County Information

Type:  County

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Northwestern Region Alaska

This large, mostly unpopulated region lies North of the Yukon River Drainage basin and the Seward Peninsula and includes the drainage systems of the Kobuk, Noatak and Alatna rivers, where most of the gold districts are located. Because almost all access is by air, if you are interested in prospecting this region you must be well financed and be able to live off the land in the remote regions of Alaska. The total recorded production of 23,000 ounces is from placers.

Kiana District

The Kobuk River Valley and all it tributaries, a large region on the Ambler, Kiana and Shungnak quadrangles make up the Kiana District. All regional stream, sand and gravel bars have placer showings, but have had little prospecting performed on them. The gravel deposits of the Squirrel River, especially it Klery Creek tributary had numerous placer and are most profitable for today's gold hunter. . Agnes, Klery, Homestake and Central Creeks produced placer gold real well. On Jade Creek you can find gold laced Nephrite Jade.

Noatak District

This district is the area drained by the Noatak River and by coastal streams between its mouth and the Wulik River. The best bet in this district is Lucky Six Creek, which was rich in gold.

Selawik District

This district is the base of the Baldwin Peninsula and that area drained by streams flowing into Selawik Lake and Eschscholtz Bay, between the Kobuk and Kauk Rivers. Little explored, this district in the southeastern portion of the Baldwin peninsula and the area draining into Lake Selawik, has only reported gold mining operation. It was on Shovel Creek, a tributary of the Selawik River was very rich in this region. It began production after the second War and ended in the early 1960's.

Shungnak District

The district is located in the Kobuk River Valley, between latitude 66º50' and 67º10' N, longitude 156º50' and 157º25' W. It is on the Shungnak USGS quadrangle. The total production from 1898-1955 was 10,000-15,000 ounces. Almost all of the placer gold produced by this district came from the drainage area of the Cosmos Hills above the valley of the Kobuk River. Most the production was from Dahl Creek. There were many area placer workings in and about the community. Along Wesley Creek, 6 miles west of the Dahl Creek Tremollite mine, near the head of the creek, there were some very rich placers. North of Shungnak 10 miles is the location of the Aurora Mountain, Riley Creek and Ruby Creek lode gold mines. Northeast of Shungnak 40 miles, the Shishakshinovik Pass Mine, produced lode gold. West of Shungnak 50 miles, in the valley of Ambler River there were very many rich placer workings. California and Lynx Creeks were also rich in placer gold.

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