Crow Creek Mine

Useful Information

Location: Near Girdwood.
From Anchorage south on Seward Highway 56 km to Girdwood, turn left at the gas station on the Alyeska Highway, after 3.2 km before the bridge turn left on Crow Creek Road, after 4.8 km on the right.
Open: 16-MAY to 15-SEP daily 9-18.
Fee: Mine tour: Adults USD 5, Children (0-12) free, Seniors USD 3, Military USD 3.
Panning: Adults USD 15, Children (0-12) USD 5, Seniors USD 10, Military USD 10.
Classification: MineGold Mine ExplainPlacer Mining MineAlluvial Deposit
Light: n/a.
Guided tours:
Address: Crow Creek Mine, PO Box 113, Girdwood, AK 99587, Tel: +1-907-2293105, Tel: +1-907-2788060. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1896 mine opened by Chris Spillum and partners.
World War II mine closed.
1969 purchased by the Toohey Family.


This is a typical Alaskan placer mine. The gold is originally located in quartz bearing veins in the rock, but when the mountains were eroded the gold was washed down from the mountains into the rivers. The water was able to destroy the hard rock, but the soft gold was resistant and remained almost untouched. It is heavier than the sand around and thus was accumulated in pits in the river bed. Such accumulations are called placers, so this is a placer mine. The miners tried to separate the gold by washing the sand, which separates the heavy gold by gravity, the same process which creates the placers at first.


Crow Creek Mine was opened in 1896 by Chris Spillum and partners. They built the first wooden huts on location, which are now the oldest buildings in the municipality of Anchorage. Nine of the original buildings are open to the public, and with original furnishings from the goldmining days they are a sort of mining open air museum. The site is a National Historic Site.

The mining at this site removed enormous amounts of sediments. Nuggets of extraordinary size have frequently be found, and the total amount of gold found in the mine is estimated to be around 1,275kg. During peak production around 700 ounces per month were mined. However, there are no exact numbers. Mining ended during World War II, not because the mine was worked out. The Bureau of Mines estimated about one million cubic meters of unmined material left.