Alaska’s Mining History Comes Alive
Alaska’s Mining History Comes Alive
Alaska’s Mining History Comes Alive
Alaska’s Mining History Comes Alive
Feel the Energy of the Gold Rush
Feel the Energy of the Gold Rush
Feel the Energy of the Gold Rush
Meet Modern Day Prospectors
Meet Modern Day Prospectors
Meet Modern Day Prospectors
Meet Modern Day Prospectors
Meet Modern Day Prospectors
Alaskan Hospitality at its Best
Alaskan Hospitality at its Best
Alaskan Hospitality at its Best
Strike it rich in the gold fields of Alaska

Your two-hour tour will take you into the heart of the gold fields of the Tanana Valley where you will feel the history come alive.

Historic Gold Dredge 8

Gold Dredge 8 operated in the Goldstream Valley of Fairbanks from 1928 to 1959 and extracted millions of ounces of gold from the frozen Alaskan Ground. Today, Gold Dredge 8 is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and the site  is a U.S. Historic District.  The dredge serves as a monument to the hard working miners who built Fairbanks.  You will have the opportunity to be guided through the entire dredge as you see, touch and learn about the history that it contains and the dredge’s importance to the development of Fairbanks.

Living Mining Museum

After you’ve experienced the Gold Dredge 8 up close, walk into our Main Camp and through our Mining Museum.  Packed with history and artifacts from the early 1900’s, you’ll learn more about the entire gold mining process from cleaning the land, to thawing the frozen ground, to the final recovery of the gold.  You’ll also learn the history of the hearty sourdoughs that first prospected in the area and the hundreds of workers that operated the dredges during their heyday.  Finally, you’ll get a chance to see an array of ice age fossils that were found on these very grounds during the mining process.

Tanana Valley Railroad

Your adventure begins at Gold Dredge 8 with a ride on a replica of the Tanana Valley Railroad near some of the original rail routes.

Once aboard our narrow gauge railroad, you will enjoy a short narrated journey to the dredge. Your regular conductor and commentator is Earl Hughes, who provides festive music along your journey. You will also learn from actual working hands at sites along the way.

Gold Panning

As part of your tour, Alaskan miners will show you how to pan for gold, and you will receive your own poke filled with pay dirt. 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 Story

A rich history

Described as either a floating workhorse or a mechanical gold pan, Gold Dredge 8 extracted millions of ounces of gold from the frozen Alaskan ground. Today, Gold Dredge 8 National Historic District serves as a monument to the hard working miners who built Fairbanks. Gold Dredge 8 is also a National Engineering Landmark.

Gold Dredge 8 operated between 1928 and 1959 and played an essential role in mining and the economy of the Tanana Valley. It is said that dredges and mining saved Fairbanks. In 1942, gold mining suffered a serious setback; the War Productions Board issued it’s famous Order L-208 which forced the closure of all gold mines in the United States for the duration of World War II. After the war was over, very few mines re-opened. By the time the war ended, the miners that once ran the gold mines were in other professions and their wage levels had increased too high for gold mining to support. But Gold Dredge 8 was one of the few mines that did re-open and ran successfully until it was shut down for economic reasons in 1959.

In 1984, the dredge was opened for tours. The Binkley family has run a successful sternwheel attraction for over 60 years and added gold mine tours in 1994.  They have been working to share our rich gold mining history with visitors ever since.

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