The gateway to Alaska is a town named Tok. This small town has a population of only 1,000 and is located on the Alcan Highway only 92 miles from the US/Canadian border. Tok is situated close to the end of the Alaska Range in the upper Tanana River Valley. The famous 40 Mile Country that stretches up to the Yukon River is located to the east and north of Tok. This land offers potential prospectors some wide Alaskan rivers, woodlands, wildlife, as well as some historic gold mines. These days, there are numerous real life Alaskan prospectors and pioneers living in the Tok area.
Jack Wade Creek has been the home of some large gold nuggets. Some prospectors found a gold nugget that weighed just less than 57 ounces in 1983. This palm sized gold nugget was the 12th largest gold nugget that was known to be discovered in Alaska when it was found. These days, it is still ranked about 14th or 15th in Alaska. This gold nugget is still there and many prospectors are still looking for even larger gold nuggets. These prospectors own and operate Jack Wake Gold Jewelry, located in Tok.
The first large strike of placer gold was made at Franklin Gulch, which is a tributary of the Fortymile River, 11 years prior to the Klondike gold rush. As a result of some question about those claims actually being in the Yukon or in Alaska, several prospectors filed their claims in Eagle, Yukon, and Dawson City at that time.
It can be difficult for potential prospectors to determine where recreational gold exploration on public land is permitted or even possible. Prior to beginning their gold mining activities, potential prospectors should always check on the status of the land. They need to check with the Federal Bureau of Land Management if they aren’t certain of the status of a certain site. Some prospectors should consider using a commercial outfit if they want go panning for gold or even learn a little more about gold mining, especially if they don’t have the interest and/or the time for this investigation into the status of the land. These commercial outfits have mining claims and will frequently provide you with some instructions and will even often rent to them a pan. Potential prospectors can obtain additional information about these commercial outfits from the Chamber of Commerce in the local area.