KMTA celebrates the mining history in Hope, AK by encouraging racers up Palmer Creek Road in the Mineshaft Grinder. In addition to these races, participants may opt to “work their claim” for raffle prizes by hauling a bucket of rocks as many times as they can back and forth along a small mini course.

The Hope School is a K-12 institution located in the small community of Hope, Alaska. The school prides itself on meeting the individual needs of each student. As the only school located in Hope, they serve as a true pillar of the community. Hope only has about 200 year-round residents, and thus their PTO plays an active and critical role in planning and providing funds to support students, materials, and activities for the school. Through the Mineshaft Grinder, we hope to raise funds to support the work of the Hope School’s PTO in providing much-needed educational opportunities and experiences to local students.

While registration fees help us cover the cost of hosting this race, donations will go directly to the Hope School. Please consider making a contribution to support Hope’s youth!



An uphill-only bike race for riders to grind up 1900’ over 11+ miles to the end of Palmer Creek Road.


An out-and-back 1/2 marathon road race. Runners will race Palmer Creek Road to the Nearhouse Mine and then back to Hope School.


An 8.8 mile running race to the top of the switchbacks on Palmer Creek Road and back down to Hope School.


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.

is under permit with the Chugach National Forest.

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




Early Bird Pricing Through July 16th 

Gold Grinder: $50 

Silver Grinder: $60 

Quartz Grinder: $50 

Pricing July 17th – July 31st 

Gold Grinder: $60 

Silver Grinder: $70 

Quartz Grinder: $60 

Pricing August 1st – August 11th at NOON 

Gold Grinder: $70 

Silver Grinder: $80 

Quartz Grinder: $70 

Day of Race Registration – August 12th 

Gold Grinder: $80 

Silver Grinder: $90 

Quartz Grinder: $80 

This is a non-refundable race. Bib transfers are allowed. 


All participants will pick up their bib from the registration table outside Hope School starting at 8:30 AM. All cyclists must show their helmets before they receive their bib. 

Race day registration is allowed so please encourage friends and family to come even if they are not registered yet. Please have them bring cash or check as we cannot guarantee a phone connection for a credit card payment. 


Before the race begins, participants will have access to two gear drops at Hope School, with one specifically designated for bikers and another for runners. Any gear deposited by bikers will be located at the race finish at the end of Palmer Creek Road. Additionally, all runners gear will remain at Hope School. 


Parking is limited so we ask that you carpool if possible. If you are a bicyclist staying somewhere in the Hope area please bike to the start of the race if you are able. 


The Hope School bathrooms/showers will be available for use and there are outhouses located at the Coeur d’Alene Campground (Mile 6 of Palmer Creek Rd.). 


• The Gold Grinder (11+ Mile Bike Race) starts at 9:30 AM: 

• NOTE: Paracycle athletes will start at the same time as other bikers. Racers will be asked to stage themselves in the pack according to their anticipated pace. 

• The Silver Grinder (Half Marathon) starts at 9:45 AM 

• The Quartz Grinder (8.5 Mile Run) starts at 10:00 AM 

• NOTE: These start times may be adjusted slightly but no race will start before 9:30 AM. 


• The Gold Grinder is an uphill-only bike race for riders to grind up 1900’ over 11+ miles to the end of Palmer Creek Road. Racers will ride back to the Hope School after their race is complete. 

• The Silver Grinder is a 1/2 Marathon to the Nearhouse Mine Trail on Palmer Creek Road and back to Hope School. 

• The Quartz Grinder is an 8.8-mile round-trip run to the top of the switchbacks on Palmer Creek Road and back to the Hope School. 

• The race turnarounds for the running races will be at Aid Station 1 at the top pf the switchbacks for the Quartz Grinder (8.5 Mile Run) and at Aid Station 2 by the Nearhouse Mine for the Silver Grinder (Half-Marathon). 


Remember you are in bear country so plan accordingly. Bear spray is recommended. 

There will be three aid stations available along Palmer Creek Road including: 

• Aid Station 1 – Top of switchbacks (8.5 Mile Turnaround)  

• Aid Station 2 – ½ Marathon Turn Around (Nearhouse Mine-Half-Marathon Turnaround) 

• Aid Station 3 – End of Palmer Creek Road (Bike Finish) 

We ask that all participants bring their own reusable means of carrying water. There will be water jugs available at all the aid stations, as well as disposable cups, but we encourage everyone to try to go as green as possible.  


Participants will have the opportunity to “work their claim” in honor of John Hirshey’s “Lucky Strike” mine, the most consistent lode gold (mined gold) producer of the Kenai Peninsula. For a chance to earn extra raffle tickets, participants will carry a bucket full of rocks at the end of their races. The bucket carry station will be located at the Hope School and can be completed after your race. 


• There will be snacks and water available at the end of all races.  

• An afterparty will be held at the Creekbend Cafe starting at ~1:30 PM. All participants will receive their swag bag, raffle ticket and Mineshaft Grinder mason jar at this time. 

• Awards will be given to the top female and male finishers at the after party.  

• You must be present to win raffle prizes. All participants receive one raffle ticket for registering for the race. There is an opportunity to earn more raffle tickets by completing the Bucket Carry (see above). 


Want a Mineshaft Grinder t-shirt? Check out our Bonfire store to purchase! All participants will receive additional race-day swag, included in the price of registration.  

This race is under permit with the Chugach National Forest.


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