Resurrection Creek Public Mining Site, Alaska
Most of the following information was derived from GOLD PANNING, A guide to recreational gold panning on the Kenai Peninsula, Chugach National Forest, Alaska (1997) found here - See the full text for more information and details. Some of the information in the publication is out-of-date and so additional notes have been added when needed.
Resurrection Creek Panning Area
The second discovery
of gold on the Kenai Peninsula was on Resurrection Creek in about 1888.
The creek has produced an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 oz. of gold since
1895. Below Palmer
Creek, Resurrection Creek flows through a 1,000 foot-wide alluvial flood plain. Creek gravels rest on a tan to yellow clay hard-pan with streaks of blue clay present. Bench gravels are exposed on
both sides of the creek. Gold is disseminated throughout the gravel, but is concentrated on clay and bedrock.
A half mile stretch of Resurrection Creek lies within a withdrawal and is available for recreational gold panning (Note: the original text designates a 1.5 mile stretch - this was shortened to the lower half mile until further notice per Forest Order No. 10-04-30-05-01). This area is a favorite site for recreational mining. Suction dredges (4-inch or smaller) are permitted from May 15 to July 15 with a permit from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Access is by the Palmer Creek Road out of Hope. The mining area begins at the Resurrection Pass Trail footbridge 4.5 miles from Hope and continues upstream for 0.5 miles to a patented (private land) claim. The claim boundary is marked with a gate.
Fine gold can be
panned from gravels all along the creek. Try for fine, flat gold near
the campsite 0.25 mile above the footbridge and along the creek bank
near the recreational mining information
sign. Bedrock is exposed on the east canyon wall just above the campsite and just below the private lands. Both spots are good bets for gold. Rounded boulders piled along the creek are tailings from old hydraulic operations. Much of the road has been built on these tailings.
Resurrection Creek south of Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula
Suction dredges (4-inch nozzles or smaller) are permitted from May 15 to July 15 only. Remember that a permit from the Alaska DNR Office of Habitat Management & Permitting is required.
ResurrectionCreek Public Mining Site
Mining rights and guidelinesHere are a few simple guidelines that all recreational gold panners should know.
- Follow all national forest rules such as camping limits, discharge of firearms, use of trails, etc. These regulations are found in Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), with general prohibitions in part 261. Copies are available at Chugach National Forest offices in Anchorage, Girdwood, and Seward. Regulations may or may not be posted.
- The Chugach National Forest defines recreational gold panning as the use of hand tools and light equipment including gold pans, suction dredges (4 inches or less), rocker boxes and sluice boxes.
- Gold pans and manual-feed sluice boxes are allowed year-round in streams listed in this booklet. Four-inch nozzle or smaller suction dredges are allowed in salmon streams from May 15 to July 15 only with a permit from the Department of Fish & Game Division of Habitat 333 Raspberry Rd, Suite 2068 Anchorage, AK 99518 phone 907-267-2821 fax 907-267-2499. Dredges with larger than 4" nozzles may be used but require that the operator file a Notice of Intent with the District Ranger. Resurrection Creek is a salmon stream and so is open to dredging from May 15 to July 15 only.
- Work only the active stream channel or unvegetated gravel bars. Do not dig in stream banks!
- Recreational gold panning does not allow you to build structures, cut trees or dig up archaeological historical or paleontological objects. Nor does it give you the right to obstruct others in recreational pursuits.
Recreational gold panning on lands withdrawn from mineral entry is not a mining activity--it is a privilege. Be aware that panning, sluicing, and suction dredging can adversely affect water quality, thereby impacting vegetation, fish, wildlife, and ultimately people.
During the process of separating soil from minerals, silt may be washed into streams, creating turbid water. Fish, fish eggs, and the aquatic insects have difficulty living in heavily silted water because of its reduced oxygen supply.
Avoid washing soil and vegetation into streams, and do not dig in stream banks. This increases silt in the stream and is also dangerous. Many banks are unstable and can slide without warning.
To reduce silt, dig only in active stream gravels. Return rocks or boulders moved during your efforts to their original positions. Aquatic insects, an important food source for salmon, often make their homes under these rocks. A little care will help ensure a healthy water ecosystem for both miners and anglers.
Good luck and good prospecting!