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Just a half-hour drive from Anchorage, this mining site still portrays mining techniques as they were during the 1920s and 1930s. It is near an old roadhouse, built in 1909, formerly serving the many mining travelers that crossed the Indian Pass route of the Iditarod Trail. There were only two mines on this side of the Turnagain Arm. Try your hand at panning for gold and look through the museum at recorded events.
Discover the historical site called Knik, which was one of the important towns in the state of Alaska. However, due to the railroad leading to the Anchorage, the town lost its significance. All that remains today are a few historical structures like the log cabin and museum that is functioned by the Wasilla-Knik Historical Society. The structures have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Two thousand-pound, beautiful draft horses pull the restored Falling Front Brougham carriage built in 1893, and the 1879 built Landau carriage. Having received the Heart of the City Award for recreational events in 1995, these carriages are one of the favorite sightings on winter evenings with their lanterns lit and sleigh bells jingling, or in summer with their array of finery displayed by daylight. Quarter-hour, half-hour, and other tours are available which depart from the Captain Cook Hotel Fifth Avenue entrance.
In 1970 this magnificent area was declared a state park. Located within the municipality of Anchorage, Chugach State Park includes roughly 500,000 acres (202,343 hectares) of the Chugach Range and the surrounding landscape. The Eklutna Lake is the park's most unique proposition that beautifully mirrors the surrounding environs over its glassy surface. With a 5,000 foot (1,524 meters) vertical rise and three major campgrounds to the north of Anchorage, this wilderness area is filled with wildlife including moose, wolves, brown and black bears and more. It's a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts offering a plethora of activities that allow one to get up, close and personal with nature.
Twenty-six miles from Anchorage, is the historical location of the Dena'ina Athabaskan people. Dating back to 1650, this site has tiny buildings called "Spirit Houses" atop the graves of many generations of deceased. Next door, the Heritage House Museum is filled with photographs and craft displays portraying the native lifestyle and Russian influence. The oldest building in the greater Anchorage area (dated back to 1830) is the St. Nicholas Church, located in this park.
A blue, onion-shaped globe tops this small, wooden historic building. It was built in the 1830s marking a site that has had constant Athabascan presence since at least 1652 (though oral tradition has it that the settlement dates back more than 1000 years). Many of the original icons remain in this church although services are conducted next door in a new church built in the 1960s. This church is set inside the Eklutna Historical Park and is part of a continuing exhibit. Eklutna still celebrates the Russian Christmas, 12 days after December 25.