Reading the following articles to help you plan for your Alaska Gold & Resorts trip starting with What To Expect, How To Pack and Prepare, and AKAU Packing List.
WHAT TO EXPECT
NOME, ALASKA: The Alaska Gold & Resorts camp is located about six miles outside of Nome, AK on the North side of Anvil Mountain just off Glacier Creek Road. The drive to the AKAU Camp usually takes about 20 minutes from Nome, AK. The elevation of the AKAU Camp is about 500 feet higher than Nome so weather can be different than it is in Nome. Non-freezing temperatures are usually from 9 June to around 30 August. Fog and rain can be frequent at the AKAU Camp with temperatures that can range from freezing to 80+ degrees so guests are encouraged to dress accordingly. It is recommended that guests dress in layers so adjustments can be made as the temperature changes. Depending on the time of the season when guests arrive, they can either experience 22 hours of daylight in the early part of the season, or just 15 hours of sunlight later in the season starting in September. It is not uncommon to see guests down at the high bankers, out metal detecting for gold, or out photographing wildlife at 1 AM in the morning in full sunlight. The longer daylight hours are not hard to adjust too for most guests.
AIRFARE to NOME, ALASKA: Airfare to and from Nome, Alaska is not included in the price so AKAU guests are responsible for making their own travel arrangements. Alaska Airlines has two flights daily coming into Nome, AK usually on a Boeing 737. Prices may vary so guests should make their flight arrangements as soon as possible after they book their reservation at AKAU. It is IMPORTANT that guests share their itinerary with AKAU so that AKAU Staff will be at the airport to greet you.
ARRIVAL AT NOME AIRPORT: Guests will be greeted by one or more AKAU Staff members upon their arrival at the Nome airport as soon as they walk into the terminal when they get off the plane. The AKAU Staff members will be wearing a clearly visible AKAU logo on their clothing and holding a sign that reads “AKAU Shuttle Service”. Guests may place their carry-on gear into the shuttle van if they chose to do so and then collect their checked baggage. Once all the guests have loaded their gear into the shuttle van, there is usually 45-minute tour of Nome before heading to the AKAU Camp with an option to stop at the Alaska Commercial Store (AC Store) drinks or snacks to take to the Camp. The AC Store is one of two supermarkets at Nome where locals can purchase anything that one can get at a local store in the lower 48; including ATM and fishing licenses. The other store is Hanson’s Trading, Co. which is also located in Nome, AK as well.
AKAU CAMP ARRIVAL: Upon arriving at the AKAU Camp, guests are brought into the Great Room to get something to drink and eat along with a short briefing, receive their room assignments as well as sign some release forms. ATV’s are usually assigned as well along with some operational instructions after the gear is unloaded from the van. Depending on the time of day, some guests grab their gear and head out to do some prospecting, or exploring.
New guests will have the opportunity of being given a guided tour of the area and shown where they can hunt for gold, given some trail familiarization as well as briefed on some of the mining history and geological features. ATVs are required for this tour and are usually given between 830 – 9 AM just after Breakfast.
While entering the Great Room, outdoor footwear must be removed or a blue booty (available at Camp) must be worn over the footwear. Some guests bring slippers to wear inside the Great Room as an option. The AKAU Camp has full bathroom, shower and laundry facilities in the Camp. Laundry soap, shampoo, hand soap, towels, and wash clothes are provided by the camp. Guests are asked not to do laundry after 9 PM to conserve on power.
The AKAU Camp has 120 VAC power which is 24/7 that is generated by solar panels and a diesel generator that charges the batteries. There are power outlets in all the rooms so guests can charge their cell phones, batteries or operate a CPAP machine. The AKAU Camp also provides 24/7 hot water for showers and personal hygiene as well as potable spring drinking water.
MEALS: Mealtimes are as follows so listen for the bell to ring!!
Breakfast: 630 AM
Lunch: Usually around Noon
Dinner: 630 PM
AKAU is not only highly reputed for its great adventures, but also its fantastic and nutritious meals that are served daily. Coffee is usually ready for guests between 5-530 AM with the usual condiments and is available throughout the day, every day. A hot breakfast is served to guests except for Cereal Sunday. Lunch can be hot or cold which is served around Noon, but guests can take sandwiches To-Go for the field. There are always snacks around in the Great Room so there is always plenty to snack on . Hot meals are always served in the Evening. There is usually plenty of food for Seconds and even Thirds after everyone has been served at least once. Fresh produce from Betty’s Greenhouse provides guests with some nice salads during meals along with fresh smoked salmon. Fresh caught fish is regularly served at some meals; grilled or fried. Many meat dishes are prepared on the BBQ grill as well so there is a lot of variety. Betty’s Blueberry Delight is favorite among many guests. Fresh bread is baked often and available at most meals. Please let the AKAU now ahead of time regarding special diets.
Wednesday is Crab Night at $15 for a half crab and $25 for a whole crab. On Saturday it is Steak Night at the VFW Post 9569 for $30. Both Crab and Steak Night are optional so there is always a meal prepared for guests. Most Saturday evenings after returning from the VFW, the Nome Mayor, Richard Beneville provides the evening entertainment along with a serving of cake and ice cream. Sunday is referred to Cereal Sunday so there is no hot breakfast to give the cooks a break.
METAL DETECTORS: Guests who plan to metal detect should bring their own metal detectors along with recovery equipment; scoops, pin pointers, knee pads and picks. The AKAU Camp does have some picks and shovels available but guests are encouraged to bring their own. The type of pick that is highly recommend is something similar to Calvin Bunker’s Hermit pick. Hard rock mining picks are not really needed at AKAU but can be used at the guests description. Metal detectors are available for rent at AKAU.
HIGHBANKERS, DREDGES, SLUICE BOXES, GOLD PANS and CLASSIFIERS: AKAU has all these types of equipment available so guest do not need to bring these items including gold pans and classifiers. However, some guest have brought their own sluice boxes or similar equipment.
FIREARMS: AKAU guests are allowed to bring their own firearms. All firearms that are brought into camp are to be unloaded, holstered and secured in their room. No firearms are allowed in the Great Room nor left on an ATV overnight.
BEARS: There are bears around but aren’t usually seen around camp. Guests can bring their own bear spray as an option but there is usually some left by other guests that have departed the area.
MOSQUITOES: Mosquitoes are usually around but not very bothersome, but they can be a nuisance at times. Guests can bring their own mosquito repellents but their usually some left by other guests as well. However, head nets do come in handy at times along with long sleeved clothing.
FISHING: Guests have many great opportunities to go fishing for Pike, Trout, or Salmon during their visit to AKAU. There is an additional fee for the Pike fishing though. Fishing licenses are available at the AC Store for 1 day to two weeks. AKAU provides all the fishing gear a guest needs for the trip. Fish cleaning and packaging services are also available to the guests. Coolers are expensive to buy in Nome, AK but a insulated box can be purchased in Nome so that guests can take their frozen fish home on Alaska Airlines as Checked Baggage.
HOW TO PACK AND PREPARE
PACKING AND WHAT TO BRING: When packing for your Alaska Gold & Resorts adventure, guests should wear comfortable, versatile, non-cotton clothing that can be layered. However, jeans are often worn around camp and in the field. On sunny warm days, shorts and t-shirts are often sufficient. On cooler or wet days, evenings or when you are out on an ATV adventure out in the field, you may want to layer long underwear, pants and shirt, a warm fleece or wool sweater, and your waterproof outerwear. If you become too warm, simply peel off a layer or two.
RAINGEAR: Rain can frequently occur in Nome, AK and at the AKAU Camp so guests are encouraged to bring their own rain gear; jacket and pants. However, there is some rain gear available at the AKAU Camp for guest use, but the fit is not guaranteed.
BOOTS and FOOTWEAR: Guests should bring their own waterproof boots as well as a comfortable pair of shoes. Some guests have brought their own knee high rubber boots as well to wade into streams. AKAU does have some rubber boots available in various sizes. Along with slippers to wear in the Great Room, some guests bring shower shoes to wear in the shower. The AKAU camp does have a few boot warmers that can be used on a first come basis.
GLOVES: Guests should bring at least one pair of rubber gloves for wet conditions/high banking along with a pair of regular gloves for dry conditions. It is at the guest’s discretion on how many pairs of gloves to bring as well as the type of regular gloves to be worn. Rubber and regular gloves can be purchased at the AC Store.
AKAU PACKING LIST
CLOTHING, RAIN GEAR, HATS & FOOTWEAR:
· Waterproof Boots: Light- or medium-weight, already broken-in and waterproofed; start breaking-in new boots early.
· Casual Shoes: To change into after you take your boots off .1 pair usually
· Raincoat: Bring a good one w/ a hood. Goretex or other breathable material is recommended. Some guests bring ponchos as well.
· Rain Pants: Pulling these on over your regular pants or shorts will help keep you dry and warm in inclement weather.
· Fleece (Pile) and/or Non-Cotton “Hoodie” Jacket/s, or warm wool sweater/s 1 or 2 of these is recommended.
· Pants: 2 pairs. At least one should be quick drying, lightweight nylon or polyester.
· Short Pants: 1 pair. Some guests opt for convertible, zip-off hiking pants are lightweight, fast drying and easy to clean.
· T-Shirts: 3 to 5. At least a few or most of these should be of a synthetic material such as polypropylene, capilene or silk, as these wick away, rather than absorbing water and sweat, are easy to clean, and dry quickly.
· Long-Sleeved Shirts: 2 pair. A synthetic fabric is recommended.
· Thermal Long Underwear: 1 set, tops and bottoms; these can a synthetic material, not cotton.
· Warm Hat & Gloves: Wool or polyester/fleece stocking cap and gloves recommended; a bandana (or scarf) is also nice. Rubber Playtex gloves are highly recommended.
· Sun/Rain Hat/Ball Cap: The sun can be intense, especially around water. Your rain jacket should also have a hood.
· Socks: 5-9 pairs; thick wool or polyester/nylon “smart” hiking socks are much better than cotton (which causes blisters).
· Underwear: 3-4 pairs or as needed
· Day Pack/Rucksack: Small (25-30 liter capacity), for outings and/or in the field to keep essentials/valuables handy while traveling.
· Water Bottles: 1-2 sturdy, refillable ones; at least one liter/quart capacity each; nalgene or “camel back” recommended.
· Headlamp or Flashlight: August, and September visits only; you won’t need one in May, June or early July.
· Sunglasses / Spare Eyeglasses: Even if you don’t wear sunglasses at home, you may need them here especially around water. A leash is can come in handy as well.
· Sunscreen and Lip Protection: The Alaskan sun and glare off the water can be a lot stronger than you think.
· Insect Repellant that contains “deet” (OFF! is a common brand).
· Personal First Aid Kit: A small one, containing bandages, aspirin or ibuprofen, personal prescription medications, etc. AKAU has First Aid kits in Camp along with a Defibrillator.
· Personal “Wet Ones” Wipes, and Hand Sanitizer Gel: small, to-go sizes, for quick clean-up and hygiene
· Plastic Bags: Bring a few strong, re-usable plastic bags to pack muddy boots, dirty clothes, damp towel, etc. into your luggage.
· Cash / Credit Card / ATM (debit) Card: ATM’s are available locally but you should always carry at least a little cash.
· Photo Identification: Driver’s license or passport: required for air travel for everyone aged 18 and over
· Down Vest or a second Fleece Jacket: For early and late season, and ATV trips, especially if you tend to get cold.
· Camera/Drone / filters / extra film or memory chips! Spare batteries and/or dc battery charger. There are many opportunities for the wildlife and floral photography. There is some great aerial photography for drone enthusiast.
· Binoculars: For wildlife and landscape viewing; if you are buying new ones, the small, cheap models should be adequate. AKAU Camp has a couple binoculars always available in the Great Room.
· Collapsible Hiking Pole/s and/or Gaiters: If you already have, and are accustomed to using these, bring them.
· Fishing Gear: AKAU provides all the fishing gear needed for guests. However, guests can bring their own personal fishing gear. Rods should be protected in a sturdy case; you will have to buy a fishing license to fish. Nome, AK offers the best salmon fishing around.
· Swim Suit: For trips to the hot springs or as needed.
· Earplugs, and/or Eye Shields, against the midnight sun; a bandana or stocking cap work well.
· Mosquito Head Net: Almost certainly necessary, comes in really handy at times when needed.
· Personal Insulated Cup or Mug: spill-proof lid, for hot drinks to go. AKAU has cups that guests can write their name on for personal use in the Great Room.
· Reading Material / journal / pen / list of friends’ and family’s addresses / postcard stamps. Nome, AK has a local Post Office. Some guest mail items in advance to have their when they arrive.
· Slippers: to be worn inside the Great Room
· Cell phone: There is no cell signal at the AKAU Camp but guests can go to the Nome side of Anvil mountain to make phone calls.
· Laptop/Tablet/iPAD: Limited WiFi is available at the AKAU Camp for texting and emails. No streaming video is allowed on the Camp WiFi.
· Bungee Cords: Although some are available at guests should bring their own as needed.
· Prospecting Equipment: This includes, picks, scoops, pin pointers or other recovery items.
· Goggles: A good pair of goggles can come in handy during ATV rides to prevent watery eyes,
· Toiletries, Towel, Washcloth: Small & quick drying. Towels and washcloths are provided by AKAU.
Printable AKAU Trip Planning