Chicken is located at mile 66.8 of the Taylor Highway, 58 miles southwest of Eagle and 78 miles from Tok.

If you are driving in from the Alaska Highway the road is usually in pretty good condition as it has mostly been reconstructed between Tetlin Junction on the Alaska Highway and Chicken.
The history of Chicken is rich and began with the discovery of gold, on Franklin Gulch, in 1886. Ten years later in 1896, Bob Mathieson made a major discovery on Upper Chicken Creek, staked his claim and built a cabin. 700 miners were thought to be working the area between 1896 and 1898. A post office was established in 1903 to serve a population of around 400. In 1906, Harvey Van Hook built the two-story Chicken Creek Hotel.

The Historic Town of Chicken was a hub of activity for the southern portion of the Fortymile Mining District. Many of the original buildings still stand including “Tisha’s Schoolhouse” made famous by the book “Tisha” about Anne Purdy’s life teaching there in 1927.

In 1939, the F.E. Company began acquiring claims and built a camp on Nora Bench. In 1953, they bought the town site and turned it into a camp for their dredging operation. They moved Dredge #4 (the Pedro Dredge) from Fairbanks to Chicken in 1959 and operated it until 1967. In 1998, after sitting idle for 31 years, the million pound dredge was moved in one piece to its present location. For tours of the Historic Town of Chicken and Tisha School House go to the Goldpanner Gift Shop.

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Chicken Gold Camp

Chicken Gold Camp, RV Park and Outpost has rooms and cabins. The “Outpost” gift store has Alaska artisan made gifts, clothing, jewelry and more. The cafe serves homemade entrees, fresh-baked pastries, espresso drinks, wood-fired pizza and Alaska craft beers. The camp features gold panning, gold mining outings and historic tours around town. Chicken Gold Camp is a National Historic Site including the Pedro Dredge and mining museum. 1/4 mile south on Airport Road in Chicken. 907-782-4427.

Goldpanner Gift Shop & RV Park

Goldpanner Gift Shop & RV Park Alaska’s best shirt selection, jewelry, souvenirs, ice cream, coffee and fudge. RV park beside Chicken Creek with pull throughs and 20/30 amp sites. Cabins and en suite rooms, free Wi-fi. Three-hole golf course and walking tours through historical town of Chicken. Daily tours of Tisha’s Schoolhouse at 9am and 2pm. 907-505-0231.


Chicken Alaska FAQs

Why is it called Chicken Alaska?

We are so glad you asked about how Chicken, Alaska, got its name because it is a fun story. Ptarmigan is Alaska’s state bird, and when the gold miners moved to the community in the early 1900s, the ptarmigan were quite plentiful there. The trouble is, not everyone agreed on how to spell ptarmigan; hence they decided on “Chicken,” a nickname for the grouse. Who could blame them? The city’s name has frequently put them on the list for unusual place names.

What river runs through Chicken Alaska?

The Forty-Mile River is part of the National Wild and Scenic River system. It runs through Chicken and is well known for the presence of gold. Many active placer mines are still along Yukon Territory and Alaska rivers.

Is the road to Chicken Alaska paved?

Alaska Highway 5, also known as the Taylor Highway, is open seasonally, during the summer. Once it snows, the route is traveled by snowmobiles (October-April). The first 60 miles are paved, but the remaining miles are gravel. Chicken is at mile 66, so most of the drive from the Alaska Highway to Chicken is paved.

The 160-mile Taylor Highway goes from Tetlin Junction, about 12 miles east of Tok on the Alaska Highway, to Eagle, Alaska. Chicken also has an airport for small aircraft. The Taylor Highway is also part of the Top of the World Highway to Dawson City, Yukon. The drove from Dawson City to Chicken is mostly on gravel, with only a few sections paved.

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