Historic Mining Towns
Alaska has always attracted fortune-seekers
and frontiersmen, as it did a century ago
when thousands of prospectors stampeded
north to Alaska in search of their fortunes.
These adventurous pioneers left a trail of history
in the form of abandoned mining towns,
trails and larger-than-life legends.
In just one
year, 1897-98, over 60,000 adventurers
made their way north to the rich gold fields of
the Klondike. Today you can hike the famous
Chilkoot trail, or visit the towns of Skagway or Dawson City and travel back in time. The
Klondike was not the only gold strike luring fortune seekers north. Juneau, Nome, Fairbanks,
Sitka and many other communities have remnants of a gold mining past. Panning for gold is a
popular activity when visiting these communities
The vast resources of Alaska have lured entrepreneurs to Alaska for its deposits of minerals and
ores. Early in the century one of the world’s largest copper discoveries was made along the
Chitina River in what is now Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Now the largest ghost town in the
world, Kennecott was once home to over 500 workers and their families. When the mine closed
in 1938, everyone walked away, leaving behind a large-scale mining operation and dozens of
supporting buildings and homes.
Historic Kennecott-Mine is a landmark in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve