in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area
- Area Type
- Place of Interest
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 Department of Labor Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (chee san' uh); a.k.a. Shushana
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Geography and Climate
- Chisana lies deep within Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. It lies on the north bank of Chathenda Creek, 1.7 miles east of its junction with the Chisana River. It is located about 30 miles southeast of Nabesna.
- The area experiences a continental climate, with long, cold winters, and relatively warm summers. Temperature extremes range from a low of -62 to a high of 91 °F. Total precipitation averages 13 inches per year, with annual snowfall averaging 61 inches.
- Community Map Available
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Chisana is derived from an Athabascan word meaning "red river." Chisana is the location of Alaska's last significant gold rush. In 1913, Billy James, Andy Taylor, Fred Best, and Matilda Wales staked the first mining claims on the Bonanza, Little Eldorado, and Big Eldorado creeks. From 2,000 to 8,000 persons joined the Chisana rush. Other townsites were developed in the area: Woodrow, Johnson City, Reliance City, and Gasoline City. A Native village was located nearby on Cross Creek. By 1924, mining had dwindled, and, according to Milton B. Medary, a member of a Smithsonian expedition, Chisana consisted of "452 log cabins in which one man lives alone." The Chisana Post Office operated from 1913 to 1938. Mining continued in the district but declined until World War II. The Chisana Mining District was placed on the National Historic Register in 1985.
- Chisana is currently uninhabited.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- There is no road access. A gravel and turf airstrip is available, but it is not maintained. (Skis only during winter months.) There are several private airstrips. A mail plane provides passenger service twice weekly.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District