M.P. 141.8


Current Population: 440 (2002 DCED Certified Population)
Incorporation Type: Located in Municipality of Anchorage
Taxes: Sales: None (Anchorage); Property: 18.79 mills (Anchorage); 8% Accommodations Tax; Tobacco Products (Anchorage)
City: Eklutna, Incorporated, 16515 Centerfield Dr. #100, Eagle River, AK 99577, Phone 907-696-2828 , Fax 907-696-2845

Eklutna is located at the head of the Knik Arm of Cook Inlet, at the mouth of the Eklutna River, 25 miles northeast of Anchorage.  The area encompasses 6 sq. miles of land and 4 sq. miles of water.

The Eklutna area was the site of many Athabascan Indian villages as long as 800 years ago. Today's residents are descendants of the Tanaina tribe. A railroad station was built in 1918, and Russian Orthodox missionaries arrived in the 1840s. Brightly colored "spirit houses" in the Russian Slavic style now lend character to Eklutna. The Eklutna Power House supplies hydroelectric power to Anchorage.

12.6% of the population are Alaska Natives. A federally recognized tribe is located in the community. It is an Athabascan village with a subsistence lifestyle. The Russian Orthodox religion is prevalent.

During the 2000 U.S. Census, there were 141 total housing units, and 7 of these were vacant. The official unemployment rate at that time was 5.83%. 30.24% of all adults were not in the work force. The median household income was $77,355, and 2.36% of residents were living below the poverty level.

The majority of homes are fully plumbed, with a community well water system and individual septic tanks. Chugach Electric Association purchases power from the federally owned Eklutna Hydro Facility.

Eklutna residents are employed in a variety of occupations in Anchorage, Eagle River, and the Mat-Su valley. They are actively developing tourism opportunities.

The Alaska Railroad has a siding here which is one of the few that is accessible by road.  There is a siding and a spur down to the Eklutna Rock pit which provides ballast and RipRap for the track bed. This pit is owned by DamCo Paving and National Bank of Alaska.


Russian Orthodox Church and spirit houses

Eklutna is the home to the oldest Russian Orthodox Churches in North America. The Russians came over in number during the early 1800's and converted many of the Alaska natives. Many of the religious practices of the natives and the Russians blended.  One of the most interesting practices is that of the "spirit house". When they died, they placed the remains in a box and buried them, but then built a small house above the remains so that the deceased would feel comfortable.

Spirit House

Eklutna section house and maintenance areas, 1949


Created 12/1/99 and last updated 12/2/11