Gold Panning in Alaska

Gold Panning in Alaska

Gold Panner
© Kristen Kemmerling, Alaska Division of Tourism

Since the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867, gold mining has played a major role in Alaska's history. News of northern gold was responsible for bringing floods of people into or through Alaska; this, in turn, created dramatic bursts of population and caused the foundation of many settlements that still survive, (Skagway, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Nome, for instance). In the wake of the placer mining gold rushes, (in which miners took gold located near the earth's surface), hard rock mines opened that extracted gold from raw ore. Today, gold panning in Alaska has all but disappeared, but a number of gold mines still operate in parts of the state. Visitors to Alaska may partake in a variety of gold mining experiences from tours that provide stocked sand in which to pan for gold to solo back country expeditions on public mining sites to even making a claim yourself. For information on the Gold Rush and gold mining tours, contact local CBV's and Chambers of Commerce, read our Historic Sites and Gold Rush Attractions page, and visit the Alaska State Travel Planner.

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The following links go to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and will be very helpful if you are interested in Gold Panning in Alaska.

Department of Natural Resources mining site
Investigating claims before buying
State selected claim land
Annual Placer Mining Application Process
Structures on Mining Locations
Time Saving Tips for Prospective Gold Seekers
Forms
Placer mine permitting

For more information

National Park Service mining info
USGS Guide to Recreational Gold Panning on the Kenai Peninsula,
Chugach National Forest

For information on some public recreational panning areas

Hatcher Pass (near Palmer, Glenn Highway)
Caribou Creek (on Glenn Highway)
Petersville Recreational Mining Area (southwest of Denali)

Alaska Facts

State Nick Name: "The Last Frontier" - the name Alaska is derived from the Aleut word "Aleyska," meaning "great land."

State Motto: "North to the Future"

State Capital: Juneau, located in the Southeast region of Alaska, has a population of 31,275 (2010 Census)

Alaska Map:

Map of Alaska

Alaska Flag:

Alaska state flag is dark blue with yellow stars in the shape of the big dipper with the North star

NOTE: The State of Alaska is not responsible for the content/information on any site outside of a State of Alaska department.