- Page 13 -
Sixmile Creek panning areaSixmile Creek was named by early prospectors who determined it to be six miles up Turnagain Arm from Cook Inlet. Gold was discovered in Sixmile Creek in 1895. Hydraulic mining was attempted in the 1930s and several small suction dredge operations have gone on in recent years. Up to 2,000 oz, of gold have been produced from the creek, mainly in the area just below the confluence of Sixmile and Canyon Creeks. A withdrawal, bounded by the east bank of Sixmile Creek and a line 200 ft. west of the center line of the Hope Road, is available for recreational panning--0.7 miles to 5 miles north of the Hope Junction.
Sixmile Creek flows through a broad glacial valley with numerous gravel bars and some bedrock exposures. At mile 2.2 on the Hope Road, park at the pullout on the east side and follow a steep trail down the road embankment. Detour around the beaver ponds to Sixmile Creek (see Figure 8). Gravel bars along this stretch of creek contain flat flour gold and occasional small flakes. Pans have produced 15-20 fine colors of flat, well-worn gold. The north end of the gravel bar is best where a side meander draining the beaver ponds returns to Sixmile Creek. Panning of gravel on bedrock at this site can also produce gold, but the sites are best accessed during periods of low water. A rusty-colored quartz float along the creek contains pyrite (fool's gold).
Suction dredges (4-inch or smaller) are permitted from May 15 to July 15. Remember that a permit from ADF&G is required for dredging.
Good panning can be found at mile 4.3 on the Hope Road (not shown on map). Pull off on a short side road into the trees and follow the trail to Sixmile Creek. Gold occurs on point bars to the east and old channels next to the creek.
Original Content Copyright ©1996-2010