Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Exploring Independence Mine, Hatcher Pass Alaska

"An abandoned gold mine stands as testament to Alaska’s rich Gold Rush history.

Independence Mine State Historical Park is a huge, abandoned gold mine that sits at the top of Hatcher Pass, a photogenic alpine passage that cuts through the Talkeetna Mountains. The journey above the tree line and this intriguing 761-acre park make for one of the finest side trips in Alaska.


Independence Mine was actually two mines until 1938, when the Alaska-Pacific Consolidated Mining Company united the Alaska Free Gold Mine on Skyscraper Mountain and Independence Mine on Granite Mountain to become the second most productive hardrock gold mine in Alaska. At its peak in 1941, the company employed 204 workers, blasted almost 12 miles of tunnels and recovered 34,416 ounces of gold, today worth almost $18 million. At the time, 22 families lived in nearby Boomtown, with eight children attending the territorial school.
Although World War II interrupted the mining operation - gold mining was declared a nonessential wartime activity - mining resumed briefly after the war until Independence Mine closed for good in 1951. Independence Mine State Historical Park was established in 1980 and since then the state has steadily worked to restore the buildings and tunnels to give visitors a fascinating look at Alaska lode mining amid spectacular mountain scenery."

With so many cloudy days recently it was a treat to have a beautiful sunny day to explore Hatcher Pass. We've been up there in the winter for sledding but this was the first time we've made it up there in the summer when the historical buildings were open. 

It was so fun to explore the buildings, roam all over those hills, climb the rocks, and spend an extra day off together as a family. Our Saturdays this time of year are filled with firewood deliveries so it was nice to have this Monday together to enjoy Alaska. Plus we still managed to do two firewood deliveries that day.

Autumn colors are here. 

We're thinking and praying for all our family and friends in Florida as they prepare for Hurricane Irma.

1 comment:

Deanna Rabe said...

We're praying too.

This looks like a fun trip.