The 2021 Mineshaft Grinder takes place on August 14.
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.
There are two options for the Gold Grinder: Option 1: An uphill-only bike race for riders to grind up 1900’ over 11 miles to the end of Palmer Creek Road Option 2: A full marathon run to the end of the road and back 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.
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