John Hirshey called his mine Lucky Strike and it proved to be a sweet place for him to carve a life and make a living on the Last Frontier.

The Hirshey mine is located 12 miles from Hope on the Palmer Creek Road just below the 3,000-foot elevation on the east wall of Palmer Creek valley. The Hirshey Mine sits high above the timber line in the Kenai Mountains, a relic of the Hope-Moose Pass mining district and of the handful of lode mines in Alaska. Most gold mining were placer mines.

John Hirshey came north with one of the first groups of prospectors in 1895. He staked one of the first claims on Resurrection Creek and was among the founders of Hope City. According to historian Rosemarie Knecht, the use of the term "City" for Hope and Sunrise was not an attempt at humor. "City" designated the town as the headquarters of the local mining district.

When the Klondike gold strike drew other prospectors away from Hope and Sunrise, John Hirshey was one of the few who chose to stay. He continued to mine Resurrection, Bear and Coeur d'Alene Creeks. In 1911, Hirshey decided to invest in a lode he found high in the Kenai Mountains, a place he patented as the "Lucky Strike".

Two buildings of the old camp and mill foundation remain. A mine entrance, discarded machinery, tailings, and other pieces of evidence of mining activity are still visible. The Hope Historical Society has video footage of the mine in its earlier years.

Getting There

Mile 12
Palmer Creek Rd.

Driving Directions

Hirshey Mine