in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 Department of Labor Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- a.k.a. Kluti-Kaah
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
- Recording District
Facilities and Amenities
Geography and Climate
- Copper Center is located between miles 101 and 105 of the Richardson Highway. It is on the west bank of the Copper River at the confluence of the Klutina River. It lies just west of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.
- Copper Center is located in the continental climate zone. Winters are long and cold, and summers are relatively warm. Temperature extremes have been recorded from a low of -74 to a high of 96 °F. Annual snowfall averages 39 inches, and total precipitation averages 9 inches per year.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- The Ahtna people have occupied the Copper River basin for the past 5,000 to 7,000 years. They had summer fish camps at every bend in the river and winter villages throughout the region. Copper Center was a large Ahtna Athabascan village at one time. In 1896 Ringwald Blix built Blix Roadhouse, which was very highly regarded for its outstanding services. The Trail of '98 from Valdez joined with the Eagle Trail to Forty Mile and Dawson. 300 destitute miners spent the winter here, and many died of scurvy. Copper Center became the principal supply center for miners in the Nelchina-Susitna region. A telegraph station and post office were established in 1901. A school was constructed in 1905, which brought a number of Native families to Copper Center. In 1909 it was designated a government agricultural experiment station. In 1932 the original roadhouse was destroyed in order to build the Copper Center Lodge. This lodge is on the National Register of Historic Roadhouses and is now considered the jewel of Alaskan roadhouses. In the late 1930s and early 40s, construction of the Richardson and Glenn Highways made the region more accessible. The first church in the Copper River region, the Chapel on the Hill, was built here in 1942 by Vince Joy and U.S. Army volunteers stationed in the area. Mr. Joy built other churches and a Bible college in the area over the years.
- Athabascan Indians represent the primary Alaska Native group. There are two distinct settlements, a Native area and a non-Native area.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Kluti Kaah
- Copper Center lies on the Richardson Highway. A state-owned gravel airstrip provides for chartered flights and general aviation.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection