UPDATE: 2021 Mineshaft Grinder is planned for August 14th, 2021. Stay tuned for details!
KMTA celebrates the mining history in Hope, AK by encouraging racers up Palmer Creek Road in the Mineshaft Grinder. Participants choose between biking or running in the Gold, Silver, or Quartz Grinders.
An uphill-only bike race for riders to grind up 1900’ over 11 miles. At the end of Palmer Creek Road, riders may opt to “work their claim” for raffle prizes by hauling a bucket of rocks (just like the old days!) a short distance along the roadway before finishing.
August in Palmer Creek Valley is a special time, when fireweed is in full bloom and alpine ridges may sport sun or snow. In August of 1911, John Hirshey staked four claims at the head of Palmer Creek. Gold sparkled throughout one of the quartz veins in the August light. Hirshey pulled together the finances to build and operate a stamp mill at the mine, which he named Lucky Strike. Lucky Strike was not a one-season wonder. Hirshey’s operation became the most consistent lode gold producer of the Kenai Peninsula.
Palmer Creek Circa Early 20th Century. Photo provided by Hope-Sunrise Historical Society
Hirshey Mine Circa Early 20th Century. Photo provided by Hope-Sunrise Historical Society