Filed under: Activities & Attractions, Entertaining Kids at Camp, Family Day Trips, Family Weekend Trips, Historic Places & Landmarks, Kid-Friendly Trips, Kid-Friendly Trips, Roads & Routes, The Road Less Traveled, Uncategorized
Going For The Gold in Girdwood!
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