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Old 02-11-2005, 07:10 AM   #1
racinghoss
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Default Panning for gold

My dad is coming up this spring/summer. He has never been to AK before and he is pretty exited. I asked him if he wanted to do anything special (other than the normal sightseeing that relatives get when they come up) while he was here.

His response - lets pan for some gold. It was a hobby of his while we lived in Idaho, but he hasn't had an opportunity to do it for a long time (moved to Illinois).

Anyway, does anyone have any suggestions for places to go? I have heard that there might be certain rules about panning in AK. Can anyone clue me in or tell me where to find these regulations if they exist?
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:59 AM   #2
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I can think of a couple recreational mining areas inside a couple hours' drive - Caribou Creek and Peters Creek. DNR manages mining issues.

I'd start here. DNR Mining Fact Sheets
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Old 02-11-2005, 08:05 AM   #3
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Go to AK mining and diving they will set ya up!
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Old 02-11-2005, 08:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sledneck
Go to AK mining and diving they will set ya up!
Is that like a "guided tour" type of company or do they just sell equipment? I dont want to pay a "tour guide" to take me somewhere I could find on a map myself. Dad knows what he is doing once he gets to the stream and he already has the stuff he would need.
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Old 02-11-2005, 08:45 AM   #5
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I would think mining and diving would have the supplies, but you dont need to go to them if you have them. I have been fairly interested in doing this as well. My dad use to do this when i was a kid growing up in Ca.
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Old 02-11-2005, 08:51 AM   #6
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My whole family enjoys panning...nothing serious but about 3 outings a year...we joined GPAA and they have several exclusive claims to pan advice is to check public record for claims...Little Su at Hatchers provides some good flakes...all public down to the new bridge.
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Old 02-11-2005, 08:57 AM   #7
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A guy I work with who happens to be a geologist says try the Little Su
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Old 02-11-2005, 09:28 AM   #8
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Talk to Brian or Steve @ AKMDS - 277-1741
They can set you up with supplies, and it doesn't hurt to ask them about certain areas you have been advised to go. Between the two of them they have about a zillion years of mining in AK.

Or, check out the many books by Ron Wendt of Wasilla, great gold mining author. They can be picked up at any Alaskana section of Barnes and Noble or equivilant book store.

I have only been prospecting for two years in AK but have moved from a pan to a sluicebox to a 5" triple sluicedredge, 12 HP honda, and have found some color, but mainly addicted to the history of it.

If you enjoy the Ron Wendt books there is a gal from Seward- Marion Berry who has a couple of really great reads about the 1896 rush to sunrise on the Keni penn.

GPAA - My own personal opinion.

I have a friend who has a claim next to a gpaa claim on the kenia penn. It looks like an arclight strike has come through. People don't fill there holes back in, pick up there garbage, or even bury thier **** !! Very rude twards anyone they don't know.

I enjoy the shows put out by Tom and Perry Massie and think that thier dad ment the best when starting the GPAA but it goes to show you people seem to have a way at messing up a good thing.

I will never belong to that organisation.
But it is a good way to get up on step if you are not very experianced.

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If you have any Q's on how to pan or what to buy, I will help P.M. me
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Old 02-11-2005, 09:51 AM   #9
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Ron Wendt books are good reads.
My in laws sell them at thier store in Wasilla. They also have some info and pictures drom their mine in Chicken.
My father is probably there, and he likes to chat about mining, so maybe take hi by Double J Jewelery in Wasilla if you have time.
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Old 02-11-2005, 12:56 PM   #10
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there is that place out there in girdwood that u can go and pan for gold at....not sure of the name...ive been out there once be4
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Old 02-11-2005, 02:36 PM   #11
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I have what you need for a decent trip. Small sluice, pans, grizzley, suction bottle, tweezers, etc, if you want to borrow them. You would need a good shovel, a strong back and waders.

I suggest Crow Creek as THE place to take visitors. throw the sluice in and start shoveling. Nice pickers in some areas.

Cheap to get in (was $5) and there are 3 areas to explore. Nice pics in the camp area too.

The areas mentioned have very limited gold. Small microscopic gold may pay off for true miners, but visitors would like a chance to hit a nugget.

Other areas that are not as good (for gold) but are nice drives etc include:

Ressurection Creek near above Hope. Six Mile has some claims. Great Gold if you have a drysuit and a big dredge.

The recreational area near the end of Petersville Road. If you see a miner ask if you can "recreational mine" on his claim. Most will let you if you are decent.

Rumor has it that there is gold at the top of Eagle River. Watch regs, pan only I believe.

Up on the Steese Hwy is a recreational area if you get up north. It is "supposed" to be awesome.

For the off road crew, Yacko has gold back in Eureka. Watch claims. I am going to metal detect back in that area this summer.
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Old 02-11-2005, 03:13 PM   #12
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Not really interested in anything other than panning. To him, it was just a nice way to spend time in the outdoors when he wasn't fishing. He is not really into finding a bunch of gold (although I doubt he would gripe about it), he just wants to have a little fun and see some country. I am sure he would be thrilled to just find a flake or 2 to keep as a souvineer. I appreciate the offer to borrow your stuff though, thanks.

I will look into some of these areas. We were going to do some fishing down near Hope as well, so that might work out great. He is diabetic, getting older and way out of shape, so hiking is not an option. I know that will reduce the number of places that we can legitimately go.

By reading the regulations posted by WileEToyote, it looks like we can pan recreationally just about anywhere since pans are about all we will be using.

Last edited by racinghoss; 02-11-2005 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 02-12-2005, 01:46 PM   #13
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The one thing that Crow creek has that other places don't is history. They have all kinds of old trucks, old mining equipment, cabins, the hydraulic monitors (big water cannons for blasting away the sides of mountains), old sluices and lots of stuff to just take pics of. The place is set up for tourists, nice flowers, ferns, a pond with ducks, etc...

The first panning area is about 1/4 mile in. They supply a pan and shovel. You get a small pouch of (loaded) dirt to pan with admission. It has some gold in it so no one goes home disappointed.

I have yet to take visitors down there and have them be disappointed.
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