Now almost a ghost town, Hope is a charming step into the past, with a quaint cluster of weathered buildings, a little museum, a couple of eateries and lodging places, quiet waterside campsites, and great hiking.
The Hope Highway begins at Mile 56 of the Seward Highway , just west of the towering bridge over Canyon Creek. This sparsely trafficked road follows Sixmile Creek north back up to Turnagain Arm ; pan for gold along the first five miles of the crick. The entire 17 miles to Hope is paved.
Gold was discovered on Resurrection Creek in 1888, and by 1896 there were 3,000 people inhabiting this boom neighborhood between Hope and Sunrise on Sixmile Creek. Many came by way of the Passage Canal where Whittier  now squats, portaging their watercraft over the Chugach glacial pass to Turnagain Arm, which is how Portage Glacier  got its name.
Large-scale mining prospered into the 1940s, but then Sunrise was abandoned and left to the ghosts. Hope (www.advenalaska.com/hope ) hangs on today primarily as a place where recreation and tourism support the town’s 135 people.
“Downtown” Hope is marked by a cluster of old buildings, some over a century old. Stop here to walk the dirt street past photogenic Social Hall—the original Alaska Commercial Co. store—and down to the tidal flats (caused by the earth sinking seven feet in the 1964 quake). They’re dangerous; don’t walk on them!
Go back and turn left for new Hope, with its post office, red schoolhouse, and beautiful new and old log cabins. The old one-room school, built in 1938, now serves as a library.
Hope & Sunrise Historical and Mining Museum (907/782-3740, Fri.–Mon. noon–4 p.m. late May–early Sept., free) is a log museum housing historical photos and artifacts from the Turnagain Arm  gold rush of 1894–1899. The grounds contain the original Canyon Creek Mining buildings.