Eek River, Kuskokwim Delta

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Eek River, Kuskokwim Delta

by | Aug 7, 2019

The Eek River flows northwest for 108 miles (174 km) before joining the Eenayarak River to form Eek Channel in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta about 45 miles (72 km) southwest of Bethel, Alaska. The Yup’ik name was first reported as “Ik” by Lieutenant Sarichev of the Imperial Russian Navy in 1826 and has been spelled “Eek” on U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey charts since 1880.

The community of Eek is on the south bank of the Eek River, 12 miles (19 km) east of the Kuskokwim River mouth. It is 35 miles (56 km) south of Bethel and 420 miles (677 km) west of Anchorage. The community was originally located on Eek Channel at the mouth of Apokok Slough and moved to its present location in the 1930s. The Yup’ik name for the village is Ekvicuaq meaning “a small cliff”, possibly referring to the cliff just upriver from the community. The name “Eek” is taken from the river and means “our eyes” and probably refers to the fall flood tide when the water in the Eek River reaches the top of the north riverbank and is said to be reaching the “eyes” of the riverbank.

A town dock and boat launch is on the Eek River that connects to the Kuskokwim River, providing access to most surrounding villages by boat. During winter months many residents utilize travel by snow machines and trails are laid out between the villages in the area. Trails from Eek run to Quinhagak to the south, Tuntutuliak to the west, and the Bethel area to the north. Read more here and here. Explore more of the Eek River here:

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