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Chicken was, and still is, the heart of the southern Fortymile Mining District, and many of these works are visible along the highway. Chicken (the story goes: they wanted to name the town "Ptarmigan," but nobody knew how to spell that), the second town in Alaska to be incorporated (Skagway was the first), has only a handful of permanent residents, mostly miners and trappers, creating an
authentic frontier atmosphere. Do not encroach on private property, as miners rarely have a sense of humor about trespassing. Overland travel to Dawson City winds along a gravel road. Some drivers love it, some white-knuckle it. The road still closes for the entire winter, but in February and March snowmachiners hold a "poker run" on the road from Tok to Dawson City (www.alaskatrailblazers.com). Chicken only has three businesses in town, but what it lacks in infrastructure, it makes up for in atmosphere.
Get a feel for the past on a gold-mining adventure, where finder's keepers is the name of the game (in 2008 one participant walked away with a 1.4-ounce nugget), or tour the historic Pedro Dredge at 9 am and 1 pm daily at the Chicken Gold Camp & Outpost. The Gold Camp also provides meals, drinks, cabins, a campground–RV park, showers, free Wi-Fi, firewood, and espresso, as well as kayaking and other activities. Bluegrass lovers will appreciate the Chickenstock Music Festival on the second weekend in June.
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