Mineral Creek Valley is one of the most scenic drives in this area. The rough gravel road begins at the upper end of Mineral Creek Drive and runs for a distance of approximately 5.5 miles before reaching a gate and parking area. With mountains rising to over 5,000 feet and beautiful waterfalls on each side, the scenic vistas can be overwhelming.
About halfway up the road, a fork will be reached. The right hand fork leads to the water where a small tram was used years ago to service the McIntosh Roadhouse (1912 era), which was located on the other side of Mineral Creek. The left hand side continues up the valley.
The W.L. Smith Stamp Mill is located at the end of the Mineral Creek Trail. This mill was built in 1913 and used in conjunction with the Mountain King Mine, which was located about 3,000 feet above sea level on the east side of Mineral Creek.
From the gate and parking area the Trail leads up the valley for approximately eight tenths of a mile before reaching the Stamp Mill. Care should be used along portions of this trail as the track is narrow at times.
As the canyon opens up, evidence of recent gold mining activities can be seen along the banks of the river. By looking up the valley, the roof of the Stamp Mill will be seen. Various old trails lead up both sides of the valley to the once active mines.
DISTANCE & TIME:
Distance: 1.75 miles Round Trip. Time: 1-1.25 hours Round Trip.
—Map and Compilation by Jim Shephard, Valdez Parks and Recreation