In Rare Reversal Of Disintegrating Roadhouses, Black Rapids Historic Roadhouse Makes A Comeback

RENOVATION AT THE RAPIDS  Black Rapids Roadhouse Probably Looks Better Now Than When It Was First Built  Renovated interior of Black Rapids ...


Black Rapids Roadhouse Probably Looks Better Now Than When It Was First Built 

Renovated interior of Black Rapids historic roadhouse. (Photos, Country Journal) 

Roadhouse Was Built "Shotgun" Style 

Eventually, There Were At Least 7 Small Cabins, All In A Row 

Mark Lockheed of Fairbanks, preparing to work on roadhouse. (Photo, Country Journal) 

In a land where a slew of old roadhouses and lodges have been either struck by fire or just fallen apart due to old age, Black Rapids Roadhouse is bucking the tide.

After years of neglect, it's slowly being pulled together, and is now in pretty good shape. This site gives a look at what the lodge looks like now inside. We got a tour from Mark Lockwood and Mark Wumkes, who are associated with the Alaskan Alpine Club. 

There are new elaborate roof trusses in each of the lodge's rooms. 

The Roadhouse, located at Mile 227 on the Richardson – a hundred miles north of Gakona Junction – has been caulked, shored up and buttressed. The efforts to renovate it are paying off. 

Sandy Jamieson and his wife Melody have done the work of renovating the historic roadhouse for many years. 

Log roofing inside the old lodge. 

The Country Journal passed by the roadhouse (which is owned by Mike and Annie Hopper of Fairbanks) on June 12th, 2023. The Hoppers have also built a "new" Black Rapids Lodge up on the hill -- but they have worked for years on a project to renew the old lodge along the highway. 

As Of June,
2023, There Are New Roof Trusses, Chinking, Straightened Logs...

Historic photo of the Black Rapids Lodge in "the old days". Several more sections were added after this picture was taken. 


The renovation of Black Rapids is an extraordinary effort. Most lodges on the trails of the Copper Valley have suffered a sad fate in the past few decades – as did the many lodges along the Vakdez Trail that existed before them and are now gone. 

On the Tok Cutoff, starting near Tok, Mentasta Lodge has closed down, Duffy's has been partially demolished, Midway has burned down, Chistochina Lodge has burned down, and the Glenn Rich has burned down. 

On the Richardson, south of Black Rapids, Summit Lake Lodge has burned down, Paxson Lodge is abandoned and falling apart, Sourdough Lodge has burned, and Copper Center Lodge has burned. In Copper Center, the remnants of an entire lodge complex that stood behind the now-abandoned Copper River Cash Store are collapsing.  

And on the Glenn Highway, Mendeltna Lodge and the Point Lodge have both burned down. 


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