Crow Creek

Mine, Active

Alternative names

Erickson mine
Crow Creek mine

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Ore minerals gold

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale SR
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale D-6
Latitude 60.9959
Longitude -149.0781
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy The placer mine is located in T. 11 N., R. 2 E., of the Seward Meridian. Mining has occurred on two places on Crow Creek: (1) the lower part of the creek, and (2) the upper part of the creek, which is in the Anchorage A-6 quadrangle (C. S. Huber, oral communication, 2000). This is location 133 of Cobb and Richter (1972), location 160 of MacKevett and Holloway (1977), location 3 of Tysdal (1978 [MF-880-B]), location 133 of Cobb and Tysdal (1980), and location P-93 of Jansons and others (1984). This location is accurate to within 300 feet.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Crow Creek drains an area underlain by rocks of the Valdez Group of Late Cretaceous age intruded by felsic dikes (Nelson and others, 1985). Placer gold occurs in four types of gravels on Crow Creek: high bench gravels, recent stream deposits, glacial gravels, and avalanche debris. The bench and recent stream deposits are the highest in grade and have historically produced most of the gold. The glacial and avalanche debris deposits are of low grade but may locally contain a significant concentration of gold. The highest grades appear to be associated with old channels in high benches, which likely consist of gravels deposited prior to the most recent glacial advance (Jansons and others, 1984).
Numerous large boulders and cemented gravels have caused mining difficulties (Jansons and others, 1984). The gold is fairly coarse; nuggets weighing from 0.05 to 1.0 ounce having been found by recreational miners (Jansons and others, 1984).
Geologic map unit (-149.0802808329, 60.9953305107147)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au (alluvial) (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration
Historically, mining on Crow Creek has been concentrated in two areas: (1) the lower part of the creek, extending from its junction with Glacier Creek to a point about 2 miles upstream, and (2) the upper basin (Anchorage quadrangle), which is covered by a group of patented claims known as the Girdwood property (U.S. Mineral Survey No. 753). Most of the production came from the lower part of the creek, primarily from a feature known as the (so-called) big cut that was created by hydraulic mining. The big cut is 1,800 feet long, 600 feet wide, and has a maximum depth of 230 feet (Johnson, 1912).
Prior to 1903, most of the mining on Crow Creek was done by pick and shovel on the most easily accessed gold-bearing gravels, but hydraulicking subsequently became the dominant mining method. In 1915, four hydraulic giants were working the Crow Creek mine (Capps, 1916). Mining was more or less continuous until 1938, when hydraulic mining ceased because the amount of gold recovered no longer supported the mining activity.
A mineral patent examination (U.S. Mineral Survey No. 748) was done by R. Shirley, U.S. Forest Service, in 1965. Shirley's conclusion was that the property was essentially mined out and contained insufficient reserves to support any successful mining operation.
The Bureau of Mines collected 11 bench and alluvium samples from upper Crow Creek. The samples contained from 0.0013 to 1.7 ounces of gold per cubic yard (Jansons and others, 1984). Five other samples were collected from the active channel of lower Crow Creek. These five samples contained from 0.0021 to 0.144 ounce of gold per cubic yard (Hoekzema and Fechner, 1986).
Indication of production Yes
Reserve estimates A mineral patent examination (U.S. MIneral Survey No. 748) for the Crow Creek mine (or Erickson mine) was done by R. Shirley, U.S. Forest Service, in 1965. Shirley's conclusion was that the property was essentially mined out and contained insufficient reserves to support any successful mining operation.
Production notes Crow Creek, the only important gold-producing stream on the north side of Turnagain Arm, has produced an estimated 45,000 ounces of gold (Jansons and others, 1984). Two operations accounted for virtually all of the production: the Crow Creek mine (Erickson mine) and the Girdwood mine (Anchorage quadrangle) (U.S. Mineral Survey No. 253). The Girdwood mine was patented. The Crow Creek mine was by far the larger operation.

Additional comments

Crow Creek is located in both the Anchorage and Seward quadrangles. Only the deposit (Crow Creek mine, Erickson mine) in the Seward quadrangle is described in this record. The old Crow Creek mine, now on private land, is currently a tourist attraction where gold panning and small-scale mining occurs (C. S. Huber, oral communication, 2000).



Hoekzema, R.P., and Sherman, G.E., 1983, Mineral investigations in the Chugach National Forest, Alaska (Peninsula study area): U.S. Bureau of Mines in-house report; held at U.S. Bureau of Land Management Alaska State Office, Anchorage, 524 p.
Reporters Jeff A. Huber (Anchorage)
Last report date 4/16/2000