Quick Facts

  • Pronounced (HOOS-lee-uh)
  • Current Population 315 (2012 Alaska Department of Labor Estimate)
  • Legislative Districts (link to State Legislature page):
    • Senate District T
    • House District 39
    • Judicial District 4
  • Latitude: 65.6782696
  • Longitude: -156.4148165


Huslia is located on the north bank of the Koyukuk River, about 170 river miles northwest of Galena and 290 air miles west of Fairbanks. It lies within the Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge.


The area has a cold, continental climate with extreme temperature differences. The average daily maximum temperature is 72 °F during July; the average minimum is below 0 °F during January. Record temperatures have been recorded from -65 to above 90 °F. The annual precipitation averages 13 inches, with 70 inches of snowfall. The Koyukuk River is ice-free from May through September.


The Koyukon Athabascans lived between the south fork of the Koyukuk River and the Kateel River. They had spring, summer, fall, and winter camps and moved as the wild game migrated. In the summer, many families would float on a raft to the Yukon to fish for salmon. The Koyukon often traded with the Kobuk River Eskimos.

By 1843, Russian explorers had made contact with Athabascans approximately 50 miles downriver from the current site. The Western Union Telegraph Company explored the river around 1867, and missionary activity increased after 1870. Cutoff Trading Post (also called Old Town) was established in the 1920s about 4 miles overland or 16 river miles from modern Huslia. In 1949, the community moved to the present site, because Cutoff flooded frequently, and the ground was swampy.

Huslia (originally spelled Huslee) was named after a local stream. Huslia had been used as a burial site since 1886, but, by the time of the move, most of the old cemetery had been destroyed by erosion. In 1950, the first school was established, followed by a post officeairport, and road construction in 1952. At this time, families began to live year-round at Huslia. In 1960, a health clinic was constructed, and, in 1963, 29 individual hand-pumped water wells were installed. The city government was incorporated in 1969. Running water and indoor plumbing arrived in 1974.


Huslia is an Athabascan village, and most residents are related by birth or marriage. Subsistence lifestyle is prevalent and important.

Community profile data provided by the State of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.