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Alaska is a very large state and the easiest way I could think to list it is by the region. Although the rest of my page list the gold locations by counties, I think the best way to do this for Alaska, is to list the region. Therefore you will need to know the regions that you are interested in. Most Alaskan prospectors don't have a problem with this, but if you have difficulty feel free to email me.

Gold was found in Alaska as early as 1848 in Kenai River, on a peninsula with the same name, by a Russian mining engineer. After the United States purchased "Seward's Folly" and miners had left the disappointment of mining in the Cassiar gold locations, gold was discovered southeast of Juneau around Windham and Sumdum Bays. Major lode veins were found near Juneau in 1880.

For more information you should see U. S. Geological paper # 610. This paper describes 43 mining districts that produced more than 10,000 ounces or more. The total gold production as stated in this paper is 29,225,071 ounces.

There are so many gold localities in Alaska that the U. S. Geological paper is not enough. You can also use U. S. Geological Survey Mineral Investigations Resource Map MR-32 and Lode Gold and Silver Occurrences in Alaska. Also MR-38 Placer Gold Occurrences in Alaska.

Many large areas are withdrawn from mineral entry, so be sure to check before mining.

Northwestern Alaska Region

This large, mostly unpopulated region lies North of the Yukon River Drainage basin and the Seward Peninsula and includes the drainage systems of the Kobuk, Noatak and Alatna rivers, where most of the gold districts are located. Because almost all access is by air, if you are interested in prospecting this region you must be well financed and be able to live off the land in the remote regions of Alaska. The total recorded production of 23,000 ounces is from placers.

Kiana District

The Kobuk River Valley and all it tributaries, a large region on the Ambler, Kiana and Shungnak quadrangles make up the Kiana District. All regional stream, sand and gravel bars have placer showings, but have had little prospecting performed on them. The gravel deposits of the Squirrel River, especially it Klery Creek tributary had numerous placer and are most profitable for today's gold hunter. . Agnes, Klery, Homestake and Central Creeks produced placer gold real well. On Jade Creek you can find gold laced Nephrite Jade.

Noatak District

This district is the area drained by the Noatak River and by coastal streams between its mouth and the Wulik River. The best bet in this district is Lucky Six Creek, which was rich in gold.

Selawik District

This district is the base of the Baldwin Peninsula and that area drained by streams flowing into Selawik Lake and Eschscholtz Bay, between the Kobuk and Kauk Rivers. Little explored, this district in the southeastern portion of the Baldwin peninsula and the area draining into Lake Selawik, has only reported gold mining operation. It was on Shovel Creek, a tributary of the Selawik River was very rich in this region. It began production after the second War and ended in the early 1960's.

Shungnak District

The district is located in the Kobuk River Valley, between latitude 6650' and 6710' N, longitude 15650' and 15725' W. It is on the Shungnak USGS quadrangle. The total production from 1898-1955 was 10,000-15,000 ounces. Almost all of the placer gold produced by this district came from the drainage area of the Cosmos Hills above the valley of the Kobuk River. Most the production was from Dahl Creek. There were many area placer workings in and about the community. Along Wesley Creek, 6 miles west of the Dahl Creek Tremollite mine, near the head of the creek, there were some very rich placers. North of Shungnak 10 miles is the location of the Aurora Mountain, Riley Creek and Ruby Creek lode gold mines. Northeast of Shungnak 40 miles, the Shishakshinovik Pass Mine, produced lode gold. West of Shungnak 50 miles, in the valley of Ambler River there were very many rich placer workings. California and Lynx Creeks were also rich in placer gold.

Prince William Sound Region

Prince William Sound is on the southern coast of Alaska east of the Kenai Peninsula and is mapped on the Valdez and Cordova USGS quadrangles. This is the famed area where the oil tanker "Exxon Valdez" ran aground and caused the worst environmental catastrophe in United States History, by spilling some 10 million gallons of crude oil. Within the restricted area between the Chugach Mountains on the north and the waters of the sound lie the notable gold and copper mining centers of Port Wells, Port Valdez and Ellamar. Between 1894, when placer gold was discovered near Valdez, through 1956, a total of 137,600 ounces of gold was produced from lode and placer sources.

Cordova District

On the Cordova USGS quadrangle is the Cordova district. North of Cordova 5 miles is the Wilson Point Mine, which produced lode gold. East southeast of Cordova 20 miles is the lode gold mines of the Bear Creek Mining Company, Lucky Strike Mining Company and McKinley Lake Mining Company.

Ellamar District

On the Cordova USGS quadrangle is the Ellamar district. In the Ellamar district you can find many old lode mines.

Latouche Island District

On the Blying Sound quadrangle you can find many old lode mines here.

Passage Canal District

You can find numerous old mines that produced lode gold.

Unakwik District

You can find may old mines that produced lode gold.

Valdez District

In the Valdez district there were many old lode mines.

Seward Peninsula Region

The Seward Peninsula is the westernmost extremity of North America and second only to the Yukon-Tanana region in the production of placer gold, largely from the rich concentrations in the sands of the Bearing Sea beaches at Nome. Although gold was discovered as early as 1855, nothing was done about it until 1898, when the Nome district was organized. The total production through 1959 was recorded as 6,060,000 gold ounces, all but about 10,000 ounces being from placer operations.

Bluff District

Bluff is on the Solomon quadrangle. If you go west of Bluff 7 miles, on California and Coca-Cola Creeks you will find some very rich placer ground. On Daniels Creek, along the entire course, you will find many old placer operations. Also where Daniels Creek runs into the Beach is very rich. North of Bluff on Eldorado and Sweede Creeks, there were some excellent placer discoveries.

Bonanza District

Near Unalakleet, is the Bonanza district. All regional streams contain placer gold.

Coarse Gold District

Coarse Gold district is located about 70 miles north northeast of Nome, on the Teller quadrangle. This was an old placer district that produced some nice gold.

Council District

This district is in the south part of the peninsula, including all drainage of Golovnin Bay extending east almost to the Tubutulik River. It was discovered in 1865 and had a total production of about 588,000 ounces of placer gold. It is on the Solomon USGS quadrangle. Along Aggie Creek, a tributary of the Fish River, there were some rich placers. Along Crooked Creek and Benson Gulch, a tributary of Melsing Creek, there were some rich placers. Along Ophir Creek, discovered in 1896 and was the most productive in the district, extremely rich placers were worked. All the Creek gravels and bench deposits in the drainage basin of the Niukluk River, including Ophir, Melsing, Gold Bottom, Warm, Camp, Mystery and Elkhorn Creeks produced rich placer gold. All along the Fish River and Slate, Iron, Wheeler, West, Flynn, Spruce, Post, Daniels and Koyana Creeks there were lode mines, but the placer gold in all these creeks is very rich. Along Crooked Creek and the Inmachuk River there were rich placers. The Casadepaga River and its Tributaries produce nice gold for the GPAA I hear.

Fairhaven District

Near Deering, in the Fairhaven district, including the Candle and Inmachuck districts, 40 miles long immediately south of the Kotzebue Sound, between latitudes 6540' and 6610' N, longitude 16140' and 16320' W on the Candle USGS quadrangle is the Fairhaven district. On Old Glory and Hannum Creeks, the initial placers were discovered in 1900. On Candle Creek, the richest placer creek in the district, discovered in 1901 and produced 379,200 ounces of placer gold. Along Bear Creek and the Inmachuk River there were many productive placers. Up the Kiwalik River, the area gravels produced placer gold. Along Quartz Creek and on Gold Run, there were some rich placers. A few miles below mouth of Quartz Creek were some very rich placers.

Koyuk District

This district is located in the southeast corner of the peninsula, between latitude 6455' and 6540' N, longitude 16020' and 16200' W, including drainage of the Koyuk River, on the Candle USGS quadrangle. Along Alameda and Knowles Creeks were some placers operated since 1900. At Dime Landing and Haycock area creeks had many rich placers. All other regional creeks and in bench gravels, especially along Monument Creek you can find open cut operations for placer gold. Between Little and Dry Creeks, extending a considerable distance with extensive dredging operations for placer gold.

Nome District

This district is in the south-central part of the peninsula, between latitude 6425' and 6457' N, longitude 16500' and 16530' W, on the Nome USGS quadrangle. More than half the gold in the Seward Peninsula has come from the Nome district. Around 4,000,000 ounces of placer gold has been found. The Nome River placers were discovered in 1897. Anvil Creek and many other area creeks produced placer gold. Sands of the Bering Sea beaches, most profitable of the entire district, was some very rich placer gold.

Port Clarence District

The district contains about 200 square miles at west end of the peninsula on the Teller USGS quadrangle. The Bluestone and Agiapuk River Basin had many productive placers. Grantly Harbor area most streams contain gold.

Solomon District

The area lying along south side of the peninsula between latitude 6430' and 6545' N, longitude 16330' and 16430 W, on the Solomon USGS quadrangle. Almost all the streams contain placer gold in this district.

Taylor District

This district in the central part of the peninsula, between latitude 6510' and 6545' N, longitude 16420' and 16520' W, on the Teller and Bendelben quadrangles is the Taylor district. Along The Kougarok River, near mouth of Henry Creek, near head of River, especially on Macklin Creek and tributaries, there were many rich placer discoveries. In the south part of the district in the Coffee Dome area, along Iron and American Creeks there are more rich placers.

York District

In the York area there are many productive placers.

Southeastern Alaska Region

The total gold production of the Panhandle region between 1880 and 1959 is recorded as 7,788,514 ounces of gold. Almost all of that came from lode mines. There are way two many lode mines for me too type in on this region, so I will try to list the areas where placer gold can be found. If you are interested in the lode mines you can find them on the 13 quadrangles that cover the southeastern district.

Juneau District

Most of the placer gold in the region has come from the Juneau district. Porcupine Creek was a great producer of placer gold. Clear Bear, Glacier, Cahoon, McKinley, Cottonwood, Nugget Creeks and Klehini, Salmon and Takhin Rivers have produced good placer gold. Gold Creek and Last Chance Basin near Juneau were productive for placer gold. Windfall, Montana and McGinnis Creeks, between Juneau and the Eagle River were productive. Spruce and Powers Creeks and the Chuck River near Windham Bay had some placers. The beach placer near Lituya and Yakutat Bay contains gold.

Reported by:Mitch
EDITOR NOTE: Thanks for catching my mistake

You report Gold Creek and last Chance Basin as near Juneau but in fact Gold Creek is in town. Runs right through town actually. Headed there this morning to do a little panning and a little sluicing. Mostly placer and small nuggets there, but last summer a guy found a 3/4 ounce nugget. Last chance basin is reputed to produce more/bigger gold but haven't tried yet as it is quite a hike. Montana creek produced nothing, but flour for me, but I know this old guy who says... Well you know the rest.

Southwestern Alaska Region

Aleutian Islands

On Unga Island in the shumagin Group, is the location of the Apollo Consolidated Mine. It operated from 1891 until present, with a total production of 107,900 ounces of lode gold with lead, copper and zinc.

Bristol Bay

Along the upper reaches of the Mulchatna River and its tributaries produces placer gold.

Katmai National Monument

All areas outside monument boundaries, in gravels of streams flowing into Iliamna Lake contain placer gold.


West coast beaches and tributary lode deposits contain gold.

Topknot of North America Region

The Arctic slope of Alaska lies within the Polar Zone, some 600 miles east and west by 150 miles north and south, sloping from the foothills of the brooks Range to the Arctic Ocean. This area is know mostly for the great oil discoveries at Prudhoe Bay. Very little prospecting has been done due to climatic conditions.

Anaktuvik Pass

The area on the north slopes of the Endicott Mountains has numerous mineralized outcrops, with tremendous lode gold possibilities, with likelihood of placer deposits in regional watercourse and bench gravel deposits.

Opilak River

This is located South of Barter Island and along the main river and presumably in the gravels of its tributary streams there is placer gold. Hard to work due to climate, but is said to be very, very rich.

© Mike Higbee's Prospectors Cache / Mike Higbee - mailto:49erMike@tomashworth.com / Revised