Glennallen, Alaska

From Academic Kids

Glennallen is a census-designated place located in Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Alaska. As of the 2003 State Demographer est., the population of the CDP is 574.



Location of Glennallen, Alaska

The community of Glennallen lies along the Glenn Highway at its junction with the Richardson Highway, 189 road miles east of Anchorage, Alaska, in the Copper River Valley. It is located just outside the western boundary of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. It lies at approximately 62.109170° North Latitude and -145.54639° West Longitude.(62.109170, -145.54639) Template:GR (Sec. 23, T004N, R002W, Copper River Meridian.) Glennallen is located in the Chitina Recording District.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 297.5 km² (114.9 mi²). 295.5 km² (114.1 mi²) of it is land and 2.0 km² (0.8 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.66% water.


Glennallen is located in the continental climate zone, with long, cold winters, and relatively warm summers. The mean temperature in January is -10 F (-23 C); in July, 56 F (13 C). Snowfall averages 39 inches (1 m), with total precipitation of 9 inches (230 mm) per year.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 554 people, 204 households, and 136 families residing in the CDP. The population density is 1.9/km² (4.9/mi²). There are 269 housing units (65 vacant) at an average density of 0.9/km² (2.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the CDP is 85.20% White, 0.18% Black or African American, 5.05% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 1.44% Pacific Islander, 0.00% from other races, and 7.94% from two or more races. 0.54% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 204 households out of which 36.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.4% are married couples living together, 6.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% are non-families. 27.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 5.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.63 and the average family size is 3.31.

In the CDP the population is spread out with 31.8% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 26.2% from 45 to 64, and 5.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 32 years. For every 100 females there are 106.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 110.0 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP is $38,846, and the median income for a family is $40,909. Males have a median income of $29,375 versus $28,125 for females. The per capita income for the CDP is $17,084. 8.04% of the population and 4.6% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 12.8% of those under the age of 18 and 3.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


In earlier times, the Ahtna Indians roamed the Copper River Valley in search of fish and game, both of which are usually plentiful there. Ahtena now live in several communities around Glennallen.

In 1899, the U. S. Army built a pack trail for summer use between the port of Valdez and Eagle. This passed through the Copper River Valley. In the early 1900s, the trail was widened and became the Richardson Highway.

During World War II, the United States built a series of military bases in Alaska, primarily for the purpose of supplying aircraft and other war material to Russia by way of Alaska and the Russian Far East as part of the Lend-lease program. This made it difficult for the Germans to the east and the Japanese to the south of Russia to interfere with the supply operation. As part of this operation, highways were built to supply the bases. The major highway project of this effort was the Alaska Highway from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada to the existing Richardson Highway at Delta Junction, Alaska and thus to Fairbanks via the Richardson Highway. Another project was the Glenn Highway, which connected the largest Alaska city of Anchorage with the Richardson Highway through a large length of very swampy land and thus to Canada and the other United States through the Alaska Highway, as well as to Fairbanks.

Construction for the Glenn Highway began at a camp on the Richardson Highway in the Copper River Valley named Glennallen after two U. S. Army explorers of the late 1800s: Capt. Edwin Glenn and Lt. Henry Allen. The highway was completed in 1945. Glennallen developed as a small community around the site of the camp. It became a commercial center for motor traffic along the Glenn and Richardson highways.

During the 1950s and 1960s, another highway, the Tok Cut-Off, was constructed from a point 15 miles north of Glennallen to the community of Tok, 135 miles east on the Alaska Highway. This enhanced Glenallen as a commercial center.

Glenallen's economy grew with the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline from 1975-1977 and the continuing service needs of the pipeline. The economy of the area was negatively impacted by the construction of the George Parks Highway, which connected Anchorage to Denali National Park and Fairbanks along the Alaska Railroad route, bypassing Glenallen.


Glennallen is the supply hub of the Copper River region. Local businesses serve area residents and Glenn Highway traffic, supplies and services, schools and medical care. State highway maintenance and federal offices are in Glennallen. RV parks, lodging, fuel and other services cater to independent travelers. The National Park Service's Wrangell-St. Elias Visitor Center and the Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge were completed in 2002 at Copper Center. Offices for the Bureau of Land Management, Alaska State Troopers, and the Dept. of Fish and Game are located here. There are several small farms in the area. Four residents hold commercial fishing permits.


The Glenn/Tok Cutoff and Richardson Highways provide year-round road access to other areas of the state. Brenwick's Airport provides public air access, and scheduled services are available. The 2,070' turf airstrip is owned and operated by Copper Basin District, Inc. The Gulkana Airport ( is located 4.3 miles northeast.


All year-round homes are fully plumbed. Although most residents have private wells in the Glennallen area, the water is often of very poor quality. Glennallen Heights utilizes two wells to serve a piped system, and a local private business delivers water by truck to fill home water tanks. The majority of downtown is connected to a piped sewage system operated by The Glennallen Improvement Corp. The sewage system serves 52 homes and businesses, and is being expanded to the Alaska Bible College and the Glennallen Heights subdivision. Most residences have individual septic tank systems, but permafrost and high water tables cause drainage failures. Refuse collection services and the Class 2 permitted landfill are operated by Copper Basin Sanitation in Glennallen. Copper Valley Electric purchases power from the state-owned Solomon Gulch Hydro Facility, and owns diesel plants in Glennallen and Valdez. Electricity is provided by Copper Valley Electric Assoc.


There are 2 schools located in the community, attended by 458 students. The schools are part of the Copper River School District [1] (

Prince William Sound Community College, on mile 188 of the Glenn Highway, and Alaska Bible College are located near or in Glennallen.

Health care

Local hospitals or health clinics include Cross Road Medical Center +1 822 3203. The clinic is a qualified Emergency Care Center and provides Critical Care Air Ambulance Services. Located at Mile 186.6 Glenn Hwy. Glennallen is classified as an isolated town/Sub-Regional Center, it is found in EMS Region 2E in the Copper River Region. Emergency Services have highway and helicopter access. Emergency service is provided by 911 Telephone Service and volunteers. Auxiliary health care is provided by Copper River EMS Council +1 822 3671; Cross Road Air Ambulance +1 822 3203.

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