Gold Rush’s Dakota Fred Hurt Remembering a Fan Favorite and Veteran Star

Fred Hurt died at 80

Mining for Greatness, Paying Tribute to Dakota Fred Hurt’s Enduring Spirit.

Fred Hurt died at 80
Fred Hurt died at 80

On July 11, 2023, the Gold Rush community was saddened by the passing of Dakota Fred Hurt, a beloved fan favorite and veteran star of the show. The news of his demise was announced by his family on Facebook, where they shared that Fred had fought courageously in his battle against cancer. The post also expressed gratitude for the love and support Fred received throughout his life.

Exploring Dakota Fred Hurt’s Career

Dakota Fred Hurt, an American gold miner and television personality, was born in Minot, North Dakota. He initially embarked on a career as a commercial diver in the 1960s. His work as a diver exposed him to various underwater salvage, demolition, and expedition techniques, which would prove valuable in his future endeavors.

After spending over two decades running his own construction business, Fred decided to make a switch to mining. However, success did not come immediately for him in this new venture.

Mining Adventures and Gold Extraction

In 2008, Fred Hurt journeyed to Nevada, Wyoming, and Montana in search of gold. Yet, he eventually returned to Alaska, where he set his sights on the frozen land of the Arctic Circle in Little Squaq Lake. With a team of five men, Fred designed, built, and operated a gold processing plant at the lake. Their combined efforts led to the extraction of over 600 ounces of gold, a significant achievement.

Fred’s Stint on Gold Rush

Fred Hurt’s appearance on Gold Rush was a memorable one, spanning a total of 61 episodes. His debut on the Discovery show was in an episode titled “Between Craziness & Insanity.” Alongside his son, Dustin, Fred returned to McKinley Creek in Alaska to mine gold. However, their mining equipment was destroyed by the harsh Alaskan winter, presenting them with a challenging start.

The Gold Rush Family Mourns

Following Fred Hurt’s passing, the official Gold Rush social media accounts expressed their condolences and paid tribute to the late star. The Gold Rush family conveyed their sadness and described Fred’s joy for life and adventure as contagious. They extended their heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and all those who loved him. Fred’s impact on the show and his adventurous spirit will be dearly missed.

The Nickname “Dakota Fred” and Spin-Off Appearances

Fred Hurt earned the nickname “Dakota Fred” due to his roots and his decade-long stay in Alaska. During this time, he managed to mine over $750,000 worth of gold from Porcupine Creek, leaving a lasting mark on the Gold Rush series. Furthermore, Fred made appearances in several spin-offs of the show, including South America, The Legend of Porcupine Creek, and White Water, where he worked alongside his son Dustin.

A Brave Announcement and Shared Passion

In March 2023, just a few months prior to his passing, Dakota Fred Hurt disclosed his diagnosis. In a press statement, he revealed his battle with cancer, acknowledging that he had already lived a fulfilling 80 years of an interesting life. Fred expressed his desire to share another adventure with his fans if he emerged from this challenging period.

Honoring Dakota Fred Hurt’s Legacy

In light of Fred Hurt’s passing, his family has encouraged miners and fans to donate to the Mike Rowe Works Foundation in his honor. They highlighted Fred’s extensive experience in skilled labor throughout his career and his dedication to teaching these valuable skills to others.


Dakota Fred Hurt will be remembered as a fan favorite and veteran star of Gold Rush. His career as a gold miner and television personality took him on thrilling expeditions, and he left an indelible mark on the show and its spin-offs. Fred’s battle with cancer was fought with courage, and his love for life and adventure was an inspiration to many. His legacy will live on, and his impact on the mining community and beyond will not be forgotten.

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