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How Long to Spend
Chicken is located in a remote corner of Alaska along the rugged and beautiful Taylor Highway. This gold mining town was established around 1898 and today, it is one of the few surviving gold rush towns in the state.
How did it come to be named Chicken? The story goes that Ptarmigan (now the Alaska State Bird) were prevalent in the area, and supplied a crucial food source for miners in the early days. When the town got its post office and was incorporated in 1902 the name Ptarmigan was proposed. However, there were concerns that it was too difficult to spell. Luckily, the Ptarmigan has a strong resemblance to Chicken, and everyone knows how to spell Chicken.
Today you can appreciate the gold rush history by panning for gold yourself or visiting the Pedro Dredge, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Other activities include hiking, rafting, ATVing, fishing, and the now-famous summer music festival, Chickenstock.
Chicken is located at mile 65.3 of the Taylor Highway. If departing from Anchorage, plan a full day for the drive, and be prepared for conditions on the Taylor Highway. The Taylor Highway is only open seasonally from April to mid-October, and there are limited services and facilities along the way.