Nike Site Tour

Raven Homeschool, Anchorage Office


Only 20 spots available!

Please note:

  1. The auto-response confirmation does not guarantee your student's spot. You will receive an e-mail from Valerie ( to confirm your student's participation.
  2. Your student must have exhibited exceptional behavior in all field trips, past and future leading up to this tour, in order to participate.
  3. The Field Trip and Activities Participation agreement must be signed and submitted to Valerie Thurston before your student can attend activities and field trips with Raven. This agreement can be found here: Field Trip and Activities Participation Agreement.
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Raven students have been granted one of few group tour opportunities, and the first school tour offered ever.


The Nike Site Summit is located on the eastern edge of Fort Richardson adjacent to Chugach State Park and the Arctic Valley Ski Area. Commissioned in 1959, it is one of three Nike Missile sites that protected Anchorage, Elmendorf AFB, and Fort Richardson during the Cold War, and one of 145 Nike Hercules missile sites constructed across the nation from 1957 to 1960.

The Nike Hercules missile, was the U.S. military’s first nuclear capable anti-aircraft missile. Nike Site Summit operated to defend against a potential attack by nuclear armed Soviet bombers. From 1960 to 1963 Nike Site Summit held annual live fire exercises, launching unarmed practice missiles to test the readiness of Nike missile crews. Many Anchorage residents remember stopping work and taking breaks from school to watch the annual firings. The Nike Hercules missile is an incredibly fast missile, attaining a top speed of nearly 3,000 mph during a launch.

Nike Site Summit and the site in Key West, Florida were decommissioned in 1979, the last two sites in the nation to close. After maintaining Nike Site Summit into the early 1980’s the U.S. Army abandoned the site. Following the end of the Cold War in 1989 interest in preserving the site grew. In 1996, the site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Efforts to preserve the site, continued, with limited success, throughout the 1990’s.

In 2009, the Army, the National Park Service, and the State of Alaska reached an agreement that preserves most of the Nike Site Summit and allows guided tours. Popularity in these tours has grown exponentially. There are only 400 seats available for the 2016 tour season, and the wait list for a tour of this site is over 3 years.



When: Wednesday, June 1st at 1-2pm

Where: Anchorage Raven Office

What: An information/science/history lesson with Mrs. Fancher to learn about the Nike site background information!


When: Friday, June 17, 2016 at 2:00-5:00pm

Meet at: The Arctic Valley Parking Lot

Tour Transportation: Transportation will be provided by a special four wheel drive bus.

Who: Participating students must have completed 6th grade by June 1st and must be able to walk at least ½ a mile. Exceptional behavior is expected. Students must provide identification, such as a State-issued ID, a military-issued ID or a Raven-issued ID.

Background Check: Because this is an active military site, Raven must provide the following information on all participants for a required background check: student name, date of birth and names of both parents.

Chaperones: The trip will be chaperoned by Raven teachers, the principal, staff and Mrs. Fancher. If space permits, parents will be chosen by a lottery.