Ester, 7 miles southwest of Fairbanks on the Parks Highway, is a colorful community of artists, writers, Bohemians and people working in Fairbanks (population about 200). It also features Ester Gold Camp, a summer visitor attraction with a saloon, a song and dance show and a gift shop or two. A shuttle bus provides round trip evening transportation from the major hotels in Fairbanks. In winter everything is closed. Ester Gold Camp is officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1906 Ester was a panning and placer gold mining community with a population of some 5.000 miners, situated on the Ester Creek Shelf near Cripple Creek - then a rich gold creek. After the placer mining came the dredging. The Gold Camp was build in 1936 by the Fairbanks Exploration Company. It was closed in 1956 and reopened in 1958 as a summer hotel, RV park and buffet restaurant (reindeer stew, Alaska crab and baked halibut). The owners also run the 'Malemute Saloon' and the 'Aurorarama' with a Northern Lights slide and music show.