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Down in the Valley

Glennallen is a small town that provides services to the surrounding communities of the Copper River Valley.

You’ll find Athabascan villages at the confluences of the Copper River and its tributaries.

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 board.


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.

The 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 at the Hub

There’s a good visitor center located at the “Hub” – where the Richardson Highway meets the Glenn Highway near Glennallen at Mile 115 Richardson and Mile 189 Glenn Highway.

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.

The Wrangell Mountains

The dramatic Wrangell Mountains are visible from throughout the Copper River Valley. They are surrounded by Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

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"

As you travel the highways, the Wrangell Mountains appear to shift around.

When you’re 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.

 

GLENNALLEN BUSINESSES

+ Places to Go + Things to Do
+ Where to Stay + Where to Eat


glennallen wrangell mountains alaska


GLENNALLEN MAPS AND FEATURES
+ Map of Downtown Glennallen
+ Map of Glenn Highway (Anchorage to Glennallen)
+ Map of Richardson Highway
+ Map of Copper River Country
+ Fishing Map of Copper River Country
+ Map of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

RELATED MAPS AND FEATURES
+ Campground Map for Eastern Alaska

In Glennallen, Don't Miss...
• View of Mt. Drum
• The Pipeline at Mile 189
• Chamber Visitor Center at Hub
• Library, Mile 187

Where is GLENNALLEN?

187 miles from Anchorage

Centrally located in the middle of a huge ancient lake bed, surrounded by mountain ranges. A small town that grew from
a highway camp. Provides services to Copper Valley residents, a majority of whom don’t live in Glennallen, but along the road system and in
Native villages.

Don't get lost. Get the Glennallen map.

 


Glennallen WALKING TRAIL

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.

Greater Copper Valley Chamber of Commerce
Activities, lodging, shopping, and services for Glennallen and the rest of the Greater Copper Valley.

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