Kaltag is located on the west bank of the Yukon River, 75 miles
west of Galena and 335 miles west of Fairbanks. It is situated on
a 35-foot bluff at the base of the Nulato Hills. It lies at approximately
64° 20' N Latitude, 158° 43' W Longitude (Sec. 29, T013S,
R001E, Kateel River Meridian). The community is located in the Nulato
Kaltag is located in Koyukon Athabascan territory, and was used
as a cemetery for surrounding villages. It was located on an old
portage trail which led east through the mountains to Unalakleet.
The Athabascans had spring, summer, fall, and winter camps, and
moved as the wild game migrated. There were 12 summer fish camps
located on the Yukon River between the Koyukuk River and the Nowitna
River. The village was named by Russians for the Yukon Indian named
There was a minor gold rush in the area in the 1880s. In 1906,
gold seekers left for Fairbanks or Nome.
1909 ~ While Kaltag is more than 500 miles by river from the delta
of the Yukon it is not more than seventy five miles across country
to Unalaklik on Norton Sound. Kaltag is where the winter trail leaves
the Yukon River and goes direct across country to Norton Sound.
It is also the place where the military telegraph line to St Michael
leaves the river. As a trading post it has recently come into some
prominence owing to the lact that it is the nearest Yukon River
station to the Innoko gold region.
Galena lead mines began operating in 1919. Kaltag was downriver
from the mines and grew as a point on the transportation route for
the mines. It declined in the 1940s as mining declined.