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Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Alaska

Page Contents for Northway, Alaska

Statistics & Facts


History & History-related items

City Attractions





Statistics & Facts

The Alaska state capital is Juneau.
The population of Northway is approximately 113 (1999), 71 (2010).
The approximate number of families is 38 (1990), 27 (2010).
The amount of land area in Northway is 45.98 sq. kilometers.
The amount of land area in Northway is (land) 18 sq. miles.
The amount of surface water is 5.181 sq kilometers.
The distance from Northway to Washington DC is 3395 miles.
The distance to the Alaska state capital is 426 miles. (as the crow flies)
Northway is positioned 62.93 degrees north of the equator and 141.87 degrees west of the prime meridian.
The Northway median home price is :$ 60,000.
Northway average annual precipitation is 10 inches peryear.
Northway average annual snowfall is 30 inches per year.
The average low temperature is -27.0 (winter), 14.7 (spring), 48.1 (summer), 13.1 (fall) degrees F.
The average high temperature is -10.3 (winter), 41.4 (spring), 69.4 (summer), 29.7 (fall) degrees F.


in Southeast Fairbanks County, seven miles south of the Alaska Highway via a side road. It is on the east bank of Nabesna Slough, 50 miles southeast of Tok. It is 42 miles from the Canadian border in the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge.
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variable with long, cold winters and relatively warm summers. Temperatures range from -27 to 70. . Most of the precipitation comes in the summer with July having the highest amount of over 2 inches. Extreme temperatures have been recorded from -72 to 91. Northway lies in the Continental climate zone.
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History & History Related Items

Northway has been an Athabascan Indian village. The area around Northway was first used by semi-nomadic Athabascans hunted in and around the Scottie and Gardiner Creeks and Chisana, Nabesna, and Tanana Rivers. The Native settlement of Northway Village is located 2 miles south of Northway. The Native village was named in 1942 after Chief Walter Northway, who adopted his name from a Tanana and Nabesna riverboat captain. The development and settlement of Northway was due to construction of the airport during World War II. The Northway airport was a link in the Northwest Staging Route, a cooperative project between the U.S. and Canada. A chain of air bases through Canada to Fairbanks were used to supply an Alaska defense during World War II, and during the construction of the Alcan Highway. A post office was first established in 1941.
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Northway is within Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge. There are hundreds of small lakes and two glacial rivers, the Nabesna and the Chisana, which combine to form the Tanana River. For more information, write or phone the Refuge Manager
Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge.
Box 779
Tok AK 99780
Phone: 907-883-5312

Tanana River
The Tanana River is formed by the confluence of the Nabesna and Chisana Rivers near Northway. It then flows 440 miles westward to the Yukon River and then into the Bering Sea. It crosses the Parks Highway at Mile 305.1, where the Nenana River joins it at the town of Nenana. Tugs and barges based in Nenana carry cargo and freight to the Yukon region in the summer months after the ice breakup. There are fish wheels north of the bridge that can be seen in action during salmon runs. It is a wide, shallow, sometimes muddy river. The "Taku Chief", a former Tanana River tug, is on display behind the visitor information center at A St.

Northway presently consists of three settlements: Northway Junction, at milepost 1264, Northway, at the airport, and the Native village, 2 miles north

Northway is connected to the Alaska Highway by an unpaved road. Scheduled buses are available, and trucking services deliver freight to the community. There is a State-owned asphalt runway, with an FAA station and U.S. Customs office. Regular flights are available to Fairbanks, as well as charter services.
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Economy & Industry

Most wage employment is with facilities or services for the airport. An FAA Flight Service Station and U.S. Customs office are located at the airport. A motel, café, bar and pool hall, grocery store, and electric utility provide some employment. Unemployment is relatively high, although fire fighting and construction jobs bring seasonal income. Trapping also provides income. Subsistence is important to the Native population.
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Northway City Government

Northway is not an incorporated municipality. It is governed by the Northway Village Council

Northway Schools

Children in Northway attend schools in the Alaska Gateway School System
Northway School - Walter Northway School, grades K thru 12 with 74 students Northway


The population of Northway was:
Until 1960 there was no population in Northway
1960 - 196
1970 - 40
1980 - 73
1990 - 123
1999 - 113

See population figures for Northway from the US Census.

Over half of Northway's households are not plumbed. Due to high groundwater and deep permafrost, individual water wells and septic systems often freezeThe Northway Village Council operates the local washeteria. The landfill is not permitted.

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