CGC Sycamore (WLB-209)
Welcome to Cordova, Alaska
Cordova is a small fishing community located at the southeastern end of
Prince William Sound in South Central Alaska. It lies at approximately 60°
33' N Latitude, 145° 46' W Longitude. It is about 150 air miles southeast of
Anchorage and 50 air miles south of Valdez. Cordova can only be reached by
plane or ferry. The Copper River Highway extends 36 miles outside of town.
The bridge that accesses the Million Dollar Bridge and Child's Glacier was
washed out and will most likely not be re-built until 2015.
Cordova is built on Orca Inlet, which was originally
called "Puerto Cordova" by Don Salvador Fidalgo in 1790. Within
the next hundred years, a small settlement had grown around the
native village of Eyak. Michael Heney, the builder of the Copper
River and Northwestern Railroad, moved the town a little and
named it "Cordova" in 1906. The community was officially
established in 1908. The area has a strong Alaskan Native
heritage, most notably the Eyaks. The Kennecott Copper Mine
located up the Copper River produced over $200 million by the
time it closed in 1938. Although fishing had always been part of
the community's economy, it became the predominant industry by
the 1940s. Even today, the famed wild Copper River salmon is
fanatically sought by local anglers and commercial fishermen
alike. The 1964 Good Friday earthquake raised the seafloor of
Cordova making it inaccessible to large cruise ships. This along
with the lack of a road to the outside world has given Cordova
the reputation as being one of Alaska's best kept secrets.
Things to do outside:
Cordova is a haven for any outdoor enthusiast. Hunting,
fishing, hiking, bird watching, skiing, four wheeling,
boating (including kayaking and canoeing) and berry picking
opportunities abound year round. Check out the
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
for hunting and
U.S. Forest Service
for information on the numerous hiking trails and rental
cabins as well as flora and fauna. The Ice Worm Festival is
celebrated in February with great fanfare. It is a great
break during winter with a parade, contests and a Miss Ice
Worm. In May, the Shorebird Festival celebrates around 14
million birds as they transit back to Alaska from their
southern hiatus. The Copper River Wild Salmon Festival in
July celebrates the beginning of the salmon runs (there are
five species) and includes food, music and a marathon.
Things to do inside:
All members and dependents are free to use the Bidarki gym
(Council & 2nd St.) and the Korn Memorial swimming pool
(near City Hall/AC Value Center). The Library and museum are
on 1st street. If you enjoy crafts, there are several craft
stores in town. Although there is not a commercial movie
theater, movies are shown periodically as fundraisers or
through the Library. There are also various places in town
where you can rent DVDs.
receives about 170 inches of precipitation each
year, half of which is snowfall. This is a very wet place.
It is important to note that during the winter you can go
from snow to sleet to rain and back to snow all in one day!
Bring good wet weather gear...boots, layered coats,
waterproof gloves etc. Also, it can be very icy in the
winter so you may want to bring 'grippers' for your feet.
Temperatures average in the winter between 15 and 30 degrees
Fahrenheit and in the summer between 55 and 70 degrees
Fahrenheit. During the winter, it can get pretty dry with
humidity dropping to 30% inside, so you may want to bring a
humidifier for your bedroom.
Two places to check for employment opportunities in Cordova
Alaska Job Bank
(select Gulf Coast) and the
City of Cordova
. It may, however, be easiest to look for
work once situated in Cordova. There are also various
volunteer opportunities including various churches,
organizations, the schools and the historical society.
Cordova Public Schools are Mt. Eccles Elementary
(907)424-3236 and Cordova Jr/Sr High School (907)424-3266.
There is also the Cordova branch of the
Prince William Sound Community College
Preschools available are the Baptist Church (907)424-7771
and Children's Pallas (907)424-4323.
There are three grocery stores in Cordova, one on 1st street
and two by the boat harbor. On 1st (Main) Street there is a
bookstore, hardware store, organic store/gift shop, a
drugstore/ electronics store, gift shop, diner, hotel & bar,
Salvation Army thrift shop, Wells Fargo Bank and First
National Bank Alaska. Ask your Sponsor for a Cordova Phone
Book to get a better feel of what is in town. There is one
gas station on 1st Street across from the library. There is
one veterinarian (907-424-3498) which comes to Cordova
regularly (they post info on scanner channel) and one pet
store located on Council Ave. If there are any specialty
food or non-perishable foods that you can stock up on you
may want to do so prior to arriving. In general, all
specialty and heavy items will cost more in Cordova, and
delivery, if you order something will also take a little
longer. If you are planning to keep any of your
hunting/fishing spoils you may want to bring a stand alone
All dependents whether claiming residency or not (and
members claiming residency) must obtain an
Alaska driver's license
within 90 day of moving to the
state. This requires a written test and fee. The DMV office
is located in the bottom of the Prince William Sound
Community College and is currently open M-W.
: (907)424-3796. There is also the
"scanner" TV channel 6 where almost anything going on in
town is posted.
There is no mail delivery to street addresses in Cordova.
Coast Guard members and dependents are not charged the PO
Box rental fee, however, do have to pay the key deposit. You
can call the Post Office (907) 424-3564 prior to moving to
set up your mail box. UPS does deliver M-F to street