Though much of our work focuses on monitoring and restoring habitat for Copper River salmon, we also work to promote other aspects of our region’s economy, including attracting tourists to learn about the rich history and dynamic ecosystems of the Copper River watershed.  The following is a summary of our tourism-related projects (click on the section heading below to skip to specific content).

Traveling by Story Through Copper River Country:  CRWP and its partners want to make more accessible the rich history of the Copper River basin.

Cordova Tourism Plan:  An overview of a long-term tourism plan created for the community of Cordova.

Community Festivals:   CRWP helps to support regional festivals in order to attract visitors to our watershed.

Explore Our Region:   A variety of CRWP projects help add value to visitor’s experience–while traveling in the Copper River watershed, or virtually exploring from your home computer!

For specific visitor information for Cordova or the Copper Basin, please contact the local Chamber of Commerce.  Chamber websites accessible via the links below:

Traveling by Story Through Copper River Country

Alaska’s Copper River basin has a profound cultural history but the last generation of Ahtna language speakers and original homesteaders is slipping away.  Traveling by Story was conceived as a way of bringing history to life, of telling the stories of this unique region through the voices of its people.  The CRWP and its partners plan to present the stories through a web site, smart phone app and printed materials.  Listen to an audio collage produced with Alaska Humanities Forum funding for talking circles and oral history interviews in 2012. A press release about this project is available by clicking here.

Cordova Tourism Plan

From 1998 – 2002, Cordovans made a significant investment of time and money to plan for tourism growth. Parties active in this process includes the Chamber of Commerce, the Copper River Watershed Project, the City, and many individuals, including residents, business and property owners. Most of this work was coordinated and carried out by a tourism committee formed jointly by the City, the Cordova Chamber of Commerce and the Copper River Watershed Project, and facilitated by Christopher Beck and Associates.  A Cordova Tourism Plan was adopted by the Cordova City Council in October, 2002.

Goals and Summary Vision Statement

Surveys of visitors conducted over the last several years found what residents already know: Cordova’s great strength as a tourism destination is that it is an unspoiled destination, a real town in a spectacular natural setting. In the Tourism Committee’s vision for tourism, Cordova should aim for modest numbers of high value, low impact visitors, including independent travelers, Alaska residents, smaller cruise ships and small groups of package travelers.

The community, including businesses and residents, the City, the Chamber of Commerce, and groups like the Copper River Watershed Project, the Eyak Corporation, the Native Village of Eyak and the PWS Science Center, should work together to take actions so that in the future, tourism brings more benefits to the community, while strengthening and not harming those qualities that make Cordova a great place to live (and to visit).

Tourism Goals

Expand and diversify Cordova’s economy.

  • Promote year-round tourism: strengthen summer visitation and encourage more visits in the fall, winter and spring
  • Work toward steady tourism growth; avoid dramatic spikes and valleys
  • Emphasize forms of tourism that can be sustained over the long term

Maintain a healthy, productive, natural environment.

  • Protect natural systems that support fish and wildlife habitat, commercial fishing, subsistence

Maintain quality of community life.

  • Focus on improved attractions such as trails and sidewalks that directly benefit residents
  • Maintain the small town qualities that make Cordova a unique place to live and visit

Improve Cordova’s fiscal health and public infrastructure.

Keep the community informed and involved in tourism decisions.

For more details on tourism planning in Cordova or copies of our work, please contact the CRWP office.

Community Festivals

Copper River Wild! Salmon Festival

Cordova celebrates the Copper River Wild! Festival on July 18-19, 2014 with the annual Alaska Salmon Runs, Salmon Jam music festival, Small Fry education activities for kids of all ages, and a local arts & craft festival.  CRWP works with a wide range of community partners to implement this festival weekend each summer.  Visit www.copperriverwild.org for a detailed schedule of events, registration information and much, much more!

Cordova Fungus Festival

The CRWP helps the the Cordova Ranger District present Fungus Festival each fall.  On Saturday evening of the festival weekend, don’t miss out on the Wild Harvest Feast, where you’re invited to enjoy gourmet dishes featuring local fish and fungus!  More details to come.

For a complete list of community festivals in the region, visit the regional Chamber of Commerce webpages listed at the top of this page.

Explore Our Region

CRWP has worked with a wide range of partners to develop a variety of visitor services and attractions, including spawning salmon viewing platforms, trails, educational wayside signage, and multi-media projects that share the rich history, ecology and human stories of the region. Click here to learn more about these projects, and visit our Tour our Watershed interactive map to virtually experience the Copper River region!