The History of Mentasta Lake

Mentasta Lake is located 6 miles off the Tok-Slana Cutoff of the Glenn Highway on the west side of Mentasta Pass, 38 miles southwest of Tok Junction. It lies at approximately 62 54' N Latitude, 143 45' W Longitude (Sec. 07, T013N, R009E, Copper River Meridian). The community is located in the Chitina Recording District. The area encompasses 78 sq. miles of land and 2 sq. miles of water.

The area is reported to have been the best-known route of Native immigration across the Alaska Range. Early village settlements have been located at various sites around the lake. The families that presently reside in Mentasta Lake come from Nabesna, Suslota, Slana and other villages within the area. The U.S. Army Signal Corps established a telegraph station at Mentasta Pass in 1902. A post office was established at the village in 1947, but was discontinued in 1951.


To Community Histories Index Alaska DCCED Community Database Online


History and map graphic used with permission from the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development