Accommodations and Food
Built in 1914, Hotel Chitina (907/823-2244, www.hotelchitina.com, May–Sept., $165 d) occupies a corner lot as you come into town. This two-story frontier building was restored 90 years later with an arts and crafts decor in the downstairs restaurant and rustic bar. Guests stay in small guest rooms with modern furnishings, queen beds, private baths, and limited Wi-Fi, but no TVs or phones. The restaurant (daily 7:30 a.m.–10 p.m. late May–early Sept., dinner entrées $17–29) serves three meals a day; try the specials such as rockfish St. Elias, blackened Copper River reds, and steaks. Save room for house-made desserts, especially the cheesecakes.
Get groceries, gas, and supplies at Hem’s Chitina 1 Stop (907/823-2288). Uncle Tom’s Tavern (907/823-2253) is the local drinking establishment for the “nip and dip” crowd.
Built in 1910 and on the National Register of Historical Places, Chitina House B&B (907/823-2298, www.chitinahouse.com, May–Sept., $150 d) is a cute red home that once served as a railroad bunkhouse. Two rooms share a bath, and a continental breakfast is included.
Located in a quiet spot a mile out of town, Chitina Guest Cabins (907/823-2266, www.pawandfeathers.com, May–Oct.) rents two recently constructed cabins ($150 d with breakfast) that provide an authentic taste of the real Alaska. The cabins are quaint, with outhouses and a washbasin. Hostel-type bunkrooms are $35 per person with your own sleeping bag, or $45 per person with sheets, blankets, and towel provided. A private room here is $60 d, and bunkroom guests have kitchen access.
Camp for free along the Copper River just across the bridge a mile east of Chitina at Copper River State Campground, with no facilities but lots of sandy land to pitch a tent or park an RV for free. The constant wind keeps mosquitoes away, but it can make tenting virtually impossible. Liberty Falls State Recreation Site has several campsites ($10) along the Edgerton Highway 10 miles west of Chitina. It’s a beautiful spot.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition