Modern Prospectors Head to Resurrection Creek

Kevin Eagan - Jan 28, 2013
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Resurrection Creek in Alaska is famous for the gold discovery which led to a gold rush during the 1880s. By 1893 about a dozen miners had staked a claim on the creek and by 1894 more claims were established on the site.

Although the gold rush took place more than a century ago placer mining still continues today. It is estimated that about 35,000 oz of gold has been produced since mining began in 1895. Fine gold can still be panned from gravel along the river as it flows through a 1,000 foot-wide alluvial plain. Creek gravel is deposited on both sides of the bank and gold is disseminated throughout the gravel although it is usually more concentrated on the clay bedrock. Visitors who travel to this region can try their luck on flat gold wherever they are camped along the creek.

The town of Hope on the other hand was a mining camp for the creek. It lies on the northern end of the Kenai Peninsula which is on the southern shore of Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet. If you are keen on panning for gold go down the main road for about 4.3 miles. Pull off the road and turn into a short side trail. Follow it to the Sixmile Creek where you will find old channels, here gold occurs on point bars. You can also fan the gravel on the bedrock for the precious metal however most of these sites are accessed when the water is low. Do not be deceived by fool's gold or pyrite which is rusty colored quartz that floats along the creek.

The town is named after the youngest prospector Percy Hope who just happened to land here. As more prospectors rushed in to take advantage of the gold a new community that lived in tents was aptly named Sunrise city. Soon the community swelled to more than 3,000 people as gold was still plentiful. One prospector panned about 385 ounces of gold in less than 60 days, however the boom soon faded and the population dropped drastically.

Apart from gold panning and prospecting you can engage in various activities while touring this region. These include:

White water rafting

This area is popular as one of the best whitewater rafting sites in Alaska. There are two main rafting companies that operate from here and they supply all the equipment needed for the rafting adventure.


Nothing is more relaxing than angling in a scenic location. Hope and Resurrection Creek are ideal places for visitors who travel to this region and wish to spend their vacation in relative solitude as well as peace. One of the main reasons why these sites are such popular fishing locations is the variety of fish species. Here you will find trout and salmon varieties including the red salmon which is considered as one of the most difficult fish to catch.

Tourists who are enthusiastic about hiking have a wide range of locations to choose from. This includes:

Resurrection Creek Trail

This is a 38-mile trail that ends in Cooper Landing. During the hike you will go through alpine and forested terrain with elevation reaching up to 2,000 feet.

Gull Rock Trail

It crosses rock slides as well and an avalanche gully. The trail affords you amazing views of the surrounding area while also cutting through an old cathedral like forest where a saw mill was located in the 1920s.

Twin Lakes

This is a trail that is unmarked beginning at Palmer Creek Road. It is a fairly steep terrain which zigzags up the mountain next to the waterfall.

Hope Point Trail

Hope Point is a fairly difficult way of climbing Mount Baldy, a treeless ridge. On the way you will interact with bears, mountain goats and moose as well as experience startling views when you get to the top of the mountain.

There is a wide range of fauna and flora to experience for all those who travel through this region. This region is a bird watcher's paradise as there are various species of birds to see; however travelers must always be on the lookout for bears.

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