According to homethodology, Pilot Station is a small unincorporated community located in Alaska’s Kusilvak Census Area. With an estimated population of only 179 people, it is one of the smallest and most remote settlements in the state. Geographically, Pilot Station sits on the south bank of the Yukon River, approximately 88 miles northwest of Bethel and 206 miles west of Anchorage. The climate here is often extreme with temperatures ranging from -50°F in winter to 80°F in summer.
The area’s history dates back to at least 1877 when fur traders started working around Pilot Station. In 1898, a trading post was built by William Crippen which later became a post office and schoolhouse for local children. The area was also an important stop for riverboat crews traveling up and down the Yukon River throughout much of the 20th century.
Today, Pilot Station’s economy largely depends on subsistence fishing and hunting as well as seasonal jobs related to commercial fishing or tourism. There are no schools in the village itself but students can attend schools in nearby Bethel or Emmonak if they choose to do so.
In terms of landmarks, Pilot Station has several sites that have been recognized by the Alaska State Historic Preservation Office including St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (built in 1915), Crippen Trading Post (built 1898), and various archaeological sites related to prehistoric cultures found along the Yukon River. In addition to these sites there are several other points of interest such as traditional fish camps and old cabins dating back to early settlers in the area that can be visited year-round by those interested in exploring this unique part of Alaska’s history.
Population: 550. Estimated population in July 2020: 590 (+7.3% change)
Males: 307 (55.8%), Females: 243 (44.2%)
Zip code: 99650
Median resident age: 19.5 years
Median household income: $31,071
Median house value: $18,800
Races in Pilot Station:
- American Indian (97.6%)
- White Non-Hispanic (2.4%)
- Two or more races (0.7%)
Ancestries: German (1.3%), Irish (1.3%).
Land area: 1.7 square miles
Pilot Station, Alaska is a small Yup’ik village located on the banks of the Yukon River. It has a population of just over 500 people, making it one of the smaller villages in the region. The majority of the population is made up of Yup’ik Eskimos, but there are also several non-Native Alaskans living in Pilot Station as well. The village has a subsistence lifestyle and relies heavily on hunting and fishing for its main sources of food. Many residents also work in commercial fishing and trapping to supplement their income.
The village is served by a small airport, allowing for some travel both within and outside of Alaska. There is also a school that serves K-12 students from Pilot Station and nearby villages. Local traditions are an important part of life in Pilot Station, with many residents still participating in traditional ceremonies like potlatches, dancing, and storytelling. There are also multiple churches located throughout the village that provide spiritual guidance to its members.
The community is known for its strong sense of family values and close ties among its members; most residents have been living in Pilot Station for generations and consider it their home. Despite having limited access to modern amenities or services, Pilot Station remains an important part of Yup’ik culture as well as an integral part of rural Alaska life overall.
For population 25 years and over in Pilot Station
- High school or higher: 51.3%
- Bachelor’s degree or higher: 9.6%
- Graduate or professional degree: 2.6%
- Unemployed: 32.1%
- Mean travel time to work: 9.0 minutes
For population 15 years and over in Pilot Station city
- Never married: 52.0%
- Now married: 40.2%
- Separated: 0.0%
- Widowed: 6.0%
- Divorced: 1.8%
0.0% Foreign born
Population change in the 1990s: +85 (+18.3%).
Hospitals/medical centers near Pilot Station:
- YUKON KUSKOKWIM DELTA REG HOSPITAL (about 107 miles; BETHEL, AK)
- NORTON SOUND REGIONAL HOSPITAL (about 236 miles; NOME, AK)
- MANILAQ HEALTH CENTER (about 342 miles; KOTZEBUE, AK)
Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Pilot Station:
- BETHEL (about 109 miles; BETHEL, AK; Abbreviation: BET)
- NOME (about 250 miles; NOME, AK; Abbreviation: OME)
- RALPH WIEN MEMORIAL (about 341 miles; KOTZEBUE, AK; Abbreviation: OTZ)
Other public-use airports nearest to Pilot Station:
- PILOT STATION (about 1 miles; PILOT STATION, AK; Abbreviation: 0AK)
- ST MARY’S (about 30 miles; ST MARY’S, AK; Abbreviation: KSM)
- MOUNTAIN VILLAGE (about 56 miles; MOUNTAIN VILLAGE, AK; Abbreviation: MOU)
Colleges and Universities
Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Pilot Station:
- UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA ANCHORAGE (about 906 miles; ANCHORAGE, AK; Full-time enrollment: 9,453)
- UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS (about 1061 miles; FAIRBANKS, AK; Full-time enrollment: 5,034)
- BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY-HAWAII CAMPUS (about 2790 miles; LAIE, HI; Full-time enrollment: 2,273)
- LEEWARD COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 2806 miles; PEARL CITY, HI; Full-time enrollment: 3,511)
- HONOLULU COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 2812 miles; HONOLULU, HI; Full-time enrollment: 2,787)
- HAWAII PACIFIC UNIVERSITY (about 2813 miles; HONOLULU, HI; Full-time enrollment: 6,186)
- UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII AT MANOA (about 2814 miles; HONOLULU, HI; Full-time enrollment: 14,113)
Public primary/middle school in Pilot Station:
- PILOT STATION SCHOOL (Students: 192; Location: PO BOX 5090; Grades: PK – 12)
Library in Pilot Station:
- PILOT STATION PUBLIC LIBRARY (Operating income: $12,000; Location: MAIN AIRPORT ROAD; 4,120 books; 105 audio materials; 400 video materials; 5 serial subscriptions)