If catching one of the state’s most prized varieties of salmon is on your list, look no further than Gakona.

About Gakona (Ahtna Athabascan; Ggax Kuna’)

Gakona and neighboring Gakona Junction sit at the confluence of the Copper and Gakona rivers, 15 miles northeast of Glennallen and just east of the Richardson Highway on the Tok Cut-off Road.

Gakona Lodge was built in 1929 and is on the National Register of Historical Places. The lodge still welcomes travelers today for a glimpse of Alaska history including relics and equipment from the era. With a combined population that barely tops 200, the communities make up for their size with awesome recreational opportunities.

Things to do

Regarded as a paradise for anglers and rafters looking for big fish and whitewater adventure, Gakona is a great place to base your quest for the famed Copper River red (sockeye) salmon. For trout and grayling as well as salmon, try the Gulkana River, which is also nearby. The river is a federally designated Wild and Scenic River and a popular float trip for visitors and residents alike from its headwaters at Paxson Lake to the Sourdough Campground about 20 miles north of Gakona.

Outfitters can also arrange raft trips ranging from an afternoon to a week-long adventure on many rivers in the area including the Gakona, Copper and the Tonsina rivers, famous for its glacier-blue water, Class III whitewater and high cliffs. In winter, visitors can witness the great Alaska tradition of dog mushing when the Copper Basin 300 Dog Sled Race rolls through town.

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