Independence Mine State Historical Park is located in Hatcher Pass, a beautiful region located in Alaska, north of Anchorage. What would become the mine was discovered by Robert Hatcher in 1906 and by the early 1940s the mine employed over 200 men, who lived at the mine complex with their families, producing over $1 million a year in gold. But as a result of World War II, a ban on gold mining was enacted and when mining was allowed to resume after the war, the price of gold was so low that the mine was forced to close permanently shortly thereafter. Today, what remains of the mine is part of a state park, with a self-guided tour of the rusted machinery and slowly decaying buildings of the mine nestled in a valley with mountain peaks dominating three of the four directions. The old mine and stunning scenery are in stark contrast to each other but somehow they fit together wonderfully. Despite the fact that we visited in August, the mountain peaks were already topped with snow.