Vacationers can relive the gold-rush days of Alaska by signing up for a tour to pan for gold in Juneau. The tours follow the actual route traveled by Joe Juneau and Richard Harris more than 100 years ago, ending at the famous Alaska-Juneau mine site where displays of mining equipment stand and visitors tour the 360-foot mining tunnel. At nearby Gold Creek, visitors have hands-on opportunities to experience Juneau gold panning.
With escorted tours, gold panning equipment is provided, and knowledgeable guides are available to explain the panning process and provide information about the discovery of gold in Juneau. Any gold dust or nuggets you find are yours to keep, offering a unique souvenir from the shore excursions available during your cruise.
As an alternative to an escorted tour, those looking for adventure can enjoy Juneau gold panning on their own with the proper gear. Panners should be equipped with metal or plastic pans, a shovel, a magnifying glass, a sluice box, a magnet, glass vials, tweezers, rubber boots, and gloves. Panning items are available at local retail stores.
For those who wish to recreationally pan for gold in Juneau, it is important to obtain a copy of the rules and regulations applicable to the national forests, follow the rules, know if there are any restrictions in the area chosen prior to panning, and acquire any necessary permits. For travelers interested in Alaska's history, this is one of the best shore excursions to be had during an Alaska cruise.