The community of Willow started as a mining camp when gold was discovered in Willow Creek in 1897. Supplies were brought up via a trail along Willow Creek, which later became Hatcher Pass Road. The Alaska Railroad built a station there in 1920, and by the mid 1950's, Willow Creek had become Alaska's largest gold mining district. Willow today has just over 1,600 full time residents and while mining is no longer part of daily life, visitors can still explore the area and see the history of the mining district.
Nearby Hatcher Pass has many activities for people to enjoy, from touring the historic Independence Mine to hiking some of the many trails. Winter sports enthusiasts can participate in snowshoeing, skiing and snowboarding. There are accommodations available throughout the Willow and Hatcher Pass areas, from lodges to bed and breakfasts. Willow also has several lakes for fishing, and is not far from Denali National Park.
For more information on visiting Willow check out the Willow Alaska section of our Alaska Travel Guide including Willow Activities & Trips and Willow Lodging.
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