Friday, June 21, 2013

Mining in Girdwood

After passing through Girdwood, or at least the namesake highway junction, multiple times and taking advantage of the gas prices that are much better than locations on the Kenai, we decided to do a little exploring on this last pass. Turns out there is quite a community tucked back from the highway, and beyond the community is the Crow Creek Mine.

In a search for rust, we continued up the gravel road for three miles to the mine. The road was in better shape than the Swanson River road. The mine is now a National Historic Site and continues operating as a recreational mine. Panning or mining in the creek costs $20 per day while dry camping is $10 per day.

I wasn't sure which category I fit into, but I paid the $10 fee as a Presidential candidate, if only for a moment.

There wasn't all that much "rust" around the property although there were obvious remains of the hydraulic nozzles used in earlier mine operations.

There were a number of buildings on the property that dated back to 1898 and the beginnings of the mine. The grounds were beautiful with barrels of flowers everywhere.

Some buildings, such as the mess hall, were open with lots of stuff on display. Others were used as residences by the family that has owned and operated the mine for the past 40 years.

They were in the process of setting up for a couple of weddings over the weekend, so we left them and wandered back down the hill,

but not before other groups and individuals started arriving to try their hand at gold panning.

If old mines aren't your cup of tea, you could likely find a cup to your liking at the Alyeska Resort, found at the end of another one of the roads in Girdwood. This is home to the well-known tramway, restaurant, and ski slopes. We didn't partake, but others report it's a "must" visit.


  1. Looks like you have a knack for finding these out of the way places.

    We are at the Fred Meyer in Palmer...might explore this area and join you at Nancy Lakes. Would you like a little egg company? Do you know when you would arrive?

    Tired of driving and enjoying the grocery store....:)

    1. Just got home from a weekend trip where I was totally out of contact. I think we'll be going to Nancy Lake either this Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning. There through the weekend but one of the nights will be on the canoe trail with the grandson. Would love to see you if it fits your schedule.

    2. I thought that you were out of internet connections....we are so frequently out of touch.

      I think we will move on as we are getting anxious to get further down the Kenai. Spent last night at a lake next to the Iditarod museum. It's main attraction...less mosquitoes!

      We will be in Scottsdale next January, if everything goes well, for the wedding of youngest granddaughter. And will be making numerous trips through Mesa.
      Heading out tomorrow for the REI in Anchorage...may spend the night. Happy trails to you!

    3. Sorry it didn't work to get together. Looking forward to seeing you next winter.