The Alaska gold mine - a resource for gold mining

Gold mining and Alaska share a close bond. There were large gold rushes in South Central Alaska and in the Arctic. The gold prospector's willingness to go the extra mile, literally, make them a good fit for the Alaskan spirit.

The United states has seen quite a few gold rushes. There is, of course, the famous California gold rush of 1849, where the NFL football team got its name.

Valdez, Alaska was a site on the Gold Rush trail in 1898 during the Klondike Gold rush. Prospectors came from Seattle and San Francisco on steamships. The voyage took weeks. When they reached the old town of Valdez, only a tent city greeted them. They stocked up on supplies and headed over the Valdez Glacier en route to the Klondike Gold fields. At the same time, other prospectors were climbing the Chilkoot Pass embarking from Skagway and Dyea, Alaska. These people were often turned back at the canadian border by the Mounties. The Valdez Glacier became the all american route to the Gold Fields - which were not in the Klondike, but in the Copper River Valley. The valdez museum has a record of names associated with Valdez and the Gold rush.

Gold Miner with goldpan

Archetypal image of the Alaskan Gold Miner beautifully render in pen and ink. Photo: Tony Oliver

Jack LondonJack London chronicles these stories in many of his stories and books.

Even today, prospecting is a passion for some Alaskans. They have strange stories and even stranger equipment. A friend of mine would go up country to a river each Summer. His brilliant idea - a hovercraft! He could ferry his dredge and supplies upstream without too much struggle. Sluice boxes and dredges and even the gold pan are still in use today looking for gold.

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Gold Miner with goldpan

100 years ago thousands of guys like this raided the Alaskan Bush and the legend of the Alaskan Gold Rush lives on in photos like this. Photo: Skinner Alaska State Archives

Gold Rush and Prospecting in Alaska Searches

Gold Rush and Prospecting in Alaska General Info:

Gold Miner with goldpan

Miners register gold claims during the Klondike Gold Rush. Photo: Canadian National Archives


An Alaskan mining FAQ: The good folks at Alaska Mining and Diving have put together a list of frequently asked questions. A couple of nice pictures there, too.

Chicken, Alaska - A town known for recreational gold mining and it's funny name.

Alaska Prospecting Forum - Here is a good forum for sharing / collecting prospector knowledge. Be sure to check out there link section.

The Gold Prospectors Association (GPAA) "was founded in 1968 to preserve and promote the great heritage of the North American Prospector." They have a nice piece on the history of Nome, Alaska and gold prospecting. They also offer a Gold Prospecting trip in the Summer to the Cripple River Mining Camp, in Nome, Alaska. Be sure to check out their Forum for the latest info.

Independence Mine State Historical Park - for some insight into Alaska's gold mining past, visit this State Park. The website has some good historical information, maps, and visitor's information. The park is located 20 miles outside of Palmer in Hatcher Pass of the Talkeetna Mountains. A good day trip from Anchorage.

The Alaska Outdoor Journal Gold Panning Guide - If you go to one link, go to this one. You will find a comprehensive guide to gold panning in the Kenai Peninsula. It has some history, advice and tips, rules and regulations, and much more! If you are interested in recreational prospecting in Alaska, read this site. Kudos to the producers!

Gold mining on Public Lands pdf (21k) - Before you do any gold mining on Alaskan Public lands, get the information direct from the Alaska Public Lands Information Centers. They have brochures available for download in the pdf format.

Gold rush and mining information from - A good summary of Alaska and the gold panning.


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