2nd Class City
in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 Department of Labor Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (NICK-oh-lie); a.k.a. Edzeno Nikolai
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
- Mt. McKinley
Geography and Climate
- Nikolai is located in Interior Alaska on the south fork of the Kuskokwim River, 46 air miles east of McGrath.
- Nikolai has a cold, continental climate with relatively warm summers. Average summer temperature range from 42 to 80 °F, and winter temperatures range from -62 to 0 °F. Annual precipitation is light, averaging 16 inches per year, with 56 inches of snow. The river is generally ice-free from June through October.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Nikolai is an Upper Kuskokwim Athabascan village and has been relocated at least twice since the 1880s. One of the former sites was reported in 1899 to have a population of six males. The present site was established around 1918. Nikolai was the site of a trading post and roadhouse during the gold rush. It was situated on the Rainy Pass Trail, which connected the Ophir gold mining district to Cook Inlet. It became a winter trail station along the Nenana-McGrath Trail, which was used until 1926. By 1927, the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church had been constructed. In 1948, a private school was established, and in 1949 a post office opened. Local residents cleared an airstrip in 1963, which heralded year-round accessibility to the community. The city was incorporated in 1970.
- Nikolai is an Athabascan community. Residents are active in subsistence food-gathering.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Nikolai Village
- Local Option Restrictions
- Ban sale, importation, and possession of alcohol.
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Sewer, Landfill, Fuel Sales, Electric
- Access to Nikolai is by air or water. A state-owned 4,003' long by 75' wide gravel airstrip is available. Barges supply fuel and heavy equipment. Boats, ATVs, and snowmachines are used for recreation and subsistence activities. A winter trail is marked to McGrath (50 mi). Nikolai is a checkpoint for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race held in March.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District