While researching our Alaska trip, it was suggested that we stay in more affordable Palmer, outside of Anchorage. And, since I had kids, it might be fun to stop at the mine. Best advice ever!
The drive from Denali took longer than expected, so we didn't arrive at the mine until 4:00, as the visitor center was closing and everyone was leaving. I was disappointed, but ready to explore on our own. We spent the next few hours hiking all around the historic buildings and up on to the hill behind it. Weather was cloudy, even raining occasionally. That only added to our experience, as my youngest remarked, "I'm glad no one's here, it's easier to imagine what it used to be like in the old days." Although all there were no guides to lead us, there are plenty of informative displays to do a self-guided tour. A couple buildings were open, so we could go in and see photos and maps.
It was an educational and fun day, one of the best opportunities we had to just simply enjoy the beauty of Alaska. I highly recommend spending a leisurely afternoon exploring the area.
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