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Nabesna River
Native name Naambia Niign
Country United States
State Alaska
Census Area Valdez–Cordova, Southeast Fairbanks
Physical characteristics
Main source Nabesna Glacier
Wrangell Mountains, Alaska Range, Valdez–Cordova Census Area, Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve
3,061 ft (933 m)
River mouth Tanana River
41 miles (66 km) southeast of Tok, Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge
1,690 ft (520 m)
Length 73 mi (117 km)

The Nabesna River (Naambia Niign in Upper Tanana) is a 73-mile (117 km) tributary of the Tanana River in the U.S. state of Alaska. Beginning at Nabesna Glacier in the Alaska Range, it flows north-northeast from Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve to join the Chisana River near Northway Junction. The combined rivers form the Tanana.


The Nabesna River, swift-flowing in its upper reaches, passes through a deep valley that opens into broad plain. Gradually slowing, the river enters the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, a region of marshes, hills, lakes, and forests of spruce and birch.

The river, suited to running by rafts, hard-shelled kayaks, or decked canoes, is rated Class I (easy) to Class II (medium) on the International Scale of River Difficulty. The current is swift on the stream's upper 40 miles (64 km) and slow from there to the mouth. Dangers include cold, swift, silty water, and braided channels. Glacier melt may cause flow rates to rise significantly between morning and afternoon on warm days.


The Nabesna is a popular fishing site in Alaska. Species such as the Rainbow Trout, King Salmon, Red Salmon and Coho Salmon.

Rainbow trout SNRA
Rainbow Trout
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