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Going For The Gold in Girdwood!

January 22, 2011 by · 4 Comments 


Have you ever gone gold panning? I have. It is  lots of fun!

When we lived in Anchorage, Alaska, we took our children on many day trips. One of our favorite destinations was Girdwood. Located about forty miles south of Anchorage, historic Girdwood has a lot to offer. There’s the  awesome Alyeska Resort, scenic views, a great bakery and the wonderful Double Musky Inn. One weekend, we spontaneously decided to try our hand at gold panning. It was getting late in the day. We were about ready to leave Girdwood and drive  home, but I was reading a little tourist brochure while sitting in the front seat. The brochure casually mentioned the Crow Creek Gold Mine.

My children and I  were  quite excited to visit this remote historic mine, so my husband immediately agreed to venture down a long dirt road in order to find it.  At the turn of the last century, Girdwood was a gold mining town and the Crow Creek Gold Mine is a historic treasure.  Nestled in the Chugach Mountains, the mine is family owned and operated. All of the buildings are virtually unchanged from the mine’s heyday.

Upon arrival, we paid a small fee and listened to a friendly  lesson on gold panning. We were given the necessary supplies and sent on our way.  En route to the river, we passed wonderful buildings, watermills, goats, bear skins, vegetable gardens, old mining equipment, and vintage cars.  While panning along the river bank, my son found a small piece of gold. When they weighed it for us, we were told it was worth about fifty cents. They kindly stored that piece of gold in a little vial with water and handed it to William.  That treasure remains one of his most precious Alaska trinkets.

So, if you find yourself traveling through Girdwood  this summer, be sure to visit the mine and go for the gold!

–Melissa A. Trainer


4 Responses to “Going For The Gold in Girdwood!”
  1. Don & Irene says:

    Sure tweeked my interest for this summers destination, was going to the Yukon anyway. Did you notice any RV spots nearby or in Girdwood and is the road suitable for a class A to travel on as it looks like I would spend more than a day there.
    Or would a person leave the motorhome in Anchorage

  2. You can camp right at the gold mine for $5 a night but there aren’t any hookups. The roads to and around Girdwood are fine and the road to the gold mine is okay but not great. At a later date, my husband was in Anchorage and had rented an RV. He took that RV to the gold mine and had no problems getting there. You might check with the Girdwood chamber to see if there are other camping options in Girdwood. Cheers, Melissa

  3. Don & Irene says:

    Thanks again will contact them but sounds ok

  4. Cody Smith says:

    Sounds like an interesting place to go! I enjoy rock hounding, fossil hunting, etc. Gold panning is definitely a fun experience. My family and I, who travel full-time, took a gold panning class recently and we all learned a lot. Unfortunately, we haven’t found the big nugget yet…

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