Taylor Highway (AK5)
Road Conditions and Attractions160 miles. Now paved from the Alaska Highway north to Chicken, the rest is generally good, graded gravel, with tight turns, steep grades, and seasonally poor road conditions. Chicken, Fortymile River system, high ridges, Eagle, Yukon River, Yukon-Charley National Preserve.
The Taylor is a hilly, winding, route being paved in stages, now paved from the Alaska Highway to Chicken. The gravel stretch beyond can be dusty, muddy, washboarded, and potholedthough it’s usually pretty good. The road was built between 1946 and 1953 to provide access to Eagle and the Yukon River. It is a road to river-runner’s heaven, providing access to 600 miles of national wild and scenic rivers392 in the BLM’s Fortymile River system and 208 in Yukon-Charley National Preserve.
Tetlin Junction and Alaska Highway (Mile 0 Taylor Highway, Mile 1,301.7 Alaska Highway)The roadhouse here may be in operation. Get gas if youre low.
Mount Fairplay Viewpoint (Mile 35.1)Views of the Alaska Range are possible. The land to the north is the Fortymile Mining District, first worked in 1886. Signs of past and present mining is evident at many spots.
West Fork BLM Campground (Mile 49)There are 25 campsites here, as well as the put-in for the West Fork of the Dennison Fork of the Fortymile River (see Fortymile, below).
Mosquito Fork Access (Mile 64.3)Put in here to connect with the South Fork Fortymile route (see below).
Chicken (Mile 66)This town (population 40 or so) began as a mining camp. It’s rumored that early miners wanted to name their town "Ptarmigan," but couldn’t spell it, so went with the simpler name. Several old structures are visible on private land near the road at about Mile 67. Today there’s an airstrip and some businesses just south of the Taylor on Airport Road (Mile 66.4), including "Beautiful Downtown Chicken Alaska" which offers a cafe, bar, store, and gas. Fill up here if you’re low. You can put-in at Mosquito Fork for the Fortymile route below the airstrip.
The Original Chicken Gold Camp (.25 miles south of Mile 66.4 on Airport Road)Features an RV park and campground, gift store, cafe, gold panning and operating gold mine. Don't miss the Pedro Gold Dredge which was moved to the property in 1998 after years in a less accessible location. www.chickengold.com
BLM Chicken Field Office (Mile 68.2)Information is avai-lable here, as is the trailhead for the Mosquito Fork Dredge Trail (3 miles), which leads to an old mining dredge on the river. RT3 hrs.
South Fork Bridge (Mile 75.3)Access to South Fork Fortymile route.
Walker Fork BLM Campground (Mile 82.1)16 sites.
Jack Wade Number 1 Dredge (Mile 86.1)Enjoy this picturesque old gold dredge east of the road.
Jack Wade Junction and Top of the World Highway (Mile 95.7)Head right along the ridge 11 miles to Canada and 68 more to the free Yukon ferry at Dawson City. The Top of the World Highway is a beautiful ridgetop gravel route with stellar views. The road is generally good but, like the Taylor, can be slippery, dusty, or rough. Stop at the Boundary Inc. roadhouse about halfway to the border for gas, food, lodging, gifts, or tire repair. The border stations are open May 15September 15 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Alaska time).
Turn left at the junction to continue to Eagle.
Fortymile River Bridge (Mile 112.6)Access to the South Fork Fortymile routea week or so from here to Eagle.
Lodge with gas (Mile 125.4)Next gas station is in Eagle, Chicken, or Boundary.
Ridgecrest (Mile 143.2)Enjoy the wonderful views.
Eagle (Mile 160.3)Turn left at 4th Street for Fort Egbert, campground, airstrip, and BLM field office. Continue to Yukon River for businesses and walkabout (see Eagle, below).