Logo bar of the Alaska Public Lands Information Center which are located in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Tok and Ketchikan
Snow-covered mountains on a very clear day with fall colored forest below
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Gold in Alaska
Historic photo of gold miner panning for gold in a stream from the Klondike gold rush era
NPS photo
Many traveled up north for their chance to strike it big in the 1890's.

Gold Panning in Alaska

People all across the world traveled to Alaska in hopes of striking the mother lode and making a fortune in the Klondike Gold Rush, producing a wealth of tales, both fictional and non-fictional about hardened prospectors living through horrible conditions. Many of these brave people stayed here to form communities and towns that exist to this day.

Even now visitors travel to Alaska set on finding gold, ready and willing to do whatever it takes to earn their slice of the riches. The staff at the four Alaska Center's are more than willing to help you with all the information they can offer about recreational gold panning.

If you're planning a visit to Alaska to try your hand at gold panning and want more information, contact an Alaska Public Lands Information Center and they will mail you helpful information regarding where and when and how to gold pan recreationally. You can also find this information online at or recreational gold mining in Alaska (a PDF).

When you do come up to find gold, remember to do your research. Alaska is a big, big place, with lots of land to explore--too much for one visit!

Places to pan in Alaska (Maps and PDFs)

Nome Creek in White Mountains recreation Area

The Dalton Highway (Large PDF)

Caribou Creek Recreational Mining Area (PDF)

Hatcher Pass Public Use Area

Petersville Recreational Mining Area (PDF)


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Profile view of a red-breasted Nuthatch with black and white stripes on it's face, blueish gray wings and back and a pale orange belly. The bird is perched on a green, plastic feeder. Snow-covered branches are in the background. Did You Know?
Red-breasted nuthatches are often heard before they are seen. Their distinctive yank-yank-yank announces their presence in the coniferous forest.