Who doesn't dream of finding gold and striking it rich? Especially as children, we're repeatedly told wild tales of gold mines, buried treasure, and shiny nuggets for the taking. I remember cherishing "Fool's Gold" (the lookalike mineral pyrite) and vowing one day to scour the western hills for my own rewards. 


Alas, I have little time for digging these days, but I do enjoy — along with millions of other viewers — tuning in to Discovery's hit series "Gold Rush Alaska" for a fix. The reality show, which averaged an impressive 3.78 million viewers per episode last year, follows six men, laid off from work, who attempt to strike it rich in Porcupine Creek, Alaska. 


“This group of everyday men have harnessed their hopes and dreams and combined it with ferocity of spirit in an attempt to rekindle the American Dream for their families," Discovery said. "'Gold Rush Alaska' reflects what many Americans are feeling right now, and it’s clearly struck a chord with our audience.”


Season 2, which kicks off this Friday at 9 p.m. EST, features the crew once again putting everything on the line as they struggle to overcome the mistakes of their rookie season and pull some meaningful worth from the earth. Last year's haul resulted in only $20,000 of gold. 


To catch fans up on what's been happening in between seasons (as well as rope in new viewers), Discovery will air an "Off-Season" special. From the release:


It's the mining off-season and Todd Hoffman and his father Jack have some big decisions to make. After finding just $20,000 in gold their rookie mining season, they've had to scrape through the winter in Oregon. But the Hoffmans aren't ones to give up. Instead, they decide to double their chances of striking it rich and secure a second mining claim.


Just days before the start of the season, as they pack up to hunt for gold at both Porcupine Creek and Klondike sites, they get some disastrous news: the water license for their Klondike claim — essential to run a mining operation — did not come through. Their dream of a second mine in the Klondike is over before it started. Todd breaks the news to his crew, and they set off to Alaska with only the old Porcupine Creek claim to mine.


Check out a preview trailer for the second season below. 


Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

'Gold Rush Alaska' Season 2 strikes Discovery
Hit reality series follows six men and their efforts to hit it rich in Porcupine Creek, Alaska.