Despite its northern location, with low temperatures and thus reduced chemical activity, there are numerous big caves in Alaska. The reason are the high precipitation and the acidic soils of the typical west coast rain forests. Wherever soluble rock like limestone and marble occurs, intense karstification is found too. The most impressive karst areas are located in southeast Alaska, especially in Tongass National Forest on Prince of Wales Island. El Cap Pit is at the moment the deepest single drop pit in the USA.

Also Alaska has glaciers, so there are actually numerous glacier caves, which formed inside the glacier by melting. The caves are actually different each year, but as the drainage is quite similar each year, they are normally more or less at the same location. Due to massive changes every year those caves are not developed, you need appropriate gear to visit them

More famous are the natural resources of Alaska, especially the gold which caused the world-famous gold rush. But there is also oil and other resources. Some mines are open to the public.

But the gold deposits are mostly placer deposits, which means they were mined by digging and washing sand and gravel. Most mine tours which are offered are actually gold panning tours where visitors are brought to a place with gold bearing gravel and have two hours to find some gold dust. We list only actual mines, underground tunnels, which are rare, and dredges and mills.