The town of Tanana, whose name is the English translation of Dena-Na, “The People of the River,” is located two miles west of the junction of the Yukon and Tanana Rivers. Even before European explorations, it was a trading settlement for the native tribes. In the nearby Tanana Valley, Broken Mammoth Archeological Site diggings have uncovered findings of human habitation dating from 11,000 to 12,000 years ago. Artifacts discovered include projectile points, bone needles, and scrapers, used for hunting and utilizing game such as mammoths and elk.
The village of Pitkas Point is located near the junction of the Yukon and Andreafshy Rivers in western Alaska. Eskimos originally established the town, naming it “Nigiklik,” meaning “To the north.” The village later was renamed for a trader who opened a general store there as a branch of the Northern Commercial Trading Company.
When planning and enjoying your Alaskan adventure, be sure to do your homework by checking the licensing and safety record of any and all tour guides you use. Also realistically assess your own physical abilities, always asking yourself if you would be prepared and what you would do in a “worst case scenario” situation. The wilderness of Alaska can be as dangerous and unforgiving as it is exciting and awe-inspiring.