Gold Rush (TV series)

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Gold Rush
Gold Rush Title.jpg
Narrated byPaul Christie
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes34
Running timeapprox. 45 minutes
Production company(s)Raw Television
Original channelDiscovery Channel
Picture format1080i 16:9
Original runDecember 3, 2010 (2010-12-03) – present
Related showsFlying Wild Alaska, Bering Sea Gold
External links
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Gold Rush
Gold Rush Title.jpg
Narrated byPaul Christie
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes34
Running timeapprox. 45 minutes
Production company(s)Raw Television
Original channelDiscovery Channel
Picture format1080i 16:9
Original runDecember 3, 2010 (2010-12-03) – present
Related showsFlying Wild Alaska, Bering Sea Gold
External links

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 August 17, 2012.[1][2]



Season 1

The first season 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 (59°24′35″N 136°14′23″W / 59.40972°N 136.23972°W / 59.40972; -136.23972) 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.

Season 2

For season 2, 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.[3] The season explores the Hoffman crew's new mine at Quartz Creek, (63°49′52.85″N 139°0′53.14″W / 63.8313472°N 139.0147611°W / 63.8313472; -139.0147611) 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.


Jimmy Dorsey, a miner on Todd Hoffman's crew who left in the middle of season 1 due to personal conflicts, has stated in interviews that the show was indeed scripted.[4] But Todd Hoffman has stated that Dorsey's statements are false, and that his story was both "not true and uncool".[5]

Another crew member "kicked off the team", James Harness, has stated in a newspaper interview [6] that he left on his own accord and that he wasn't present for the filming of the scene in the Revelations special when Todd is shown supposedly telling him "this is where we part ways". He says the conversation never took place.


Current Cast:

1-Todd Hoffman (age 41)Remembering his father's gold mining adventures in the 19 Gold Rush Alaska, Todd Hoffman Bio]</ref>
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.[7]
1-Greg Remsburg (age 41)Lifelong friend of Todd, he is an experienced construction supervisor. However, he has not had steady work.[8]
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.[9]
1-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".[10]
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.[11]
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.[12]
2-Dustin HurtDustin is "Dakota" Fred's son. He worked at the Jim Nail Placer mine in Season Two.
2-Parker Schnabel (age 17)Parker was given the Big Nugget mine in season 2 when his grandfather, John Schnabel, decided to step down.[13] He guest starred and appeared to give advice in Season One.
1-John Schnabel (age 91)Recurring guest star, owner of Big Nugget mine and grandfather of Parker Schnabel.
2-Roger SchnabelRecurring guest star, part-owner of Big Nugget mine, father of Parker Schnabel, son of John Schnabel.
2-Gary GroganRecurring guest star, employee at Big Nugget mine.
1-Fred DodgeRecurring 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.

Former Cast:

1Jimmy 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.[14]
1-2James 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.[15] A Baltimore medical center donated a medical procedure to correct his back problem, which resulted in the need for yearly injections.[16]
1Earle FosterRecurring guest star, owner of Jim Nail Placer Mine in season 1
1Michael HalsteadIn the first season "Pastor Mike" was billed as the crew pastor.[17] Mike was pastor of the Harvest Christen Church [18] 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.


Alaskan Panhandle
Alaska, USA
The Klondike
The Yukon, Canada

Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
Season premiereSeason finale
111December 3, 2010 (2010-12-03)February 25, 2011 (2011-02-25)
222October 28, 2011 (2011-10-28)March 23, 2012 (2012-03-23)
3August 17, 2012 (2012-08-17)


Season 1 (2010-2011)

During season 1, the series was named Gold Rush: Alaska, and the mining occurred at Porcupine Creek, on the Alaskan panhandle.

Episode #Episode titleOriginal airdateU.S. viewers
1 (1)"No Guts, No Glory"December 3, 20102.17
Six recession-hit patriots from Oregon stake everything on mining and head north to Alaska to dig for gold and save themselves from financial ruin. The team of greenhorns beg, borrow and build all the equipment they need to mine for gold. Loaded with supplies, they leave their loved ones behind and drive from Oregon to southeast Alaska in a Klondike convoy. [19] 
2 (2)"Gold, Guns and Bears"December 10, 20102.07
The stakes get higher at the Porcupine Creek prospect as reality sets in about just how little time they have to get to their gold. The miners start to rebuild the mining ghost town but the bears aren't so keen on their new neighbors — and they let them know it. [20] 
3 (3)"Running Dirt"December 17, 20102.92
The crew races to set up the mining plant and start running dirt. When the families arrive from Oregon and question the lack of gold — and master mechanic Harness becomes dangerously ill — the tension builds so high that Dorsey and Todd almost come to blows. [21] 
4 (4)"The Ultimate Price"January 7, 20113.71
The team attempts to finally run potential pay dirt through the wash plant. But a visit from the Department of Fish and Game reveals a violation, jeopardizing their vital water supply to the mine. Then disaster strikes as Todd's daughter fights for her life. [22] 
5 (5)"The Pain Barrier"January 14, 20113.54
The miners continue to run dirt but an equipment malfunction brings the operation to a halt. Meanwhile, James Harness collapses and Jimmy Dorsey drives a wedge between himself and the crew when he takes on an extra job to earn cash. But hard work late into the night finally hits a pay streak. [23] 
6 (6)"Gold Fever"January 21, 20113.30
The miners' futures are on the line at Porcupine Creek. After 80 days, the miners are behind schedule, and the Hoffmans have run out of money and deliver the crew an ultimatum: find $10,000 worth of gold in the next two days, or the families have to head home to Oregon. Meanwhile, after Dorsey struggles with the wave table, tensions flare and fists fly. [24] 
7 (7)"Going for Broke"January 28, 20113.43
With winter weather closing in, a gold recovery expert comes to help the rookies. Todd discovers a major design flaw in the equipment and is forced to make huge modifications. With the credit cards maxed out, he is forced to take desperate measures. [25] 
8 (8)"Bad Blood"February 4, 20113.66
The crew remains in a deep financial hole. Veteran miner "Dakota" Fred thinks he can turn things around and he cranks up production faster than ever before. But when things start falling apart, tensions mount and Harness can't keep his frustration in. [26] 
9 (9)"Bedrock or Bust"February 11, 20113.89
Desperate to get to bedrock and large quantities of gold, Todd and Jack throw caution to the wind and dig deeper than ever before. With the brutal Alaskan winter threatening, they battle floods, cave-ins and equipment breakdowns. [27] 
10 (10)"Never Say Die"February 18, 20114.55
With the arctic winter looming, the crew races against the clock. Rain and thawing snow flood the mine and Jack puts his life on the line as the glory hole caves in around the massive 100,000 pound excavator. [28] 
11 (11)"Full Disclosure"February 25, 20112.49
In this special episode, we return to Oregon to find the Hoffman's mining crew wrestling with their future after the Alaskan winter ended the mining season. With previously un-aired material, the crew reveals what went on behind the scenes and how they really felt about the most controversial incidents. [29] 

Season 2 (2011-2012)

For season 2, the series was retitled Gold Rush. The show followed groups of miners at locations in both the panhandle of Alaska, USA, and in the Klondike of the Yukon, Canada.

Episode #Episode titleOriginal airdateU.S. viewers
1 (12)"The Off-Season"October 28, 20112.29
This special follows members of the Hoffman crew as they make preparations for their second gold mining season. This episode uses the season 2 titlecard. [30] 
2 (13)"Twist of Fate"October 28, 20113.33
The Hoffmans have to find gold and fast. The crew arrives in Porcupine Creek reinvigorated and in record time, they are on the gold. But just as they celebrate their best clean out ever, "Dakota Fred" returns and drops a bombshell on Todd, Jack and crew. [31] 
3 (14)"Virgin Ground"November 4, 20113.85
The Hoffman crew heads north to the Klondike in a desperate bid to find a new claim and salvage their mining season. 16-year-old Parker Schnabel takes over the Big Nugget Mine, while Dakota Fred gets a new start at Porcupine Creek. [32] 
4 (15)"Family Feud"November 11, 20114.15
Jack and Todd go head to head over how to set up their new claim. At Porcupine Creek, Dakota Fred rips out the wash plant and finds gold that he forced the Hoffmans to leave behind. At Big Nugget mine, Parker continues to hit pay dirt. [33] 
5 (16)"Slippery Slope"November 18, 20113.58
The Hoffman crew confronts the permafrost that lies between them and the gold. As the Dakota Boys set up their new wash plant, Fred pushes his son too hard and Dustin storms off. Parker faces a breakdown that leaves his mining season at a stand still. [34] 
6 (17)"Drill or Die"November 25, 20114.49
A crew rebellion forces Todd Hoffman to dig test holes on the claim. The tension mounts as they wait to see if they're sitting on a gold-rich paystreak or about to go bust. Then, Fred is forced to abandon mining as floods in North Dakota destroy his home. [35] 
7 (18)"Lovestruck"December 2, 20114.74
The Hoffmans are finally on the gold, but a new love threatens to derail mechanic James Harness right when the crew needs him most. Desperate for pay dirt, Parker bulldozes a dangerous road up the side of a mountain and Fred returns to Porcupine Creek after facing the loss of his North Dakota home. [36] 
8 (19)"Gold At Last"December 9, 20114.65
The Hoffmans realize they could be losing thousands of dollars of gold out of the end of their sluices and they are forced to tear apart the wash plant and rebuild. In his quest for virgin ground at Smith Creek, Parker turns into a lumberjack to get back on the gold. [37] 
9 (20)"On the Gold"December 16, 20115.38
With the washplant prepped, the Hoffman crew finally has their first clean-out of the season. Back in Alaska, Dakota Fred works furiously to win his "more gold in a week" bet that he made with Jack. At Big Nugget, Parker clashes with his grandfather when John wants to shut down the wash plant. [38] 
10 (22)"Behind the Scenes"December 23, 20113.96
This Gold Rush special reveals never before seen footage from behind the scenes of the struggle to bring the gold mining action to the screen. Four film crews, spread over 600 miles, battle the wilderness in Alaska and the Klondike to capture every twist and turn of the three mining operations. [39] 
11 (23)"After The Rush"December 30, 20112.75
This special lifts the curtain on Gold Rush and goes inside the lives of the men seeking gold and treasure in Alaska and the Klondike. All new interviews and never before seen footage present insights into the miners' unique world. [40] 
12 (21)"Dead In The Water"January 6, 20124.69
Jack Hoffman's precious excavator gets stranded in the creek and requires emergency surgery in the wilderness. Meanwhile, the crew fine-tunes their wash plant which doubles their efficiency at finding gold. Parker does the work of two men until an argument with his mother threatens to shut him down. [41] 
13 (24)"Twenty Four Seven"January 13, 20125.48
Short on time, the Hoffman Crew decides to run night and day in a struggle to get to the gold, while a federal mining inspector pays a surprise visit to both Fred and Parker. The inspector finds safety violations and both operations face closure. [42] 
14 (25)"Rock Bottom"January 20, 20124.81
The Hoffman crew is dead in the water until Harness can repair their broken excavator. Parker Schnabel totals his gold for the season and hands the Big Nugget mine back to his grandpa. Meanwhile, the Dakota boys lock horns trying to re-open their mine. [43] 
15 (26)"Bedrock Gold"January 27, 20124.24
A key crew member calls it quits at Quartz Creek. Meanwhile, massive rocks break Dakota Fred's derocker and Parker reconsiders his future after smelting his 35oz season haul into a solid gold bar. [44] 
16 (27)"Man Down"February 3, 20124.88
A heart attack has 91-year-old mining legend John Schnabel battling for for his life. The Hoffmans find a gold nugget that becomes a game-changer and Dakota Fred accomplishes what Jack Hoffman never managed to do at Porcupine creek. [45] 
17 (28)"In the Black"February 10, 20124.85
The Hoffman crew risks its all to run through the night in a bid to finally break even for the season. Fred has to abandon his best paydirt yet when his excavator gets stuck in the pit. John Schnabel returns to the Big Nugget Mine after his heart attack. [46] 
18 (29)"Frozen Out"February 17, 20125.31
The Hoffman crew battles frozen dirt and frozen pipes as they struggle to hit their goal of 100 oz. Parker makes a last ditch effort at Smith Creek Hill and the Dakota Boy's season may be over when Dustin smashes the side of the wash plant. [47] 
19 (30)"Judgment Day"February 24, 20125.06
The Hoffman crew is desperate to get 100 ounces, but Todd's decision to run the dozer on solid ice ends in disaster. The Big Nugget mine faces closure if Parker fails to hit a pay streak and Dakota Fred thinks he's finally found Jack Hoffman's glory hole. [48] 
20 (31)"Revelations"March 2, 20123.90
In never before seen footage, the miners unearth the sometimes ugly truth about their 2011 mining seasons. The crews also clue us in on their big plans for the 2012 season. Determined to turn failure at Big Nugget into success, Parker goes to extremes to prep the Big Nugget mine. Jack goes under the knife to rid himself of nagging back pain. And in a shocking development, one miner is kicked off the Hoffman crew. [49] 
21 (32)"Aftershow: Digging Deeper"March 9, 20122.47
Gold Rush executive producer Christo Doyle asks the tough questions and gets the real dirt on the miners. Personal revelations, bets and challenges all play out in this revealing special. Don't miss all the extras of this no-holds barred look at the stories seen on TV. [50] 
22 (33)"Aftershow: The Last Word"March 23, 20121.64
The miners reveal what went on behind the cameras and answer questions from viewers. [51] 

Season 3 (2012-2013)

Season 3 has been confirmed in the Discovery Upfront schedule to be airing in the 2012-2013 television season.[52]

Episode #Episode titleOriginal airdateU.S. viewers
1 (34)"The Jungle"August 17, 20122.67 [53]
Frozen out of the Klondike, Todd Hoffman gets a hot tip on a gold claim in Guyana, South America. But to get there he must lead his crew through the snake-infested jungle, dangerous business deals and up deadly rivers in a "no guts, no glory" adventure. [54] 
2 (35)"The Jungle Aftershow"August 17, 20122.03 [55]
Todd Hoffman and crew braved the hostile jungle of Guyana in a search for gold-rich ground to mine year-round. In the Aftershow, executive producer Christo Doyle puts the cast and crew on the hot seat to find out what really happened down south. [56] 


Season 1

DescriptionMake / Type
ExcavatorHitachi EX400LC
ExcavatorHitachi EX270LC
Dump TruckPeterbilt Tri-Axle
Front LoaderCaterpillar 980B
Bull dozerCaterpillar D6H
Shaker/Trommel/Jig PlantN/A
Pump 6inN/A
Pump 4inN/A
Generator PlantN/A

Season 2

DescriptionMake / TypeCreekCrew
ExcavatorHitachi EX400LCQuartzHoffmans
ExcavatorKomatsu PC228-USLCQuartzHoffmans
BulldozerCaterpillar D8LQuartzHoffmans
Wheel loaderKomatsu WA380QuartzHoffmans
PumpPioneer 6"QuartzHoffmans
Shaker plantN/AQuartzHoffmans
GeneratorMQ Power __KWQuartzHoffmans
ExcavatorHitachi EX270LCPorcupineDakota Boys
Wheel LoaderDoosan DL-400PorcupineDakota Boys
Wheel LoaderCat 980BPorcupineDakota Boys
BulldozerCat D6HPorcupineDakota Boys
PumpGorman-Rupp 6"PorcupineDakota Boys
Wash PlantRMS-Ross De-RockerPorcupineDakota Boys
GeneratorN/APorcupineDakota Boys
ExcavatorCat 330LPorcupineSchnabel
Dump TruckVolvo A25CPorcupineSchnabel
Wheel LoaderCat 980CPorcupineSchnabel
Wash PlantCustom Grizzly, Shaker, Trommel & Duplex JigPorcupineSchnabel

Season 3

DescriptionMake / TypeCreekCrew
ExcavatorHitachi EX400LCQuartzHoffmans
ExcavatorKomatsu PC-228USLCQuartzHoffmans
Dump TruckVolvo A35C (two)QuartzHoffmans
Wheel LoaderKomatsu WA-380QuartzHoffmans
BulldozerCat D10NQuartzHoffmans
Wash PlantMSI CustomQuartzHoffmans
ExcavatorHitachi EX270LCPorcupineDakota Boys
Wheel LoaderVolvo L250EPorcupineDakota Boys
BulldozerCat D6HPorcupineDakota Boys
WashplantDe-RockerPorcupineDakota Boys
GeneratorN/APorcupineDakota Boys
PumpGorman-Rupp 6"PorcupineDakota Boys
ExcavatorCat 330LPorcupineSchnabel
Dump TruckVolvo A25CPorcupineSchnabel
Wash PlantCustom Grizzly, Shaker, Trommel & Duplex JigPorcupineSchnabel


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.[57] For 13 consecutive weeks in its second season, Gold Rush continued to hold Friday's top rating in the demographic of men 18-49.[58]


Season 1

Season 2

See also


  1. ^ "Discovery Renews 'Gold Rush' for Third Season (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "Gold Rush: The Jungle viewers should hang around for Aftershow". HULIQ. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Gold Rush", season 2, episode "Twist of Fate"
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ THE BULLETIN, March 6th 2012, David Jasper,
  7. ^ Discovery Channel: Gold Rush Alaska, Jack Hoffman Bio
  8. ^ Discovery Channel: Gold Rush Alaska, Greg Remsburg Bio
  9. ^ Discovery Channel: Gold Rush Alaska, Jim Thurber Bio
  10. ^ Discovery Channel: Gold Rush Alaska, Chris Doumitt Bio
  11. ^ Discovery Channel: Gold Rush, Dave Turin bio
  12. ^ Discovery Channel: Gold Rush, Dakota Fred bio
  13. ^ Discovery Channel: Gold Rush, Parker Schanbel bio
  14. ^ Discovery Channel: Gold Rush Alaska, Jimmy Dorsey Bio
  15. ^ Discovery Channel: Gold Rush Alaska, James Harness Bio
  16. ^ "Gold Rush", episode "The Off-Season", season 2
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  52. ^ Bibel, Sara (April 5, 2012). "Discovery Unveils 2012-13 Upfront Slate Including 4 New Series and 12 Returning Series". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 11, 2012. 
  53. ^
  54. ^
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^ 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. 
  58. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (27 February 2012). "'Gold Rush' #1 Among Men on all Television, Not Just Cable". Zap2it. Retrieved 28 February 2012. 

External links