United States > Alaska > Kantishna

Kantishna, Alaska

Kantishna is an unincorporated community in Denali Borough, Alaska, United States, within Denali National Park and Preserve. Founded as a gold mining camp in 1905, it endured longer than similar communities in the area, having been constructed nearest to the source of the gold. It lies in the Kantishna Hills at the junction of Eureka Creek and Moose Creek, 3 mi northwest of Wonder Lake, and near the mouth of the Kantishna River. Although the community was once also called "Eureka", the Board on Geographic Names officially ruled in favor of "Kantishna" in 1944, the name given to the post office that was built at the site in 1905. Its elevation is 1,696 feet.

Transportation and lodging

There are several remote lodges in Kantishna. The 92. Private vehicles are not permitted to enter the interior of Denali National Park.

Kantishna Airport.


Several thousand prospectors came to the Kantishna Hills region after placer gold was discovered in the summer of 1905 along Glacier Creek by Joe Quigley and Jack Horn. Almost simultaneously, Joe Dalton and his partner Stiles found gold along Friday Creek and staked a claim on 12 July. Claims on Eureka Creek soon followed as did mining towns. These included Glacier on Bearpaw River, Diamond on Moose Creek, plus Roosevelt and Square Deal on McKinley River. By 1906 the towns of Roosevelt, Square Deal and Diamond were mainly deserted. In 1916, the population of the region was 35, half of whom were men working claims.

The placer gold originates from the Birch Creek schist, which is cut by quartz veins bearing gold, silver, and antimony in the form of stibnite. This schist is the oldest formation in the region and is bordered on the south by the Tonzona Group composed of black slates and argillites, and the Tatina Group composed on black slates, argillites, greywackes, and interbedded limestones and cherts.

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