Gold Discovery Run
Felix Pedro struck gold on July 22, 1902, in a creek 12 miles north of E. T. Barnette's Trading Post.
The Gold Discovery Run commemorates his discovery, which led to gold fever and the founding of Fairbanks.
In 2002, the Gold Discovery Run moved to a new course that covers historic mining territory and traverses through trails and gravel roads, leading to a flat, paved sprint to the finish.
Length: 16.3 miles
Elevation: 1648 feet of elevation gain, 3198 feet of elevation drop, for a net elevation drop of 1549 feet.
Start: Cleary Summit at intersection of old Circle Fairbanks Trail and the new Fort Knox mining road. Note: There is no parking at the starting point, and runners will be required to take a shuttle bus from the Silver Gulch Brewery (Fox Roadhouse) to the starting point. Busses will depart 45 minutes prior to race starting times. Do not be late or you will miss the bus!! Start times are 8:00 for runners expecting to take more than 3 hours and 9:00 for runners expecting to take less than 3 hours.
Finish: Silver Gulch Brewery (Fox Roadhouse) on the Old Steese Highway in Fox.
The course begins high atop Cleary Summit, and offers stunning views of the Alaska Range in the far distance. The trail heads off to the southeast on the old Fairbanks to Circle Mining Trail, then veers south along the power line after about a third of a mile. The Fort Knox mine pit is visible through the trees off the left side of the trail.
About a mile into the trail, a hill is crested and the trail then curves around the west flank of Gilmore Dome to a communications antenna, at which point the trail widens out and the power line ends. Not far past the antenna, after a downhill coast, an intersection is encountered. The right hand road, which leads down to the NOAA tracking site, is blocked with no trespassing barriers. Continue to the left at the intersection for a short distance southeast, and take a hard right down and to the southwest onto a narrower trail. From this point you will see the trail ahead as it crests over a smaller dome straight ahead.
After cresting the dome, a rock outcropping to the right of the trail offers a fantastic panorama of the Alaska Range to the south, and Ester, Murphy, Pedro, Wickersham and Gilmore Domes. The trail then goes steeply down, and continues in a generally west southwest direction through the woods, winding through numerous undulations and then emerging onto a dirt road and parking area. At this point, the first Water Station, you have come a little over 7 miles.
Continue down the dirt road to the right for under two miles to the turnaround at the end of Gilmore Trail. Another couple of hundred feet and pavement begins. Gilmore Trail is followed about two miles, where the second Water Station is reached near 11 miles. Then a sharp right onto Goldmine Trail is made. Goldmine Trail is all gravel and chip seal, and starts with a steep descent down to Engineer Creek, followed by about four miles of mostly down to the Steese Highway.
From here on it is paved and flat, heading north on the Steese, and then crossing over at Goldstream Road on the left and continuing west on Goldstream. Take a right onto the Old Steese for the final mile plus sprint into the finish line at the Silver Gulch Brewery.