Trails, and later, highways, paralleled the rivers of
the region. Native villages here have their own local government, but the region as a whole has no official government other than the school
Trans-Alaska Pipeline Runs
Through Copper River Country
Oil was discovered at Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope in 1968. By 1977, the 800-mile
length of insulated pipe had already been laid, and oil was flowing through.
The Copper Valley is underlain with permafrost, which could
melt and shift the pipe. So the pipe was built to run above ground. Heat transfer fins in the upright posts help keep the ground frozen.
pipe rests on teflon-coated crossbeams, so it can move without breaking during earthquakes.
You can see the Pipeline before it crosses
under the highway in Glennallen on the north side of the road.
The visitor center is in the gray-blue building
next to the gas station. It has displays, maps, brochures, visitor guides and a knowledgeable staff who can give you advice on where to
stay and how to have a good time in local communities as well as elsewhere in the state.
DON'T GET MOSQUITO BIT. GET PIC.
Mosquito coils like this are used everywhere in Alaska. People light them and put them just outside their doorways to keep mosquitoes out.
They’re very effective. You can buy them at almost any local store. When buying coils, ask for “Pic.” Incredibly, they’re
made from crushed flowers.
These huge peaks rise above the lowlands and are clearly visible throughout much of the summer.
The four mountains
that visitors ask most about in Glennallen are (from north to south): Mt. Sanford (16,237 feet), Mt. Drum (12,010 feet), Mt. Wrangell
(14,163 feet) and Mt. Blackburn (16,390 feet.)
Mt. Blackburn is the tallest of these four peaks, but because it is the most distant from
the road it looks smaller. Mt. Drum, which dominates the view in Glennallen, is actually the shortest. Mt. Wrangell is a steaming volcano.
You can flightsee around the mountains from Gulkana airport.
Watch the Wrangell Mountains "Move"
you travel the highways, the Wrangell Mountains appear to shift around.
in Glennallen, Mt. Drum is on the right of Mt. Sanford.
But as you head south to Valdez, Mt. Drum gradually moves to the left of Sanford.
To add to the confusion, the entire
shape of Mt. Drum changes as you near Kenny Lake. Drum looks like a perfect volcanic cone from Glennallen, but becomes significantly
less symmetrical from Kenny Lake.
Centrally located in the middle of a huge ancient lake bed, surrounded by mountain ranges. A small town that
a highway camp. Provides services to Copper Valley residents, a majority of whom don’t live in Glennallen, but along the road system and
Many people ask if there’s a place to walk while in Glennallen. Turns out they're in luck.
There’s a one-mile student-designed interpretive trail with a parking area at the top of Co-op Drive. Turn
at the Arctic Cat shop to get there. There’s a trailhead sign with brochures and a map available there and at the visitor center.