Location / Coordinates: Eklutna, Alaska is located at the head of cook Inlet’s Knik Arm. Twenty-five miles northeast of Anchorage at the mouth of the Eklutna River.
Population / Elevation: Not quite 400 people live in Eklutna, Alaska. At near sea level, Eklutna, Alaska is surrounded by the towering Chugach mountains.
Description: An Athabaskan village and a bedroom community to Anchorage, Eklutna, Alaska offers a lot of history and convenience. Many of the Natives of Eklutna maintain an subsistence lifestyle, the other residents of Eklutna have found an “Alaska” lifestyle just a short commute to Anchorage. Eklutna sets in a very scenic setting. Close to the Chugach State Park, Thunderbird Falls, and the Eklutna Historical Park.
What to do there: History buffs will like the cemetery in the Native village of Eklutna, Alaska. The village itself is a nice afternoon as well. Learn about village history, wildlife in the area and subsistence fishing.
The Eklutna Cemetery dates back to 1650. Russian Orthodox missions were established on the coastline and the mainland interior of Russian-occupied Alaska in the beginning of the late 18th century. Natives were converted to the Russian Orthodox faith. Part of the conversion was the practice of housing the dead. The Native cemetery is adjacent to the 19th century Church of St. Nicholas in Eklutna.
Over 100 “Spirit Houses” occupy the cemetery in regular rows. Brightly colored, wooden with gabled–roofs and fronted with Greek crosses and surmounted by comb-like ridge crests, these structures house the dead. The size of the house determines the social status of the individual buried there and clan affiliations re identified by the color and the styling of the crest.
This cemetery is still in use.
Thunderbird Falls, Eklutna Lake Recreation Area, and numerous hiking trails are just a short distance from Eklutna.
How to get there: Just of the Glenn Highway going north out of Anchorage, take the exit for Eklutna and follow the signs.
Facilities: Eklutna, Alaska has an Ice cream shop with everything you might need for a picnic too. The ranger station has information about camping, camp sites, and public use cabine.
RV info: The closest RV park is in Peter’s Creek just down the Glenn Highway. They have full hook ups, and a dump station.