In 1895 during the big boom in mining, the town now known as Girdwood, began a supply stop for prospectors who had claims on the Turnagain Arm tributaries. Originally known as Glacier City, Girdwood got its name from an Irishman by the name of James Girdwood. He was the first man to stake his claim in the area known as Crow Creek in 1896.
Nestled in the Chugach mountains, Crow Creek Mine started up in 1898. It was one of the largest producing hydraulic placer mines in all of south central Alaska. Estimates say that there were upwards of 700 ounces a month being produced during the peak season! During the World War II era, commercial mining operations in the area came to a halt, but may people felt that there was still gold to be found here.
Today, the mine in Girdwood is still very popular for prospectors. For $24 per adult you can pan for gold yourself at Crow Creek. You can even bring your own metal detector or rent a sluice box.
Girdwood also boasts amazing skiing in the winter months when you cant prospect for gold. The resort at Alyeska is world famous. It has 1,400 ski able acres with fast lifts.
So whatever time of year you visit Alaska, make sure to check out the quaint little town of Girdwood, just an hour south of Anchorage.