The year was 1880 and two prospectors, Joe Juneau and Richard Harris, found ‘large pieces of quartz, of black sulfite and galena all spangled over with gold’ in Gold Creek. Thus began Alaska’s first gold rush, 16 years before the Klondike. It set the stage for a colorful period in Alaskan history and for your very own opportunity to catch gold fever on today’s tour.
A costumed prospector guide will escort you on the scenic and entertaining 20-minute ride to Last Chance Basin. Here, a prospector will provide a lively gold panning demonstration and narration about the gold rush days. Feel the thrill of discovery as, with expert instruction and a little gold panning of your own, you find guaranteed gold in the bottom of your pan. Not only will you keep what you find, you’ll also receive a Gold Claim Certificate as a fun memento. The gold panning portion of the tour takes place in a serene setting where gold is plentiful. You’re likely to see local residents panning for gold here too.
Gold panning is hungry work, so you’re sure to have an appetite for what’s up next on your Juneau adventure. Grilling to perfection for nearly 40 years, the folks at the Alaska Salmon Bake have created the ideal setting for an all-you-can-eat outdoor Alaska feast. A 20-minute transfer will deliver you to your dining venue. The setting is beautiful — a lush rain forest creek, tables under translucent, heated domes, wild salmon grilling slowly over an alderwood fire. And the spread is sumptuous — grilled salmon, parmesan chicken, baked beans with reindeer sausage, wild-rice pilaf, potatoes and a robust selection of other sides, salads and beverages. Beverages are available for purchase and, just when you think you’ve had enough, there’s blueberry cake for dessert.
After dinner, roast marshmallows over a campfire, stroll to the lovely Salmon Creek waterfall, and view the Wagner Mine ruins. Pan for more gold before souvenir hunting at the trading post.
Shuttle buses depart regularly so you can set your own time to return to your ship with a motherlode of memories.
This tour has a maximum of 24 participants and you will be escorted by your prospector guide from start to finish.
Notes: Not advisable for guests using a wheelchair due to uneven terrain at Last Chance Basin and the salmon bake.