Snow Gulch

Mine, Inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Ag; W
Ore minerals gold; scheelite
Gangue minerals garnet

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale NM
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-1
Latitude 64.5939
Longitude -165.4
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy This alluvial placer gold mine is on Snow Gulch, a south tributary to Glacier Creek. The mouth of Snow Gulch is about 3,400 feet upstream of the Snake River road crossing of Glacier Creek, and part of the Snake River road parallels Snow Gulch about 500 feet to the west. Essentially all of Snow Gulch has been placer mined, and the location, at an elevation of about 250 feet, is the approximate midpoint of the placer workings. This location is just inside the east-central border of section 26, T. 10 S., R. 34 W., Kateel River Meridian. It is included in locality 101 of Cobb (1972 [MF 463], 1978 [OFR 78-93]).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

This small south tributary to Glacier Creek (NM220), only about three quarters of a mile long, contained one of the richest gold placers on Seward Peninsula and produced more than 48,000 ounces of gold around 1900; the first claims on the creek were staked in 1898 (Schrader and Brooks, 1900; Brooks and others, 1901). It was mined and remined between 1899 and 1903 and still is mined on a small scale. The gold was distributed throughout 3- to 4-foot-thick gravels. In many places, the deposit was cleaned to bedrock and in 1903, when visited by the U.S. Geological Survey, there was little potential for further mining (Collier and others, 1908, p. 195). Snow Gulch contains significant amounts of placer scheelite, and some has been recovered (Coats, 1944). Coats (1944) considered Snow Gulch one of the more important tungsten localities in the Nome district. The source of the placer deposits is mainly lodes near the head of the gulch. The upper south fork of Snow Gulch heads in an area where lode prospects were found as early as 1899 (U.S. Mineral Survey No. 775); the upper north fork heads easterly into a complex sheeted vein zone (Saddle zone, NM233). Bedrock in the area is schist and some marble that probably has an early Paleozoic protolith age (Hummel, 1962 [MF 247]; Sainsbury, Hummel, and Hudson, 1972 [OFR 72-326]; Till and Dumoulin, 1994; Bundtzen and others, 1994).
Geologic map unit (-165.402605712802, 64.5931347643046)
Mineral deposit model Alluvial placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Largely worked out by 1903, but some small-scale mining continues to the present. It was a shallow placer amenable to hand and simple hydraulic mining.
Indication of production Yes; medium
Production notes Snow Gulch was one of the richest gold placers on Seward Peninsula. More than 48,000 ounces of gold were produced around 1900, and there has been minor unrecorded production to the present.


MRDS Number A012903; D002592


Brooks, A.H., Richardson, G.B., Collier, A.J., and W.C. Mendenhall, 1901, A reconnaissance in the Cape Nome and adjacent gold fields of Seward Peninsula, Alaska, in 1900: U.S. Geological Survey Special Publication, p. 1-185, maps.
Till, A.B., and Dumoulin, J.A, 1994, Geology of Seward Peninsula and St. Lawrence Island, in Plafker, G., and Berg, H.C., eds., The Geology of Alaska: Geological Society of America, DNAG, The Geology of North America, v. G-1, p. 141-152.
Reporters C.C. Hawley and Travis L. Hudson
Last report date 7/10/2000