Chatanika is located in Fairbanks North Star Borough
at Mile 27.9 Steese Hwy
north of Fairbanks
Chatanika used to be the center of one of the richest placer gold districts in Alaska. There is still considerable gold mining activity in the area. Tailings from dredges in streams show past mining. The town was built in 1925 to support dredging operations by Fairbanks Exploration Co. which took at least $70 million out of the area.
Today, Chatanika is a gold camp resort. The gold camp is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Chatanika River is a clear-water Class II stream. A canoe trail starts near Cripple Creek and goes to Chatanika. There are Bureau of Land Management - Alaska and state campgrounds along the route. Recreational gold panning is popular in the area. In addition, the area is popular with winter-sports enthusiasts, summer hikers, and northern lights viewers.