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Browse Locations Chicken




Current Population:              8   (2011 Alaska Department of Labor Estimate)

Incorporation Type:              Unincorporated

Located In:                           Southeast Fairbanks Census Area

Taxes:                                   No taxing authority




Location and Climate

Chicken is located at mile 66 of the Taylor Highway, approximately 100 road miles southwest of Eagle. It lies on the right bank of Chicken Creek, one mile north of Mosquito Fork, in the Fortymile River Basin. The community lies at approximately 64.073330° North Latitude and -141.936110° West Longitude.  (Sec. 31, T001S, R033E, Fairbanks Meridian.)   Chicken is located in the Fairbanks Recording District.

Interior Alaska experiences seasonal temperature extremes. January temperatures average -22 to -2 °F, but temperatures as low as -70 °F have been recorded. July temperatures range from 50 to 80 °F. Average annual precipitation is 11.3 inches.


History, Culture and Demographics

The area has been the historical home to Han Kutchin Indians. Mining began in the area with the discovery of gold on Franklin Gulch in 1886. In 1896 Bob Mathieson found a major prospect on Upper Chicken Creek, staked his claim and built a cabin. Chicken (a common name for ptarmigan) grew as a hub of activity for the southern portion of the Fortymile Mining District. Seven hundred miners were thought to be working the area between 1896 and 1898. Although many miners left during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898, Chicken remained a viable community. A post office was established in 1903 when the population was around 400. In 1906 Harvey Van Hook built the two-story Chicken Creek Hotel. In 1925 Ann "Tisha" Purdy taught school in the building. From 1946-1953, Molly and Bob McComb used the building as a roadhouse, store, and bunkhouse. In 1953 F.E. Company bought the grounds and turned it into a mess hall and bunkhouse for their employees. Approximately a dozen buildings in historical downtown Chicken are listed on the National Register of Historical Places. The Pedro Dredge, also a National Historic site, originally mined in the Fairbanks area before its move to Chicken in 1959. The dredge is one of the few dredges in the state open to the public.

Residents enjoy the quiet and isolation of Chicken. Children are home-schooled.

According to Census 2010, there were 16 housing units in the community and 5 were occupied. 100 percent white; additionally, 14.3 percent of the population was of Hispanic descent.


Facilities, Utilities, Schools and Health Care

There is no central water or sewer system in Chicken. Homes use individual wells, septic tanks, and outhouses. Electricity is provided by Individual Generators. There are schools located in the community, Local hospitals or health clinics include Tok Community Clinic in Tok.  Emergency Services include summer highway and air access and are within 30 minutes of a higher-level satellite health care facility. Emergency service is provided by volunteers



The community depends upon summer visitors from May to September for their livelihood. The Chicken Creek Saloon, the Original Chicken Gold Camp cafe, Chicken Outpost and Chicken Center serve local residents and visitors. Tours are available through historic Chicken by The Goldpanner. The Original Chicken Gold Camp also provides access to the historic Pedro Dredge. Other than tourism, the economy is still based on gold panning and fur trapping in the winter.

The 2006-2010 American Community Survey (ACS) estimated 121 residents as employed. The public sector employed 100.0%1 of all workers. 




During the summer months only, Chicken is accessible from Tok via the Taylor Highway or Dawson City in the Yukon Territory via the Top of the World Highway. A state-owned gravel airstrip measuring 2,500' long by 60' wide is available. There is no gas station between Eagle and Chicken.

Organizations with Local Offices



Regional Organizations

School District - Alaska Gateway School District
P.O. Box 226
Tok, AK 99780
Phone 907- 883-5151
Fax 907- 883-5154

Regional Native Corporation - Doyon, Limited
1 Doyon Place, Suite 300
Fairbanks, AK 99701-2941
Phone 907-459-2000
Fax 907-459-2060

Regional Native Health Corporation - Tanana Chiefs Conference
122 First Ave, Suite 600
Fairbanks, AK 99701
Phone 907-452-8251
Fax 907-459-3851



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