Gold Rush (formerly Gold Rush Alaska) is a reality television series that airs on Discovery Channel, with reruns also airing on TLC. The show's third season began airing on October 26, 2012.
The show focuses on the mining of gold placer deposits found in Alaska and the Klondike, by various teams of miners.
The first season (show named Gold Rush: Alaska) featured six men from Sandy, Oregon (a small town 30 miles southeast of Portland) who, due to the economic downturn, have lost their jobs. They decided on an all-stakes gamble – travel to Porcupine Creek, Alaska and prospect for gold. Most of the people on the show have little or no previous gold mining experience and must learn on the job.
For season 2 (show renamed to Gold Rush), Todd missed a lease payment, and "Dakota" Fred Hurt buys the claim out from owner Earl Foster, not needing to break the lease due to the missed payment. The season explores the Hoffman crew's new mine at Quartz Creek, in the Klondike region of the Yukon, Canada as well as "Dakota" Fred's operation at the site of the original Hoffman mine, Porcupine Creek, and Parker Schnabel's attempts to mine his grandfather's property at Big Nugget Mine.
The third season began in October 2012. The Hoffman crew returned to the Klondike to once again mine the Quartz Creek site but also brought on additional crewmen to simultaneously work another site in the area to try to reach a goal of 1000 ounces. Parker Schnabel returned to the Big Nugget Mine site with larger and more efficient equipment while "Dakota" Fred Hurt and his crew returned to the Porcupine Creek site.
Aftershows & Specials
Numerous "aftershows" and specials have been produced that document behind the scenes action as well as interviews with miners and crew.
Gold Rush: The Jungle
Between the second and third seasons Todd Hoffman and several crew members traveled to a remote site in Guyana in South America to determine the feasibility of opening up an operation there during the Klondike offseasons. The trip was covered in a single one hour episode. Although they did discover gold on the claim site, it was not of a sufficient quantity to cover the high expenses of mining the remote site which was accessible only by hiking through a trackless jungle after a harrowing river passage. Given the low probability of profitability, Hoffman chose not to pursue the venture.
- The Big Nugget mine used a crew of 4 for season 1 (John Schnabel crew), 4 for season 2 (Parker Schnabel crew), and 5 for season 3 (Parker Schnabel crew).
- The Jim Nail Placer Mine used a crew of 7 for season 1 (Hoffman crew), 2 (3 at times) for season 2 (Dakota Fred crew), and 3 for season 3 (Dakota Fred Crew)
- The Quartz Creek mine used a crew of 7 for season 2 (Hoffman crew), and 7 (2 extra workers between sites) for 1 half of season 3 (Hoffman crew).
- The Indian River mine used a crew of 4 (5 at times) for 1 half of season 3 (Dave Turin crew), and 13 for the other half of season 3 (Turin/Hoffman Combined Crew).
|1-||Todd Hoffman (age 41)||Remembering his father's gold mining adventures in the 1980s.|
|1-||Jack Hoffman (age 65)||Father of Todd, he previously mined for gold in Alaska 25 years ago, and joins the crew for a second chance to live his dream.|
|1-||Jim Thurber (age 54)||An expert sheet metal worker with more than 30 years experience, he serves as the crew's safety officer. The economic downturn cost him his business, and one more late mortgage payment will result in foreclosure.|
|2-||Dave Turin (age 52)||A guest star for several episodes of season 1, he comes on full time for season 2. He is an experienced quarry foreman. Todd convinces him to chase his gold mining dream, join the group, and take some time off from his family's business.|
|1-||"Dakota" Fred Hurt (age 68)||After advising the Hoffman crew in the last half of season 1, Dakota Fred returns for season 2 to purchase the Jim Nail Placer mine to mine himself with his own crew.|
|2-||Dustin Hurt (age 44)||Dustin is "Dakota" Fred's son. He worked at the Jim Nail Placer mine in Season Two.|
|2-||Parker Schnabel (age 18)||Parker was given the Big Nugget mine in season 2 when his grandfather, John Schnabel, decided to step down. He guest starred and appeared to give advice in Season One.|
|1-||John Schnabel (age 93)||Recurring guest star, owner of Big Nugget mine and grandfather of Parker Schnabel.|
|2-||Roger Schnabel||Recurring guest star, part-owner of Big Nugget mine, father of Parker Schnabel, son of John Schnabel.|
|2-||Gary Grogan||Recurring guest star, employee at Big Nugget mine.|
|1-||Fred Dodge||Recurring guest star, helped the Hoffman Crew re-assemble their wash plant in Season 1. He returned to the Klondike in Season 2 to give the Hoffmans better gold recovery tools. He also went to Guyana with the crew in Season 3.|
|1||Jimmy Dorsey (age 34)||A Realtor and self-confessed adrenaline junkie. After an off camera physical altercation with Greg Remsburg, he left the mining crew in season one.|
|1-2||James Harness (age 54)||The crew mechanic, he prides himself on being able to repair nearly anything. However, a car wreck has left him with metal pins in his ankle and a severe spinal injury which, due to lack of finances, he cannot afford to have surgically repaired. A Baltimore medical center donated a medical procedure to correct his back problem, which resulted in the need for yearly injections. During season 2 when operations were halted due to dirty water, Todd asked him to build a water filter. Instead he left the camp to spend a week with his girlfriend in a motel. At the end of the season the crew fired him, blaming him for missing their 100 ounce target.|
|1||Earle Foster||Recurring guest star in season 1, owner of Jim Nail Placer Mine in season 1; cameo appearances in season 2 and 3|
|1||Michael Halstead||In the first season "Pastor Mike" was billed as the crew pastor. Mike was pastor of the Harvest Christian Church in Troutdale, Oregon at the time. He had done charity work in Mexico in the past and had met Jack Hoffman twenty years ago on one of those trips. Jack introduced Mike to elk hunting and the two of them shared an enthusiasm for outdoor adventures, often going on trips together. He took part in a few episodes in the first half of season one, but went home for an unknown reason and was never mentioned again.|
|1-3||Chris Doumitt (age 59)||Originally he was only meant to come to Alaska for ten days — to help build a cabin for Greg Remsburg and his family. But gold mining quickly got under his skin and he ended up staying for five months and becoming a key member of the team. He calls himself a "pumpologist". Chris retired after season 3.|
|1-3||Greg Remsburg (age 41)||Lifelong friend of Todd, he is an experienced construction supervisor. However, he has not had steady work. Greg left the Hoffman crew after season 3.|
- Alaskan Panhandle
- Alaska, USA
- The Klondike
- The Yukon, Canada
|Description||Make / Type|
|Dump Truck||Peterbilt Tri-Axle|
|Shaker/Trommel/Jig Plant||Custom Built|
|Magnetite Separator||Black Gold|
|Generator Plant||Detroit Diesel 150 kW|
|Description||Make / Type||Creek||Crew|
|Wash Plant||Shaker Wash Plant 60 yds/hr (Little Blue)||Quartz||Hoffman|
|Clean-Up Equipment||MSI Xtruder 255/EnHancer 755||Quartz||Hoffman|
|Generator||Whisperwatt 100 kW||Quartz||Hoffman|
|Excavator||Hitachi EX270LC||Porcupine||Dakota Boys|
|Loader||Doosan DL-400||Porcupine||Dakota Boys|
|Loader||Cat 980B||Porcupine||Dakota Boys|
|Bulldozer||Cat D6H||Porcupine||Dakota Boys|
|Pump||Gorman-Rupp 6"||Porcupine||Dakota Boys|
|Wash Plant||RMS/Ross De-Rocker 8x20 100 yds/hr||Porcupine||Dakota Boys|
|Articulated Hauler||Volvo A25C||Porcupine||Schnabel|
|Loader||Assortment of Cat 980/988 (8+)||Porcupine||Schnabel|
|Wash Plant||Shaker, Trommel, Jig 20 yds/hr||Porcupine||Schnabel|
As of its first season finale, Gold Rush Alaska was the most-watched Friday night program in all of US television among males 18-49 and 25-54. For 13 consecutive weeks in its second season, Gold Rush continued to hold Friday's top rating in the demographic of men 18-49.
- Season 1
- Season 2
- Season 3
- ^ "Gold Rush", season 2, episode "Twist of Fate"
- ^ Discovery Channel: Gold Rush Alaska, Todd Hoffman Bio
- ^ Discovery Channel: Gold Rush Alaska, Jack Hoffman Bio
- ^ Discovery Channel: Gold Rush Alaska, Jim Thurber Bio
- ^ Discovery Channel: Gold Rush, Dave Turin bio
- ^ Discovery Channel: Gold Rush, Dakota Fred bio
- ^ Discovery Channel: Gold Rush, Parker Schanbel bio
- ^ Discovery Channel: Gold Rush Alaska, Jimmy Dorsey Bio
- ^ Discovery Channel: Gold Rush Alaska, James Harness Bio
- ^ "Gold Rush", episode "The Off-Season", season 2
- ^ "Harvest Christian Church". Harvestworld.com. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
- ^ Discovery Channel: Gold Rush Alaska, Chris Doumitt Bio
- ^ Discovery Channel: Gold Rush Alaska, Greg Remsburg Bio
- ^ Seidman, Robert (22 February 2012). "'Gold Rush Alaska' Season Finale Strikes Series High as the #1 Program in All of Television* on Friday Night". Zap2it. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (27 February 2012). "'Gold Rush' #1 Among Men on all Television, Not Just Cable". Zap2it. Retrieved 28 February 2012.