The Gilahina Trestle – Chitina, Alaska - Atlas Obscura

The Gilahina Trestle

In the middle of the Alaskan wilderness, lies a train trestle to nowhere.  

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 The Copper River and Northwestern Railway completed the Gilahina Trestle in 1911. The main reason for its construction was to transfer mined copper from the mines in Kennecott, Alaska to Cordova.

Amazingly, this trestle bridge was completed in just eight days. The bridge contains 273 wooden trestles over 880 feet. The height of the Gilahina Trestle is 90 feet high. The cost of the total railway was $25 million.

However, the copper mines produced $200 million during their operation of which at least 50 percent was profit. The bridge closed with the local Kennecott mine in 1938. Today, the trestle bridge stands abandoned and lonely over the Gilahina River. It’s an amazing wooden marvel to behold.

Know Before You Go

The trestle is located inside Wrangell - St Elias National Park. The road to this location is a dirt road full of potholes and gets muddy in the rain.


There's an NPS-designated outhouse and some historical information here. There is a hiking trail half a mile down the river. This is bear country, so please practice bear safety while here.

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May 17, 2024

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