Chatanika Gold Camp, Fairbanks, AK 99712
5550 Steese Highway, Fairbanks, AK
Located just an hour north of Fairbanks, Alaska, the Chatanika Gold Camp historic lodge and restaurant property is for sale. Listed with the National Register of Historic Places, the property consists of 35 total acres of land; almost 15,000 square feet of lodge, restaurant, and outbuildings; 30 total rooms, historic blacksmith shop, boiler house, and garage.
Chatanika was known since the early days in Alaska as a rich source of placer gold, with miners sluicing gravel deposits from nearby creeks to find gold nuggets. Those deposits were played out by about 1910. However, once the Alaska Railroad was pushed through in 1923, the Fairbanks Exploration Company (FEC) was able to import a large dredge that could move enough material to go after lower-grade deposits. At one time, Chatanika had 10,000 residents—more than Fairbanks! Between 1923 and 1925, the Chatanika Gold Camp was built as a bunkhouse and lodge for the men working the dredges. The lodge was designed to last through the rough Alaska winters, with corrugated sheet metal used as both siding and roofing material on the lodge, restaurant, blacksmith shop, boiler house, and garage. Known as the Chatanika Gold Camp, the property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
The current owners of the Chatanika Gold Camp did a fairly extensive remodel of the property in the early 2020’s, just in time to get it ready to host famed Discovery Channel star Parker Schnabel’s production crew as they filmed another season of shows on Alaska gold mining, this time for Discovery Australia. Parker and crew leased 3,000 acres of old placer claims near Chatanika and went to work re-mining the leftover tailings from the old operations. The lodge served as a base camp for the entire crew for a season of filming. In 2023, the operation has been sitting vacant, booked only for special occasions.