Fairbanks is located in the Interior Region north of Anchorage. It lies along Highway 2 on the banks of the Tanana River.
Fairbanks was founded in 1902, owing to a nearby gold find. It sprouted as a miner's camp and was incorporated in 1903. The city was named after Charles W. Fairbanks, U.S. vice president from 1905 to 1909. Fairbanks became the Alaska Railroad's northern terminus, completed in 1923. It was the construction headquarters of the Alaska Oil Pipeline, which was finished in 1977 and stretches from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez.
Today Fairbanks, population 30,224, is the state's second-largest city and the Interior's urban hub. Lumbering, mining, pipeline services and tourism infuse its economy. Other contributors are the University Of Alaska Fairbanks as well as nearby Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base. Area attractions are Denali National Park and Preserve, including Mount McKinley; Chena Hot Springs and the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. Dogsled racing attracts residents and visitors alike.