Tanana, Alaska

According to ACRONYMMONSTER, Tanana, Alaska is a small rural community located in the interior of the state, about 37 miles west of Fairbanks. The community is situated on the banks of the Tanana River and has a population of just over 200 people.

The town was originally inhabited by Athabascan Native Americans who had lived in the area for thousands of years before European settlement. The town was founded in 1902 as part of an effort to establish a trading post to service riverboats traveling up and down the Tanana River. In 1906, it became part of Alaska Territory and was incorporated in 1910.

Today, Tanana is an isolated rural community that relies heavily on subsistence activities like hunting, fishing, trapping and berry picking to sustain itself. It has no major industries or businesses and lacks basic infrastructure such as running water or electricity. Despite this, it remains a vibrant community with many residents who have lived there their entire lives or have relocated from other parts of Alaska or the lower 48 states.

The climate in Tanana is typical for interior Alaska with long cold winters and short warm summers. Average temperatures range from -50°F (-45°C) during winter to 70°F (21°C) during summer months making it one of the coldest places in Alaska.

The landscape surrounding Tanana consists mostly of boreal forest interspersed with wetlands and tundra which makes for excellent fishing opportunities especially during summer months when salmon run upriver from June through August. During winter months snowmobiling and dog mushing are popular activities around town since there are no roads connecting Tanana to other towns or cities in Alaska.

Despite its small size and remoteness, there are still many amenities available to residents including a post office, school (K-12), library, health clinic, store/gas station/grocery store combo known as “the Trading Post” and even an airport! There is also an annual festival called “Tanana Days” which celebrates local culture with traditional Native dances, games, food contests and more!

According to Topbbacolleges, Tanana is an isolated but vibrant place that offers its residents a unique lifestyle that can’t be found anywhere else! Despite its lack of modern conveniences it remains an integral part of Alaska’s history that continues to be home to generations of families who have made their lives here for hundreds if not thousands of years.

Population: 308. Estimated population in July 2020: 290 (-5.8% change)
Males: 175 (56.8%), Females: 133 (43.2%)

Zip code: 99777

Median resident age: 34.2 years
Median household income: $29,750
Median house value: $51,700

Races in Tanana:

  • American Indian (81.5%)
  • White Non-Hispanic (17.9%)
  • Two or more races (2.3%)
  • Hispanic (0.6%)

Ancestries: German (8.1%), English (5.2%), Scottish (3.2%), French (2.6%), Irish (2.3%), Swedish (1.6%).

Land area: 11.6 square miles

Tanana, Alaska



For population 25 years and over in Tanana

  • High school or higher: 77.5%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 8.4%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 2.8%
  • Unemployed: 23.7%
  • Mean travel time to work: 8.5 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Tanana city

  • Never married: 52.6%
  • Now married: 31.6%
  • Separated: 3.3%
  • Widowed: 3.7%
  • Divorced: 8.8%

1.3% Foreign born

Population change in the 1990s: -30 (-8.9%).


Hospitals/medical centers near Tanana:



Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Tanana:

  • PROSPECT CREEK (about 150 miles; PROSPECT CREEK, AK; Abbreviation: PPC)
  • GALBRAITH LAKE (about 289 miles; GALBRAITH LAKE, AK; Abbreviation: GBH)
  • FAIRBANKS INTL (about 294 miles; FAIRBANKS, AK; Abbreviation: FAI)

Other public-use airports nearest to Tanana:

  • RALPH M CALHOUN MEML (about 2 miles; TANANA, AK; Abbreviation: TAL)
  • MINCHUMINA (about 91 miles; MINCHUMINA, AK; Abbreviation: MHM)
  • MANLEY HOT SPRINGS (about 101 miles; MANLEY HOT SPRINGS, AK; Abbreviation: MLY)

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Tanana:

  • UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS (about 295 miles; FAIRBANKS, AK; Full-time enrollment: 5,034)
  • UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA ANCHORAGE (about 315 miles; ANCHORAGE, AK; Full-time enrollment: 9,453)
  • PENINSULA COLLEGE (about 2304 miles; PORT ANGELES, WA; Full-time enrollment: 2,374)
  • WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY (about 2337 miles; BELLINGHAM, WA; Full-time enrollment: 11,889)
  • WHATCOM COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 2340 miles; BELLINGHAM, WA; Full-time enrollment: 2,656)
  • SKAGIT VALLEY COLLEGE (about 2357 miles; MT VERNON, WA; Full-time enrollment: 3,420)
  • EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE (about 2366 miles; OLYMPIA, WA; Full-time enrollment: 3,749)

Public primary/middle schools in Tanana:

  • MAUDREY J. SOMMER SCHOOL (Students: 63; Location: 89 FRONT STREET; Grades: KG – 12)
  • YUKON RIVER ACADEMY CORRESPONDENCE (Students: 34; Location: 89 FRONT STREET; Grades: KG – 12)


Library in Tanana:

  • TANANA COMMUNITY/SCHOOL LIBRARY (Operating income: $11,800; Location: 89 FRONT STREET; 7,600 books; 580 audio materials; 290 video materials; 29 serial subscriptions)