Fourth of July Creek

Mines, Probably inactive

Alternative names

Fourth f Julys Co.
July Creek Mining Co.
July Creek Placer Co.

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Ag; Hg; Ir; Pd; Pt
Ore minerals gold; gold-platinum alloys; silver

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale CY
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale A-2
Latitude 65.137
Longitude -141.979
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Fourth of July Creek is a northeast-flowing tributary of the Yukon River. Its confluence with the Yukon is near the town of Nation. Placer mining and exploration took place along the entire creek, which is about 16 miles long. Coordinates given are for the approximate center of the placer ground, which is in section 35, T. 4 N., R. 28 E., of the Fairbanks Meridian. The location is accurate.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The upper basin of Fourth of July Creek lies in Cretaceous to Tertiary sandstone, mudstone, and conglomerate derived from erosion of older metamorphic rocks (Dover and Miyaoka, 1988). The conglomerate is auriferous and probably is the source of all or most of the placer gold in Fourth of July Creek (Brooks, 1907). The placers immediately downstream from the upper basin also are underlain by conglomerate and other sedimentary rocks. The bench deposits on the northwest side of the valley are also auriferous but were not mined (Mertie, 1938). Platinum metals and silver are alloyed with the gold; a report of mercury is unverified. The mean of 22 assays of the gold indicates the average fineness is 892 parts Au per thousand, 99 parts Ag per thousand, and 9 parts dross per thousand. In 1942, one gold specimen assayed 0.23 percent platinum and iridium, with a trace of palladium (Mertie, 1938).
The first claims along Fourth of July Creek were staked in 1898, and within 10 days most of the creek had been staked (National Park Service, 1990). There were about ten miners left working on the creek in 1904, and six in 1906. Production between 1898 and 1906 was between $25,000 and $30,000 (1906 dollars) (National Park Service, 1990). A hydraulic plant was installed along the creek in 1916 (Brooks, 1918). In 1938, the pay streak was reported to be 400 to 500 feet wide, and the bedrock was overlain by 6 to 10 feet of gravel and 2 to 7 feet of muck. The gold was mainly found on and in the top 2 feet of bedrock (Mertie, 1938). The last year that productive mining was done on the creek was 1951. Mining ended due to high production costs (National Park Service, 1990).
Geologic map unit (-141.981354002711, 65.1366949333704)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Discovery of gold at Fourth of July Creek was in 1898, and since then mining and exploration were nearly continuous until 1973 (Cobb, 1976 [OFR 76-632]). Most mining was by hydraulic methods, and the first hydraulic plant was installed in 1916 (Brooks, 1918). In 1941, the Fourth of July Creek operation was the largest in the Eagle district (Smith, 1942).
Indication of production Yes; medium
Production notes Production between 1898 and 1906 was between $25,000 and $30,000 (1906 dollars) (National Park Service, 1990).

Additional comments

This site is within the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve.


MRDS Number A015241; M045827


National Park Service, 1990, Final environmental impact statement, volume 1, Mining in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, Alaska: National Park Service, Anchorage, Alaska, p. 36-44.
Reporters C.E. Cameron (ADGGS)
Last report date 4/7/2000