Ride the Tanana Valley Railroad for an adventure into the gold fields of the Interior. A two-hour guided tour takes you through a permafrost tunnel where Alaska's history comes alive. Enjoy a walking tour of our mining camp. Meet and talk with Alaska miners as you learn about present day placer mining methods. After a short course in gold mining, grab your own "poke" filled with pay dirt right out of a sluice box and try your hand at panning for gold. Everyone finds gold. We guarantee it!
The original Tanana Valley Railroad served over two dozen gold camps scattered throughout Interior Alaska in the early 1900s. Supplies arrived in Alaska on vessels that traveled from Seattle to the mouth of the Yukon River. Freight was then transferred to sternwheelers, which hauled it up the Yukon and Tanana Rivers to Interior Alaska. From there the Tanana Valley Railroad carried supplies to the gold camps.
At El Dorado Gold Mine, you'll ride a replica of the Tanana Valley Railroad through the original gold fields of Interior Alaska. Your journey takes you through a permafrost tunnel where a miner with a head lamp and pick-axe gives a thorough explanation of underground mining in days gone by. While inside the tunnel, you'll see the kinds of mineral and rock formations that tend to produce the most gold. You'll also have the opportunity to view prehistoric bones up to 30,000 years old. This part of the tour is only one of the reasons that NBC Nightly News featured El Dorado Gold Mine on its national news program.
El Dorado Gold Mine is an exciting hands-on adventure for the whole family. As part of your tour, Alaskan miners will show you how to pan for gold, and you'll receive your own poke filled with pay dirt right from the sluice box. Friendly guides are on hand to help you uncover the gold in your pan. Comfortable benches and warm water make this an easy and enjoyable experience. Everyone will share your excitement when you strike it rich-and nothing beats the thrill of taking home real Alaskan gold! Our crew will weigh your gold in the Cook Shack, and they'll show you ways to fashion it into a memorable keepsake while you enjoy complimentary coffee and fresh homemade cookies. It's all part of our famous Alaskan hospitality, and the experience is one you're sure to treasure.
Meanwhile, feel free to browse in our photo gallery featuring historic photos of the Tanana Valley Railroad. In addition we have fossilized mammoth tusks and bones on display.
Did the hard work of panning make you hungry? We have complimentary fresh-baked cookies and coffee hot chocolate and fresh cold spring water waiting for you in the Cook Shack.
While in the Cook Shack make sure to visit our gold jewelry counter where you can view a 19 ounce nugget that was mined in Alaska. This nugget is currently valued at over $25,000. We also have a wide range of nuggets from all over Alaska and hand-crafted Alaskan nugget jewelry from local artists.