Chitina is located on the west bank of the Copper River at its confluence with the Chitina River on the Edgerton Highway, and junction with the McCarthy Road. It is 85 km (53 mi) southeast of Copper Center and 106 km (66 mi) southeast of Glennallen. It is outside the western boundary of the Wrangell - St Elias National Park and Preserve.
In 1945, work had begun to convert the CR&NW railroad line, from Cordova to Kennicott, into a highway, but work halted with the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake, leaving a significant gap between Chitina and the Million Dollar Bridge near Cordova. The rail route from Chitina to Kennicott is a roadway, the McCarthy Road.