A privately owned, patented gold & copper Mine near McCarthy, Alaska
In the early days, the communities of Kennicott, McCarthy and Dan Creek were closely linked. There were roadways connecting them, with bridges across side creeks, and roadhouses along the way where travelers could stay and get a hot meal.
Gold and copper were discovered simultaneously in the area during the Klondike gold rush. In 1901, Dan Kain and Clarence Warner staked claims in this area that is named after Mr. Kain. It is located in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park which has been regarded as "one of the scenic wonders of the world". More specifically, Dan Creek is twenty miles east of the town of McCarthy and the Kennicott Copper Mine, across the Nizina River.
Gold is primarily the principal yield, however, forty tons of copper nuggets have been produced from the Dan Creek area. In fact, a copper nugget weighing 3 tons was discovered here during operations in the early 1900’s. This impressive nugget can be viewed at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum. By 1959, these placer mines of the Nizina district had produced about 143,000 ounces of gold.
The bridge over the Nizina River washed out long ago, and the road is no longer maintained. Parts of it can be accessed by four-wheeler, but the primary connection to the outside world is via the airstrips at Dan Creek and May Creek, or traveling to McCarthy by snow machine in the winter after the river has frozen. Today, current residents are more isolated than their predecessors. Limited mining still continues on valid mining claims within the boundaries of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve today.
The Dan Creek claims are a privately-owned property which was patented in 1912 without surface use restrictions. This is where The Motherlode McCarthy was born. Heavy black sands, magnetized iron, copper nuggets and beautiful gold are the name of the game. It’s a challenge even for an experienced gold miner to recover ALL the gold contained in this rich ground. Are you up to the challenge?