Travel information on Nenana, Alaska and things to do in Nenana.
|Photo: © Kristen Kemmerling - Alaska Travel Industry Association|
The historic community and Athabascan Native Village of Nenana is 56 miles from Fairbanks and 75 miles north of Denali National Park.
In honor of Indian history, the Alfred Starr Cultural Center and Museum houses history and culture of the local Athabascan Indian heritage from around Nenana as well as displays on St. Mark's Mission and a variety of other historically significant events.
Celebrating more recent history, the train station built specifically for the historical visit by President Harding in 1923 to mark the completion of the Alaska Railroad has been lavishly restored and is on the National Register of Historical Sites.
Part of the site houses the Alaska State Railroad Museum and contains railroad photographs and artifacts, as well as a large gift shop.
Nenana is perhaps best known however, for the Nenana Ice Classic, a annual event in which a tripod connected to a clock on shore is mounted on the frozen Tanana River. When the ice melts and breaks up, the tripod collapses and trips the clock. The one placing the bet closest to the time of the actual ice break up is the winner of the lottery.
As the event has taken place since 1917, the log of results has become specifically important now that global warming has become such an important climatic issue.
In 1917, railroad engineers wagered $800. The prize money is now in excess of $300,000.