feet above sea
This is a magnificent stretch of scenery. You pass through the mountains, with glaciers and streams coming down on either
side of you. Just before you reach Paxson, there are several large, high mountain lakes.
This high country is locally known as a great snowmachining
area and is the scene of a giant snowmachine celebration of spring called the “Arctic Man”.
+ Activities + Things to Get
+ Where to Stay + Where to Eat
Junction, Don't Miss...
• The Chamber Visitor Center
• Sullivan’s Roadhouse
• Farmer’s Market Wednesdays & Saturdays
• “End of the Alcan” sign
• Deltana Fair (July 28-30)
• Tour of Delta Farms (Ask at the visitor center)
• The drive south through the Alaska Range to Summit Lake for wildlife & great mountain photos
About DELTA JUNCTION
96 miles from
Large, ranch-like farms started under
a state barley-growing project. Western-style community. Once known as
“Buffalo Center” because a herd of 23 Montana buffalo was introduced.
There are now around 500 bison near Delta. And cowboy boots are as
common as sneakers. Delta's the offical end of the Alcan Highway.