Information About

Nenana River

Quick Facts

Open in The Map Nenana River on The Map

Location

64 ° 33' 53" N,
149 ° 6' 18" W

Region

Yukon-Koyukuk (CA)

Tributary to

Tanana River

Tributaries

Nenana Glacier,

Tributaries

Jack River, Teklanika River,

Tributaries

Lost Slough,

Length

140 mi (225.31 km)

Elevation

344 ft (104.85 m)

Uses

Nenana River in Detail.

Getting There

Nenana River is easily accessible from the Parks and Denali Highways in many different locations.

About

heads at Nenana Glacier, in Alaska Range, flows N to Tanana River at Nenana, Tanana Low. 230 kilometers long.

The Nenana is a long northern flowing river. It heads from the Nenana Glacier and flows south out of the Alaska Range and makes a northern correction just a few miles east of Cantwell to then flow north through the Alaska Range and up to Nenana where it joins the Tanana River.

The Nenana is a navigable river and is commonly rafted as it passes along the east side of Denali National Park.

History

Originally named Cantwell River by Lieutenant Allen (1887, map), U.S.A., in 1885 for Lieutenant John C. Cantwell, of the Revenue-Cutter Service, who explored the Kobuk River region in 1884 and 1885. In 1898, W. J. Peters and A. H. Brooks, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), reported that the native name was "Tutlut," but Lieutenant J. C. Castner, U.S.A. (in Glenn and Abercrombie, 1899, p. 233), stated in 1898: "The largest, of twenty cabins, was opposite the mouth of the Nanana (Lieutenant Allen's Cantwell) River." The Tanana Indian name was spelled "Nenana" by Lieutenant Herron (Herron, 1901 p. 48). Local usage adopted the latter spelling. According to Father Julius Jette, S. J., the name "remains unexplained and seems as much a puzzle to them (the Indians) as it is to me."

Naming: The Nenana River was originally named the Cantwell River by Lieutenant Allen, USA, in 1885 for Lieutenant John C. Cantwell, of the Revenue-Cutter Service, who explored the Kobuk River region in 1884 and 1885. In 1898, W. J. Peters and A. H. Brooks, USGS, reported that the native name was "Tutlut," but Lieutenant J. C. Castner, USA, stated in 1898: "The largest, of twenty cabins, was opposite the mouth of the Nenana River." (Reffering to the then Cantwell River) The Tanana native name was spelled "Nenana" by Lieutenant Herron, USA. Local usage adopted the latter spelling. According to Father Julius Jette, S. J., the name "remains unexplained and seems as much a puzzle to them (the local natives) as it is to me."

Nenana River Gallery

Pictures of, from, or near Nenana River.