Crows Creek Located in Girdwood Alaska. Established in 1896 was one of the largest gold producers in South Central Alaska! Crows Creek is nestled in the Chugach Mountains. 601 Crow Creek Rd. Girdwood, Alaska 907-229-3105
Cost is $20/day, $10 children 7& under They offer Picnic, BBQ, hiking, reading, weddings.
From the moment we arrived in Alaska we wanted to see wildlife and after visiting a few spots we still only saw birds, birds and more birds!! That is until we made a turn into Crow Creek. We stumbled across a few occupied camping spots. Then pops out Mr. brown bear!! (Could be Ms.) My husband says, bear, bear, bear!! I thought he was joking until I looked in the rear view mirror and sure enough saw the Bear!! I just start seeing my kids heads start popping out of windows and at this point I’m freaking and Frozen in fright!! Angry Bear movies playing in my head. The bear could care less about the screaming wierdos in the jeep and carries on across the roadway. We park and he’s literally just a few feet from us. (Actual parking lot Crows Creek)I run into Crow Creek and it’s quiet and serene with just one young man sitting at the guest house. I’m telling him there’s a bear assuming he’s going to do something about it. He calmly says, “ok, I’ll let the campers know.” Being from Texas I’m assuming he’s going to scare, stun or capture it. Nope, not allowed in Alaska. I’m still shaking as the young man starts handing us our shovels and pans. He calmly takes us to a practice gold panning area where we practice our skills. I just couldn’t enjoy it as I kept thinking BEAR, BEAR in the woods BEAR!! I couldn’t even have my back towards the direction of the bear. Funny how fear has a funny way of making your senses heightened.
I had the sense of fear the entire time due to our “wildlife encounter” with the bear. But the location was amazing and so serene, lush and beautifully green. It was a bit chilly and wet as it rained on us a few times but we pushed through the wetness to enjoy this experience.
After the practice panning we were set and ready to go down to the Creek and try our hand at Professional Gold panning. Immediately we come across some mysterious poo. Yes, poo pellets bigger than my hand. “I IMMEDIATELY think Bear!” Until we stumble across what looks like a Mooses nesting area. (Can be seen in photo below)
And the only thing we have to protect ourselves are gold pans and shovels.
My daughter decided she’s going to try panning in the small pools. No luck! No Gold in there.My son goes straight for the flowing rushing creek. There are about 3 other adult men also panning Crows Creek. From what we hear many locals come everyday to try their hand at panning. Some has struck it rich and others well go home with flakes like we did. So of course gold panning is exciting and all and my fear level subsides a little bit knowing I have shovels and other people out here besides just us.
It rains on us a little more and we start to get colder and colder not finding anything but a few flakes. We are soaked and wet from digging in the Creek. I’m enjoying the beautiful views and oneness with nature until I hear MOM.. MOM.. MOM!!! My kids start scattering and out runs the biggest Moose I’ve ever seen. (Actually only moose I’ve ever seen). These things are HUGE!! Face to Face with this wild animal. I was frozen stiff. I couldn’t move nor run nor do anything. I’m in shock!
It runs straight to the nesting area and of course my children run straight towards it! Even after I warned everyone about Moose charging! All the pep talks went out the door when they saw the moose. My youngest was the only one that listened to mom’s warnings and ran straight up the hill to the top point of the creek that overlooked us.
The moose circled back around and we were able to get better photos but we stayed far enough to not get charged. I would say it watched us about 5 minutes then ran off into the forest. I was DONE with Gold Panning at this point. I know this place was Amazing but that was enough Alaskan wildlife for me!!! Overall, the experience was Spectacular!! Crows Creek is very, very interesting and full of adrenaline producing activities and wildlife sightings.
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