Gold Mining In Alaska

One of the items mentioned on the
geologist field list is the experience of finding
gold, which can be educational (if you’ve never mined before) and quite joyous, I assume, if panning or
picking leads you to some shiny stuff. An
article in this
week’s USA Today suggests that Alaska may be the “hot” place to do it now.


There is plenty of gold in Alaska that has not been mined, but also all sorts of restrictions on who has
access and where it is allowed. The Department of Natural Resources has recently began to authorize recreational mining
business in the state, and companies are beginning to organize trips for tourists willing to pay the price
for a true mining experience. Small groups have recently “struck it rich” on mining claims owned by these

There are also public gold mining areas
in Alaska, but companies who have been servicing the mining industry for years know their stuff too. Whether you head
out on your own, or work through a mining host, there are tons of resources to help plan a gold mining excursion:

Alaska’s Gold (historical background from the state

Alaska Gold Forum

Alaska Miners Association

Alaska’s Largest Gold Nuggets

Recreational Miners Association

Gold Prospector’s Association of America

Recreational Gold Mining in Alaska (good PDF overview from
National Park Service)

Alaska Gold Mining FAQ (compiled by the owner of
Alaska Mining & Diving Supply, one of the businesses that has begun hosting
nugget hunting tours)