One of the first prospector’s on the Kenai Peninsula named Bertha Creek after his daughter. Mining began here in 1902 and is believed to have yielded 600 ounces of gold. Bertha Creek crosses the Seward Highway 2.6 miles south of Turnagain Pass and is available for recreational panning from its junction with Granite Creek up to the powerline crossing.
You can access this gold panning site via two trails. The first is a rough trail along the east-side of the creek that leads to an area where panners have a good chance of finding gold in the tan-colored clay layer on the bed rock. A second trail leads up the northwest side of the creek and will bring you to a bluff that overlooks Bertha Creek emerging from a steep-walled canyon. In this area panners literally “strike gold” sifting through stream gravel and fractured bedrock.
Parking, camping, and picnic sites are available to visitors at
Spokane, Lyon, and Tincan creeks are recreational panning sites nearby where you can also try your luck. Spokane Creek can be accessed via an informational pull-off where the Seward Highway crosses the creek. Lyon and Tincan creeks are accessed via the Turnagain Pass rest area.