Wrangell, Alaska is hosting their annual Bearfest on July 27-31. It is a celebration of all things Bear. Everything from symposiums to art and photography workshops; as well as hikes and a marathon. Wrangell, Alaska is the place to be for all Bear Lovers. There will also be some salmon tasting, of course.
Wrangell is located in Southeast Alaska in the heart of the Tongass National Forest, and sits at the mouth of the Stikine River. The population of Wrangell Island was 2400 in 2000. Like the entire Southeast, Wrangell is a fishing paradise.
Wildlife in the Tongass include brown, black and the elusive glacier bear, as well as mountain goats, sitka black tailed deer, wolves and bald eagles. Orcas and humpback whales are often seen swimming the straits.
Alaska Airlines services Wrangell daily, weather permitting. The (mostly decimated) Alaska Marine Highway System also services Wrangell, at least in theory.
Chickenstock, the uniquely Alaskan music festival, is being held this weekend in Chicken, Alaska.
Chicken, which is just a leisurely drive up the Taylor Highway, was founded in 1902 by a group of miners. Legend has it that the miners wanted to call the new community Ptarmigan, after the local bird population, but couldn’t agree on a spelling, so they settled on Chicken.
As of 2020, the population of Chicken was 12, which is up from the 2010 census of 7. That’s close to a 42% increase! The Forty Mile District is booming!
2022 is the 16th Chickenstock, with a break in 2020 due to the pandemic.
This weekend is the 24th annual Tanana Valley Sandhill Crane Festival. Events will be held Friday through Sunday at the Creamers Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge. There will be guided hikes, talks with biologists, birding activity and more out at Creamers. Of course, the trails are well worth hitting without the guides.
Sandhill Cranes usually start staging in early August for their migration south. An average autumn will see 150,000 to 200,000 cranes fly through the Tanana Valley.
Chickenstock, the music festival at “the top of the world”, has returned after a year off due to the pandemic. The music begins on Friday and will continue through Saturday, but this is Chicken, and one never really knows when the festivities will end. The festival is hosted by the Chicken Gold Camp. Chickenstock is a very Alaskan event, not to be confused with Salmonfest. Local breweries and food trucks will be on hand, but it is best to be prepared for a self-sufficient, off-the-grid weekend.
Chicken, Alaska was founded by goldminers in the late 1800’s. In 1902, the community built a post office, but they needed a name for the town. With so many ptarmigan around, the miners wanted to call it Ptarmigan, but they could not agree on how to spell the word, so the miners settled on Chicken.
Located on the Taylor Highway, Chicken is completely off-grid. There is no cell service, electricity, running water, ATM’s or wifi for 100 miles. Chickenstock is a BYOW event: as in, Bring Your Own Water. You will be able to buy beer. Remember to pack it in and pack it out.
The music is always very good, and there are all sorts of activities planned for the weekend including the annual “Chicken-Legs-Morning-After-5K-Run”, which takes place Saturday morning.