Living in Glennallen
Glennallen is located in the heart of the Copper River Valley in the southeastern interior of Alaska. The Copper Valley is an area about the size of Ohio with a winter population of about 1,500 people. Glennallen is at the crossroads of two of Alaska’s major highways and serves as a business center for the Copper Valley.
Alaska Bible College is 187 miles northeast of Anchorage and 250 miles south of Fairbanks. Glennallen borders the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, the largest national park in the United States. The population of the Glennallen region is around 1,500 and though the community setting is casual, our academics are not!
The town of Glennallen developed at the crossroads of the Glenn and Richardson Highway,s which provide direct access to Anchorage, Fairbanks, Tok, and Valdez, and has many small businesses that provide needed services to the community. The climate of Glennallen is typical of interior Alaska, ranging from 60 degrees above zero during the fall and spring to 50 degrees below zero for short periods in mid-winter. The ABC campus is situated on 80 acres of spruce and aspen, adjacent to the public elementary and high schools.
Life in Glennallen is unique because of our rural location and interior Alaskan weather. One of the adjustments to living in rural Alaska is being able to live with infrequent shopping trips. While one can obtain groceries, hardware and other necessities in the Valley, most find it economical to shop in Anchorage every 4-8 weeks. Food and household supplies are available in Anchorage at consumer clubs and department stores that are found nationwide.
The winters in Glennallen last from October through April and temperatures can get as cold as 40-60 below zero (Fahrenheit) for short periods of time November through February. This means that it is necessary to have clothing that is suitable for the climate. A parka rated for 50-below and snow pants as well as warm boots are advisable. Gloves or mittens are necessary for severe cold – leather or Gore-Tex is best with a warm liner. A scarf or ski mask is helpful for face protection in the cold. Be careful not to buy anything with vinyl or plastic on it as they will crack or shatter in the severe cold.
Vehicles that are used during the winter should have at least a block heater and an oil pan heater that can be plugged in prior to starting the engine in below zero weather. It is wise for those who travel during the winter to take with them survival gear that includes a winter sleeping bag, parka and insulated pants, heavy mittens, hat with ear covering, severe weather boots, and something to cover nose and mouth. You will also need water and a source of heat (candles or camp stove). More detailed information is available on campus.
Life is different in Alaska’s interior and sometimes challenging, but the benefits far exceed the difficulties. If we can answer any questions you have about life in the interior or to help you adjust in any other way, please don’t hesitate to ask.
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