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.
Fishing guides in Gakona can arrange a float for anglers to fish the Gulkana River for king salmon. A popular trip is the 50-mile stretch of the upper river from Paxon Lake to a boat launch in Sourdough Campground.
Copper Basin 300 Dog Sled Race
High-spirited sled dog racing can be enjoyed in Gakona when the Copper Basin 300 Dog Sled Race
passes in January when it serves as the starting point for the. Often referred to as the toughest 300 miles in Alaska, the race follows a loop that begins in Glennallen, passes through Lake Louise and heads north to Summit Lake before passing through Gakona on the return loop to Lake Louise.
Built in 1929, Gakona Lodge is on the National Register of Historical Places and still accommodates travelers today who get an authentic glimpse of Alaska's history including relics and equipment from the era. Also in Gakona is Doyle's Roadhouse built in 1904.
Outfitters in the Gakona area can arrange raft trips ranging in length from an afternoon to a week-long adventure. Popular rivers that are floated include the Gakona, Copper and the Tonsina River, famous for its glacier-blue water, Class III whitewater and high cliffs.