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Thread: So we are headed to Alaska next summer...

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    Question So we are headed to Alaska next summer...

    Retired and we are headed North next Summer. Towing a small RV with my Chevy pickup, stopping to visit in Dawson Creek and Juneau. We are watching Gold Rush and interested in panning for gold and have been reading here. Found this Forum along with the Camping section very interesting.

    Are there any commercial gold mines we could visit while in Alaska?

    Is the Big Nugget mine AkA Gold Rush even accessible if we wanted to visit?

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    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    Look at your maps, Juneau is only accessible by water, no roads to Juneau, There are public mining areas around Hope Alaska, A commercial mine is available around Girdwood, Pay to play, you keep what you find each day. Google Alaska Mining and Diving supply Company in Anchorage, very helpful. Good Luck, remember the people that get rich in small mining operations are the suppliers. You have to move a lot of dirt to get a lot of gold.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Your best bet is Crow creek mine in Girdwood. Yes it is a pay to dog type of place. They even give you panning lessons and a salted bag of material so you are guaranteed to find some color in it anyway.
    There are some old mine buildings to look at and a reasonable chance at finding a little color panning in the creek. The views from there are beautiful and there is some good hiking in the area.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Default So we are headed to Alaska next summer...

    If you are looking for a little hike mint glacier trail in hatcher pass has a bunch of little streams and creeks where you can pan. People usually come out of there with some dust in a bottle and it is fun for the kids. There are a few beaver ponds on the trail and it is pretty flat for the Most part.

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    Yes, Know all about Juneau being accessible only by water, we have a friend who lives there. Retired school teacher. Plan on parking the truck and camper in Skagway and taking the people ferry over. Not sure if we are going to take the car ferry with the RV and truck over to Haines yet.

    I've had a Whites metal detector for a couple of years, never found anything worth a lot and understand its not much good for detecting gold in the wild, except for rings and coins.

    We are looking for the Alaska experience you don't get on a cruise. Plan to meet people along the way and learn all we can about the area. I'm an old farm boy and have worked at a lot of trades, including master electrician and union pipe fitter. Without my shop to tinker in I'd be bored.

    Wow, almost forgot. Looking to get some pans for panning gold (what else) what brand or type to get and where to buy? Who knows there could even be gold in Iowa!!

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    Wow, almost forgot. Looking to get some pans for panning gold (what else) what brand or type to get and where to buy? Who knows there could even be gold in Iowa!!
    My list is fairly short. In no partoicular order here are my choices.
    The GPAA (Gold Prospectors Assn. of America)pan is pretty good.
    The Keene SP14 superpan is another good one.
    If you are a bgger guy or just have big hands the Garrett Supersluice works good but like I said for bigger hands as its a bigger pan.
    My current favorite pan is the Proline Professional pan.
    All of these in the green color. You will have the best luck with the green colored pans listed above they have good riffles in them which helps in trapping the gold. Especially for beginners. The green color shows gold well but also the heavy black sands witch usually are found in the bottom of your pan with the gold.
    Those cheap black pans are just that CHEAP! They do not have good gold trapping riffles and are a thinner plastic which can break easier if dropped etc. The metal pans are heavier and also lack the good riffles.
    The standard Garrett pan often found in kit form with a classifier etc. has a bottom that is way to narrow for my liking.
    A wide flat bottom works best for me.
    You will also need a classifier. The green plastic ones work pretty good. I believe keene makes the one I use most often. It is sized to trap a dime or larger coin/object so would also work well when you are metal detecting.
    It is used to remove larger rocks from your gold pan and make panning quicker and easier.
    I buy mine locally from Joes Mining in North Kenai.
    If I were buying online I would check Alaska Mining and Diving. They have treated me well also and have what you need.
    Probably lots of other good online sites as well.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    Are there any commercial gold mines we could visit while in Alaska?

    Is the Big Nugget mine AkA Gold Rush even accessible if we wanted to visit?
    I think Fort Knox mine in Fairbanks might offer media tours.

    There is Gold Dredge No. 8 in Fairbanks. There also is the truly tourist El Dorado mine. Used to be a going operation back in the day, now it mines pockets.

    The Big Nugget Mine is near the end of a public road out of Haines. You can drive up to their signs and see what happens when you ask about a tour of the operation. Or, you could find the phone number for Southeast Roadbuilders Haines office and talk to the kid's dad to see if they would be interested in private tours. The internet is full of interesting stuff ......

    You can drive out the Petersville road from Trapper Creek and if you make it through the washouts you will be surrounded by commercial placer mining operations. Its a public road that at some point becomes kind of private depending on who you run into out there. All depends on the mood and your intentions.

    You can also check in with the Hope Mining Company and see what they have going on down in Hope. I know they own the area where public mining is allowed until fish spawning time.

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    Thanks for the good info, I've checked out the Alaska Mining and Diving website, Steve has a lot of great stuff. If I make a trip up in that area I will leave our Casita 17 ft camping trailer parked someplace and take my 4 wheel drive pickup on the gravel roads.

    Gee I wish it would snow down here, I think I have my snowmobile ready to go, but it needs a test run.

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    Gee, Now that I wished for snow and we have it, need to get the snowmobile out of the drift and see if it goes. Got my gold pans from Steve here and a new Whites MXT Pro on order, time to think spring.

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    If you are taking the Top of the World Highway through Dawson you have to stop at the Chicken Gold Camp. Really good people and you will find some gold. The also have equipment to rent. Lots of mining history in that area.

    http://www.chickengold.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian in AK View Post
    If you are taking the Top of the World Highway through Dawson you have to stop at the Chicken Gold Camp. Really good people and you will find some gold. The also have equipment to rent. Lots of mining history in that area.

    http://www.chickengold.com/
    Very good advice . . check it out . .

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    Chicken Gold Camp is by far your best opportunity to find gold at a road accessible pay-to-mine operation.

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    I also think one of the regulars here is an owner of Chicken Gold Camp, even better yet. We plan on leaving Iowa about May 20th or so, figure a 3 day drive to Dawson Creek, couple days to visit there and on to Juneau. How is the Haines highway up north to the junction with Alaskan Highway? Hoping its blacktop and not gravel. Pulling that small camper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    I also think one of the regulars here is an owner of Chicken Gold Camp, even better yet. We plan on leaving Iowa about May 20th or so, figure a 3 day drive to Dawson Creek, couple days to visit there and on to Juneau. How is the Haines highway up north to the junction with Alaskan Highway? Hoping its blacktop and not gravel. Pulling that small camper.
    George, you do know that you can't drive to Juneau, you'll have to take the ferry and it's pretty expensive if your pulling a trailer.
    http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/
    Seems like your planning on a lot of driving for the little bit of Alaska you will see... You should at least make the trip to see Mt. McKinley.
    Best of luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    Retired and we are headed North next Summer. Towing a small RV with my Chevy pickup, stopping to visit in Dawson Creek and Juneau. We are watching Gold Rush and interested in panning for gold and have been reading here. Found this Forum along with the Camping section very interesting. Are there any commercial gold mines we could visit while in Alaska?Is the Big Nugget mine AkA Gold Rush even accessible if we wanted to visit?
    I just completed an update of what I believe is the most comprehensive listing of public mining sites you can find right now at http://www.detectorprospector.com/gold-prospecting-public-sites/sites/public-mining-site-list.htm

    You will not be visiting Juneau unless you take the ferry or fly. No way to drive there.The closest you will get to mine tours are at http://www.detectorprospector.com/gold-prospecting-public-sites/parks-tours-museums-mining-attractions.htm

    They were doing tours of the Big Nugget Mine at http://joeordonez.com/2012/03/2012-t...tart-june-1st/ you will have to contact them about 2013 season.

    Steve Herschbach

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    I need to put in my Signature line, Yes we have maps and know Juneau is not accessible by road! Been told that at least half dozen times. :)

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