Chickaloon | Anthracite Ridge


Chickaloon, known by the Athna people as Nay'dini'aa Na', is a populated area in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough of Alaska. It is a very small community that sits at Mile 76 of the Glenn Highway and is surrounded by the Chugach and Talkeetna Mountains and at the flank of the Matanuska River. It was formerly a trade hub for the Athabascan people, who exchanged copper and sheep with the southern tribes for fish and other marine catches in return. It then became a coal mining center when an American Army exploration party arrived and pinpointed a coal deposit by the Chickaloon River, mined in 1913-1914. The operation soon halted to make the place welcome to homesteaders.

Nowadays, Chickaloon has transformed into a popular destination for outdoor activities due to the beauty of its natural surroundings. The Matanuska River, for instance, is a popular site for whitewater rafting, Chickaloon's favorite activity. Sport fishing is another popular activity, thanks to the area's many nearby bodies of water. Glacial hikes and ice climbing are also possible on the Matanuska Glacier. Even further west of Chicakloon, you may find the Anthracite Ridge, a mountainous area with an elevation of 1,688 miles. This ridge is another famous site for hiking with an incredibly scenic view from the top. The region has various companies that provide guides for glacier hikes and places to go camping, such as the King Mountain State Recreational Site.

With a population of under 300, Chickaloon is a very small community that provides a few basic services, including a post office, a small grocery store, a volunteer fire department, and a cafe & lodge. The Chickaloon Community Council has designated a “special use district” in Chickaloon that restricts people from subdividing lots into parcels smaller than five acres. Chickaloon draws residents who are interested in homesteading and living in a rural community.

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