Quick Facts

  • Pronounced (TAN-uh-cross)
  • Current Population 130 (2012 Alaska Department of Labor Estimate)
  • Legislative Districts (link to State Legislature page):
    • Senate District T
    • House District 39
    • Judicial District 4
  • Latitude: 63.3853
  • Longitude: -143.3464


Tanacross is located on the south bank of the Tanana River, 12 miles northwest of Tok, at milepost 1324 of the Alaska Highway.


Tanacross lies within the continental climatic zone, with cold winters and warm summers. In the winter, cold air settles in the valley and ice fog and smoke are common. The average low during January is -22 °F; the average high during July is 65 °F. Extreme temperatures have been measured from -75 to 90 °F.


St.Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Old Tanacross

Residents are Tanah (or Tinneh) Athabascan Indians. Most villagers relocated from Mansfield Village, Kechumstuk, and Last Tetlin in 1912 when Bishop Rowe established St. Timothy’s Episcopal Mission. The village was originally located on the north side of the Tanana River and was called “Tanana Crossing.” It is located where the Eagle Trail crossed the Tanana River.

A trading post opened near the mission in 1912, and the St. Timothy’s post office opened in 1920. More Natives moved from Mansfield when a formal school opened in 1932, although classes had been held at the mission. The name was eventually shortened to Tanacross.

In the mid-1930s, an airfield was built across the river from the village. In 1941, the village gave the military permission to use its airfield as an emergency deployment post during World War II. The airfield was paved in 1942, and temporary camps were established. Thousands of troops were deployed through Tanacross airfield during the war. People of the village served as volunteer scouts and backup support for the army.

After the war, the airfield was closed. In 1972, due to water contamination, the village relocated from the north bank of the Tanana River to the south bank. In 1979 the old village site burned when a grass fire spread out of control.


Tanacross is a traditional Athabascan village with a subsistence lifestyle. The official language of Tanacross is Dihtaad Xt’een Aandeg’.

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