- Pronunciation (al-uh-KACK-ut)
- Current Population 106 (2012 Alaska Department of Labor Estimate)
- Legislative Districts (link to State Legislature page):
- Senate District T
- House District 40
- Judicial District 4
- Longitude: -152.6476
Allakaket is on the south bank of the Koyukuk River, southwest of its junction with the Alatna River, approximately 190 air miles northwest of Fairbanks and 57 miles upriver from Hughes. The village of Alatna is located directly across the river.
The area experiences a cold, continental climate with extreme temperature differences. The average high temperature during July is 70 °F. The average low temperature during January is well below zero and extended periods of -40 °F are common. The highest temperature ever recorded was 94 °F, and the lowest was -75 °F. Average annual precipitation is 13 inches, and average annual snowfall is 72 inches. The Koyukuk River is ice-free from June through October.
Several Native groups have lived in the area, including Koyukon Athabascans and Kobuk, Selawik, and Nunamiut Eskimos from the north and northwest. The Koyukon lived in several camps throughout the year, moving as the seasons changed, following the wild game and fish. The various bands established joint settlements after 1851.
The old site of Alatna was a traditional trading center for Athabascans and Eskimos. The first mission on the Koyukuk River, St. John’s-in-the-Wilderness Episcopal Mission, was established in 1906. A post office was opened in 1925. In 1938, the name of the community was changed to Allakaket (the old name for the mission), and the name Alatna was assumed by the small Eskimo community across the river.
The first public school was established in 1957. A flood caused by ice jamming inundated 85% of the community in the Spring of 1964. In 1975, the community incorporated as a city, including both settlements of Allakaket and Alatna. A clinic and airport were built in 1978. A new school and community roads were built in 1979.
In September 1994, flood waters destroyed and swept away nearly all of the community’s buildings, homes, and food caches for the winter. Residents rebuilt near the old city site, but some new homes and facilities are now located outside of the incorporated city boundaries. New Allakaket and Alatna are located outside of the city limits.
Allakaket is mainly an Athabascan community; Kobuk Eskimos live across the river in Alatna. Two separate village councils exist. Traditional potlatches, dances and foot races attract visitors from area villages. Subsistence activities provide the majority of food sources.
Community profile data provided by the State of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.