|Two Rivers, Alaska is an unincorporated community located off of Chena Hot Springs
Road, northeast of Fairbanks. Officially, our community extends from mile 13 through
mile 25, between the Little Chena and the Chena Rivers. In 2002, the Alaska State
Demographer estimated that Two Rivers is home to 588 residents.
Two Rivers can best be described as a rural bedroom community and most of our
residents work in either Fairbanks or North Pole. There are numerous local
businesses in Two Rivers, including two general stores, four restaurants, a post
office, a laundromat, the UCLA HIPAS Observatory, agricultural enterprises, an RV
park, and other small businesses.
Most people who move to Two Rivers are attracted by the rural nature of our
community and the extensive network of multiple-use trails that extend like a spiders
web through Two Rivers. Our trail system is popular with dog sled drivers (called
"mushers" in Alaska), equestrians, snowmachine and ATV riders, hunters and hikers,
kayakers and canoeists and other outdoor recreationists. Two Rivers also borders
the Chena River State Recreation Area, an extensive wilderness recreational area that
is the jewel of our community.
Two Rivers is especially popular with both recreational and professional dog sled
drivers. We like to boast that Two Rivers is home to so many mushers that sled dogs
outnumber humans by a ratio of about 4 to 1. Famous Two Rivers mushers include 5
time Iditarod Champion Rick Swensen and Aliy Zirkle, the first and only woman to win
the Yukon Quest International Sleddog Race. The Two Rivers Dog Mushers
Association (TRDMA) sponsors several official dog sled races each year and is
perhaps the most active "civic" organization in our community. Dog mushing is so
important to the members of our community that the greatest compliment that a
resident of Two Rivers can bestow upon a neighbor is the statement "He (or she)
takes good care of her or her dogs".
Dog sleds have been an important part of life in Two Rivers even before it was
established as a community. In 1901 Capt. E.T. Barnette established a trading post on
the Chena River which quickly grew into the city of Fairbanks.. A year later, gold was
discovered 16 miles north of the post prompting the Pedro Dome gold rush during
which hundreds of fortune seekers scrambled into the area. In 1905 two brothers
Robert and Thomas Swan, discovered the Chena Hot Springs at the headwaters of
the North Fork of the Chena River. Within a very short period of time trails from
Fairbanks to the upper Chena River and the hot springs crossed through the Two
Rivers area and our community has been growing ever since. During Territorial Days
several families established homesteads in the area, and a Territorial School was
constructed. Continued expansion in and around Fairbanks since the 1970s has
resulted in the growth of Two Rivers as well.
In addition to its human and canine population, Two Rivers is home to a wide variety
of wildlife. Large game species frequently seen near our homes include moose, lynx,
wolves, black bears and grizzly bears. Several Two Rivers residents have close
encounters with potentially dangerous big-game animals each year. Because Two
Rivers is so wild nearly every species in Interior Alaska can been seen within our
community. Our rivers and ponds provide excellent opportunities for anglers and our
skies are filled with a wide range of birds.
The climate of Two Rivers is one of extremes. During summer we can enjoy high
temperatures of over 90 degrees while in mid winter the mercury may plunge to -60
degrees F. On the day of the summer solstice we enjoy almost 22 hours of sunlight,
but on the winter solstice can hope for only 3 hours and 42 minutes, unless clouds
obscure the sun.
Emergency Services in Two Rivers are somewhat limited. We do not have fire
protection in our community although the State Division of Forestry will dispatch a
wild land fire crew to ensure that a structural fire does not spread to the black spruce
forest that is the prominent feature of our area. Two Rivers Rescue Squad is an
Alaska certified First Response Unit that works in conjunction with the Steese Area
Volunteer Fire Department to provide Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and
ambulance transportation to the acutely ill or injured. Law enforcement is provided by
the Alaska State Troopers battalion based in Fairbanks. State park rangers provide
emergency services to visitors of the Chena River State Recreation Area.
Please come back and visit this page frequently as we add more information about
our wonderful community. :-)
|A Bit of Information About
Two Rivers, Alaska
|Click on Map for larger view