Alaska Gold Nugget Adventure
Ounces of Gold
posted Jun 2, 2002
Pretty much, I fly up to Alaska every year to go gold mining during the summer. It gets me away from the heat of Miami and gives Barb a month or two of sanity. This year I plan on modifying my summer a little to go looking for nuggets with my metal detector at Ganes Creek.
Many of the areas in Alaska where you could reasonably expect to find nuggets have so many hot rocks that using a metal detector is a complete waste of time. The nuggets are there but for every nugget, you would have to check 10,000 hot rocks first. So, in Alaska, I have absolutely nothing to show for the money I have invested in my metal detector.
I expect that to change this year. A week or so ago, I came across an excellent site maintained by Steve Herschbach, owner of the Alaska Mining And Diving Supply in Anchorage.
He writes of an incredible area called Ganes Creek where the 5th largest nugget (122 ounces) ever found in Alaska was discovered. The owners of the deposit and vast claims have opened the grounds to visitors with metal detectors on a fee basis. (Ganes Creek is located in the Kuskokwim Gold Belt just a short hop north of Donlin Creek. (Novagold / Placer Dome's Donlin :)
Basically it costs you $2,500 to stay a week, Sunday to Saturday. They provide the ground, food and accommodations. Ganes Creek is about 250 miles NW of Anchorage. You pay all your airfares.
You must get to Anchorage, and then you fly via Peninsula Air Anchorage to McGrath ($350 Round trip) and then take a short charter (about $50 per person) to Ganes Creek. Sunday is when you get there and your week is over the following Saturday.
Are there nuggets at Ganes Creek? Is the Pope Polish? Steve Herschbach does an excellent job of telling exactly what he found and how. In short, I don't think you could really plan on making your fortune in a week, but I'm convinced you would have an adventure of a lifetime.
It's a deal now. In a few years after hundreds of people have spent man years going through the tailing piles, I doubt it will be as productive.
I know I'm planning on bringing back some nuggets and some great stories.
Steve's Mining Journal - 6/22/01
Topographic Map of Ganes Creek
Which Metal Detector Should
Alaska is warm during the summer but can be chilly at night. You will need foul weather gear, there is a lot of rain. Mosquitoes are constant companions, bring lots of mozzie spray and pick up a mosquito net in Anchorage. Spare batteries for your detector are a must along with cigarettes and any alcohol you may want to consume in 7 days. Remember, you are 250 miles away from the nearest supermarket.
For your mining supplies, you simply cannot beat Alaska Mining. They have everything you need and more. They carry a full line of metal detectors and their staff is far more knowledgeable than any store I know of in the lower 48.
Related link: 14.4 Ounces of Gold posted Jun 2, 2002
For more information or to book your trip of a lifetime email Doug Clark