When Chris Roberts came up with the idea for Gold Mine Safari Tours, he knew he’d struck it rich, so to speak. This low-impact adventure tour showcases Alaska’s grandeur and highlights its mining history—all from the unique vantage point of an open-air, high-mobility ATV known as a Pinzgauer.
Local insight, from winter to summer
Chris has operated snowmobile tours for nearly two decades, taking folks out to see glaciers and icebergs so beautiful they’ve appeared in Hollywood movies. But he wanted to expand these wintertime-only tours to include the summer months. And Gold Mine Safari Tours was born.
Two mines: historic and modern
On the Gold Mine Safari Tour, you’ll see two different mines in one trip. The first is the Crow Creek Mine, a National Historic Site located along the famous Iditarod Trail. Once there, you’ll enjoy a walking tour of the well-maintained site and its 100-year-old buildings and antiques.
Further up the trail, high in the alpine wilderness, is a private, working gold mine. Surrounded by 7,000-foot mountain peaks and hanging glaciers, this stop is thrilling for its breathtaking views, as well as the possibility of spotting moose, bear, mountain goats, and sheep.
Small groups make for rewarding experience
Small group sizes are important to ensure that guests receive personal attention and get to know each other. Having just 11 passengers per vehicle allows ample time for everyone to talk with the Gold Mine Safari Tour guides, too. All guides are knowledgeable about Alaska’s mining history, Girdwood’s unique environment, and the wildlife you’re likely to spot on the way.
Getting up there, Swiss Army-style
Pinzgauers are Swiss Army vehicles developed during the Cold War, and these rigs are rugged, reliable, and comfortable—and have amazing off-roading capabilities. They’re safe and fun, and allow visitors of all ages access to a unique and rewarding 1,200-foot climb. Since these Pinzgauers are open-air vehicles, they offer an unobstructed view of the Alaskan wilderness along the 20-mile route. This helps you get those perfect photos that bring the safari experience alive.
The Party Safari: a shorter evening option
The Party Safari is a shorter tour that emphasizes trail riding and fun. The tour begins at 5 p.m. and lasts 2–2.5 hours, giving you plenty of time to see the active gold mine and the rugged alpine wilderness—and to experience Alaska’s amazing evening light.