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    What is the best way to just play around with some gold panning? Is it possible to find something in just about any creek including right around Anchorage? Eric

  • #2

    Try going north to Hatcher Pass or south. If you pick up a booklet called: "How to Prospect in Alaska With Out Getting Shot" there are a lot of areas listed.

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    • #3

      Hey, thanks Dave. With these new forums they need to update the Bookstore on this website. David-can we add some new books that pertain to the new forums?


      • #4

        You could join the GPA. They have quite a few places all over the place. I have went to their claim on Mills Creek a few times, I didn't get rich but I had a good time. I know a couple people who have done pretty good in the Petersville area also. Panning isn't to bad but it won't take you long until you will want a sluce box. They aren't very spendy and the amount of material you can go through compared to panning is huge. Good luck.


        • #5

          Alaska Mining and Diving has the greatest rescources in Anchorage that I know of. Steve H. the owner is really into the mining and runs an operation on Gaines Creek.


          The above link allows you to click on a map and view mining claims that were once in an area. At least it will give you an area to try. For instance if you click on the Hatcher Pass area and find that ???? Creek has five mines on it back in 1945, it might be a goold place to try or at least give you an area to try in.

          I did this, this summer and found gold some place where I was told there probably wasn't any. I will be back up there again next year with a metal dector.

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          • #6
            When the current flooding at Hatchers pass subsides, there will be some Flood gold up there, might be worth a try...


            • #7
              I've heard good things about Crow Creek in Girdwood. Check the Alaska Mining and Diving website, Steve has lots of great articles on where and how to get gold.

              To an extent there is gold everywhere, however, not every stream has enough of it to be worth going after. If you have to move 10 yds of soil for ten flakes of gold, it's not worth the effort.

              Your odds of getting color on known producing streams are much higher then checking out streams that haven't been known to produce. I can't say every creek and stream has been prospected, but certainly those relatively easy to access have had a pan or two run.

              Ron Wendt's books are a great resource, and I believe he has a website.
              Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

              If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.


              • #8
                Its funny you post that about Hatchers. The family and I just got back from an evening out up there. We found that the road is closed due to a magor washout close to where the trail heads up and over the mountain towards Purches Creek. On the way home the wife and I were talking about the possible prospects due to all the magor water/washouts that occured. We have never tried any panning but thought that if you were going to do it, this might be the best time in that area, not knowing any different anyway.


                • #9
                  I havent been up to try but the flood probably has exposed areas that will be good, just make sure your not on someones claim.


                  • #10
                    A buddy of mine found some while panning along the saltwater shore. He said he just panned near some black sand. One was a fair sized nugget, worth about $600.
                    Last edited by Ripface; 09-27-2006, 17:32.
                    "Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile." - Homer, Odyssey


                    • #11
                      I'm Inspired

                      I have never panned for gold before but after reading this I feel inspired. I have lived in Alaska my whole life and never even taken the time to find one flake but hearing everyone talk about this is great.

                      Trying this out will be my resolution for next year. Knowing myself I will start with a pan and if I do find anything the next time I will have a box. LOL :)

                      Alaska is too much fun.
                      Ryan Tollefsen
                      Prudential Jack White Vista Real Estate

                      Alaska Real Estate
                      Anchorage Real Estate


                      • #12
                        If you want some good info go talk to Steve over at Alaska Mining and Diving Supply. There shop is over on Commerical Drive.


                        • #13


                          To get you started:

                          Get a gold pan, one with rifles on the edges. There are several on the market, I like green as the gold shows up best for me.

                          Get several small pieces of lead, lead shot hammered flat works well.

                          1. Place six pieces into the pan along with 4-5 cups of gravel.

                          2, Using a tub full of water, submerse the pan leting water into the mixture.

                          3. You want enough water to turn the mixture into a slurry, not too much water, only enough for the lead to move around between the gravel.

                          4. Move the pan above the water back and forth and side to side. This allows the gold (lead) to sink to the bottom.

                          5. Once you have the slurry moved around a bit, tilt the pan and start washing the lighter sands and gravels over the riffled edge.

                          6. After a bit has washed out, repeat step 4, 5 back to 4 and 5 again until you see black sands starting to show up on the riffles of the pan.

                          7. An expert panner at this point would rotate the pan and use the non-riffle edge to reduce the black sand. A novice, should then, with a little water in the pan, hold it flat and swish the water around, clockwise. (Counter clockwise if in Australia).

                          8. The light material should move around the pan and the gold (lead) should remain at the top of the pan.

                          9. Now you should see all six pieces of lead if you did it right. A prospector would have a snuffer bottle, (plastiic bottle with a straw inside) and suck the smaller gold up into the bottle.

                          You can make this a game with the kids, placeing different amounts of lead in the pan and see who recovers what.

                          There are many variations of panning. But this is a good general starting technique for someone. It usually takes me less than 2-3 minutes to reduce a sample pan of gold down enough to see the gold. It is an learning experience.

                          CAUTION: Once you find your first little nugget, you are going to be hooked on prospecting.

                          Last edited by Daveinthebush; 11-11-2006, 12:42. Reason: Not enough coffe to spell correctly yet.

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                          • #14

                            Sorry for the spelling mistakes above. Back to the coffee pot.

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