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“Another tourist trap.”
Review of Gold Dredge 8

Gold Dredge 8
Ranked #8 of 53 Tours in Fairbanks
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Join the Binkley family for a trip through Alaska's gold mining history at Gold Dredge 8. Enjoy a close up view of the Trans Alaska Pipeline and a presentation about it's construction and operation. Then take a seat aboard a replica of the narrow-gauge Tanana Valley Railroad and hear the conductor tell tales of prospectors who arrived by the thousands during the gold rush. The train ride takes you to Gold Dredge 8 where you will see first-hand how the dredge worked the gold fields, then receive a brief but informative course on gold panning. Once the train arrives at the camp, you will try panning for yourself! You will find gold- we guarantee it! Finally, explore the dredge camp and enjoy complimentary coffee and freshly baked cookies in the gift shop as your gold is weighed, then hop aboard the train and return to the station.
Reviewed October 4, 2013

This is basically a shopping trip. You will have to stand until all the tour groups arrive, and then listen to a talk about the pipeline. If you know anything about the pipeline, you will probably learn nothing new. Then board an open air "train" (it was 29 degrees) and ride out to the dredge for a very brief presentation and then on to the gold panning pavillion. Mercifully, the water trough you sit at to pan for gold has heated water. By now your feet and hands are numb. If you get some gold, take it into the gift shop where they will tell you what it is worth and try to convince you to buy a necklace with a charm that the gold can be encapsulated in. Then spend the next 1 1/2 hours walking around the gift shop since you cannot leave until the train does. My advice, unless you REALLY want to try gold panning, is to avoid this altogether. It was a waste of time.

3  Thank narlingtonboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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688 - 692 of 1,029 reviews

Reviewed October 4, 2013

We did this combination tour. The train ride & historical information is enjoyable as you head towards the mining operation. The train cars are open but covered overhead. There are a lot of staff to assist you with your panning experience. It was enjoyable to experience but I can say I'm not quitting my job anytime soon. The river boat was a nice ride with a lot of history along the way. The visit to the native village was quite informative & a neat experience. It is here that you get a chance to speak with Susan Butcher's husband & see some of their sled dogs up close. The lunch that is served with the riverboat was plentiful & delicious.

1  Thank Bombella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2013

Its three tours in one, you get to see the Translantic Alaskan Pipeline and walk under it, a ide on a replic of the narrow gauge Tanana Valley Railroad used in the gold rush days and also you can pan for gold so by the end of the trip you have gained a wealth of knowledge about gold mining.

Thank Jennifer P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2013

This is a great way to learn a lot about the history of Alaska and its gold dredging past. Our guide on the tour was a history teacher at a local school regularly, but over the summer he works for this attraction. They teach you how to pan for gold with your own back of dirt that is guaranteed to have gold flakes in it. If your back has 3 flakes or less they will give you another one so you can try again. I had about 15 flakes in mine. Once you have your gold they weigh it for you and you have the option of putting your gold into a locket or earrings or you can just take it home "as is."
There is an actual gold dredge on site that you can walk through. It is only one of 2 left. There were 3 left in Alaska, but one actually burnt down only a week before my tour. (http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130804/historic-alaska-gold-dredge-goes-smoke)
It is worth it to see this one while it is still around.

Thank travelingPTcc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2013

A great way to visit the past! Alaska has a rich history of gold mining and dredges such as this one are an integral part of that. A small train takes one around the site with a live guide narrating about various ways in which the gold was mined. Later one will pan for gold (in warmed water) after being instructed in the art of this endeavor. The gold is yours to keep and is weighed and valued. I panned out $12 and my partner $18 (The gift shop personnel reported the record was $328), We elected to have this gold placed in a keepsake locket which we purchased at the expansive gift shop.
Later one can walk inside the gold dredge while munching on the cookies, hot chocolate and coffee that are all included in the fare.
The Alaska pipeline goes through the property and this is also discussed.
A very enjoyable activity. All staff were very pleasant and helpful.

Thank Blue911x50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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