As the story goes, the miners wanted to name the town "Ptarmigan" after the bird which is common in the area. Unfortunately, people couldn't agree on how to spell it! Finally they settled with the easier name of Chicken. The name stuck and so has the community, despite an up-and-down history of mining in the Fortymile district.
take a trip back to the gold rush era
The Town of Chicken was once the mining hub of the Fortymile district. In 1886, ten years before the Klondike Gold Rush, gold was discovered on Franklin Creek and the community of Chicken was founded.
In it's glory year, Chicken boasted a population around 400 people. Now, it ranges from 50 in the summer to 4 in the winter. Miners still work the nearby hills hoping to find that elusive pay streak. Most use suction dredges but there are still a few placer miners working claims. Massive dredges that were used up until the mid 1960's to mine the creeks are found not far from town. They were abandoned 30 years ago by the F.E. Gold Company. A short hike from the Taylor Highway will take you to an excellent viewpoint where the Cowden Dredge (a steam driven dredge) lays abandoned on the Mosquito Fork. For more information on how to get there, stop in at the Goldpanner.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How far is it to cell phone service: The closest cell phone service is in Tok, Alaska. If you are heading into Canada, Dawson City has cell phone coverage.
How far to the next gas/diesel station? There are no services between Chicken and Tok, or Chicken and Dawson City, or Chicken and Eagle, Alaska. You will find gas/diesel in Tok, Dawson City, and Eagle.
Is there a bar/liquor store in Chicken? Yes, they are located on Airport Road.
Distance and travel time from chicken
Distances and travel times are approximate.
To Tok: 80 miles - 2 hours
To US/Candian Border: 40 miles - 1 hour
To Dawson City, Yukon: 100 miles - 4 hours
To Eagle, Alaska: 100 miles - 4 hours
To Fairbanks: 280 miles - 6 hours
To Anchorage: 400 miles - 8 hours
services not available in Chicken
The services listed below are not available in Chicken. They are available in Tok, Alaska and Dawson City, Yukon.