Recreational Gold Mining

Photo Courtesy of Chicken Gold Camp

Chicken may be a funny name for a town, but you might just find some serious gold there. Located in the northeastern Alaska interior, the Chicken Gold Camp and Outpost is accessible by road from Fairbanks. Those who make the journey can mine for gold in several different locations along Chicken Creek and its tributaries. For a fee, the camp provides equipment for many different mining styles, including panning, hand sluicing and suction dredging. Don’t worry if you don’t know what those are—they provide orientation for newcomers, so you will feel well-prepared by the time you start mining.

Most visitors stay at the Gold Camp, which offers cabins, camping areas and RV spaces. The cabins have great views of the surrounding area, and visitors may even see the northern lights during late summer and fall. Lodging amenities vary, from hotel-style rooms with kitchenettes to cabins without electricity. No matter where you stay, however, you can access the Gold Camp Outpost, which features a gift shop, cafe and even wireless internet access.

Guests who plan to mine for gold can get assistance throughout the whole process. After newcomer orientation, you ride a shuttle to your site and stay there for the full day until the shuttle picks you up in late afternoon. Guides are available to answer any questions about equipment or technique and will let you work at your own pace to find gold. Many guests have found nuggets one ounce or larger, and all gold found there is yours to keep.

Authentic gold mining makes for a unique (and maybe profitable) Alaska vacation. To find out everything you want to know about the Gold Camp and Outpost, visit their website at chickengold.com. For other things to do in Chicken and the surrounding area, go to alaska.org/destination/chicken/things-to-do.