Caribou Creek Recreational Mining Area, Alaska
Modified with additions from the Alaska Division of Mining, Land, & Water Fact Sheet October 2010 found here.
In 1991, the Alaska State legislature created the Caribou Creek Recreational Mining Area (CCRM Area). The CCRM Area, which is located near the confluence of Caribou Creek and the Matanuska River, was established to provide a permanent recreational mining experience for the general public.
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Division of Mining, Land & Water, is responsible for the management, use and development of the CCRM Area. The Department of Fish and Game is responsible for the management of the fish and game resources within the CCRM Area.
How do I get to the Caribou Creek Recreational Mining Area and what facilities are available?
The CCRM Area is located at approximately mile 104 of the Glenn Highway next to the Lion’s Head rock formation. You will see a sign at the turnoff. The CCRM Area is relatively undeveloped. A steep trail leads down to the creek from the gravel parking lot. Only pedestrian traffic is permitted on the trail (sorry, no all terrain vehicles—ATV’s). Physical fitness, health, and age should be considered due to the steepness of the trail. Private facilities offering gas, food and lodging are within 10 miles of the CCRM Area.
Are other activities available within the Area?
Yes. Hiking, picnicking, photography, wild flower viewing and other activities are permitted within the area, as long as they do not detract from the recreational mining experience. Dall sheep, black and grizzly bears, and gray wolves have been viewed in this area.
Can I mine anywhere within the Area?
No. First, you should be aware that the area only includes land and water within the active floodplain area of the creeks and rivers within the CCRM Area. Public recreational mining is allowed only within the CCRM area. Please refer to the map below details. More information including detailed land status maps can be found at the Alaska DNR Case Abstract.
Can I stake a mining claim in the Caribou Creek Recreational Mining Area?
No. The CCRM Area is available to recreational mining only. No mining claims are allowed.
What methods of recreational mining are allowed in the Caribou Creek Recreational Mining Area?
Caribou Creek has been specified by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game as being important for the spawning, rearing, or migration of anadromous fish. Therefore, allowable methods vary depending on the time period.
Gold pans and hand shovels are allowed in the recreational area year round.
Between May 15th and July 15th each year, the following equipment may be used:
* If a sluice box, high banker or rocker box is used it must be set back
far enough from the creek to assure that no water with sediment discharge
flows into the creek.
What about camping in the area?
For additional information on dredging permits, contact:
Department of Fish & Game
For additional information on the Caribou Creek Recreational Mining Area contact: