Open daily in the summer from 9am – 6pm, Indian Valley Mine and Gifts is just 20 minutes from downtown Anchorage and located off a stunning scenic byway. Pan for gold and visit the baby ducklings, chicks, goslings, puppies and turkeys. (Please leave your own furry friends in your guest room.) You’ll find this family-friendly destination at Mile 104, owned and operated for several years by husband and wife team Roger and Arlene Cowles.

In the main cabin, you can explore the gift shop and find unique treasures for gifts or keepsakes. On the property are some of the oldest structures in the region, many of which are on the National Historic Site registry. Learn how to pan for gold, explore the artifacts at the museum, or simply enjoy a picnic while checking out the view of Turnagain Arm.

The Simple Life

Admission is just $1 per person, making this the perfect quick getaway for Anchorage visitors. Want to increase your odds of finding gold? Take a lesson that guarantees you’ll find nuggets ranging from a minimum of $10 – $100 in value. A relic from the early settlement days (1920-1939), Peter Strong created the mine, and it’s remained a staple of the Anchorage area.

As part of the gold rush, Turnagain Arm quickly became a mecca for those looking to get rich quick. The site is now a testament to lode mining and an homage to the unique history of the area. What will your trip “pan out” for you?