Tok sits in the Tanana Valley, between the Tanana River and the Alaska Range. This city is known for their dry-warm summers and their extremely cold winters. The area is situated in a hot spot for those traveling through Alaska by highway. The region also creates a hub to explore the interior of Alaska. This supply stop is known for being the first and last landing place next to the Canadian border.
Tok originally belonged to the Athabascan natives. Established communities have lived there for centuries. Their population depleted by the turn of the century by means of disease and land management. In 1942 the city of Tok as we know it today began forming around the establishment of a Alaska Road Commission camp.
This camp served as a base for the construction of the Alaska Highway. As the project moved on the city grew. Between 1947 and 1971 there was a customs stop in Tok, later moved to the U.S and Canada border.
Tok is still a main supply stop along the highway. The city takes claim to the “sled dog capital of Alaska”. Many residents take part in this community activity and celebrate with a variety of festivals through the year. Surrounded by mountains and expansive wild lands, this region helps you access the outdoors by any direction. Visitors and locals alike gravitate to the outdoors here.
What to Do, Where to Go
If you are looking to get a bigger picture of the region there are flight seeing tours offered. They can give you a bird’s eye view of the Wrangell’s Mountain Range and surrounding areas. There are many state recreation areas that provide RV and tent camping amenities. These areas are great entrances for hiking and backpacking as well.
Some public areas even allow for gold panning. Make sure you’re not on anyone’s claim if you decide to go. The nearby river provides great access for fishing and boating too. The city has local shops and eateries to visit as well as a visitor information center and museums. In addition, this region is known for it’s varietal and bountiful opportunities to bird watch.