What happened to Parker Schnabel from “Gold Rush”?

April 18, 2024
8 mins read

Although “Gold Rush” has been on air for over a decade, the show’s massive popularity has secured it a place on TV for yet more years to come.

While “Gold Rush” miners aren’t necessarily the perfect examples of what TV personalities usually look like, they’re great in their own way. This is especially evident when it comes to Parker Schnabel, who despite his young age, has become one of the most successful miners in the show, and one special and unique type of celebrity we rarely see.

Though Parker’s sixth sense for finding gold is an accomplishment on its own, his personality and impressive business’ skills is what “Gold Rush” viewers admire him for the most.

While we’ve known him since his TV debut in 2010, there’s still a lot we don’t know about Parker Schnabel. So what is he doing now? Where is he when he’s not digging gold? Does he still appear in “Gold Rush”? Keep with us to discover all!


Where Is Parker Schnabel Now?

Though we’re all used to seeing many reality stars revealing a little bit too much about their lives on and off camera, not everyone in the industry is like this. Parker Schnabel is one of those few examples of a celebrity who despite being hugely popular and successful, keeps everything private low-key.

Just by taking a look on his Instagram account, we can see that he’s not a big fan of updating it. Added to the fact that every “Gold Rush” season premieres once per year, makes it unsurprising why the show’s fans wonder what’s up with his life when the series isn’t airing.

For those who worry about Parker’s life that much, fortunately we can say he’s doing well, more than okay nowadays. As seen during “Gold Rush” 12th season aired in late 2021, he’s still actively pursuing his gold digging goals while facing issues such as scarce mining plots, exploring a 50-feet deep paystreak, and millionaire operating costs.


Besides, he also appeared in the first episode of “Gold Rush”s spin-off “Winter’s Fortune”, aired in mid-2021.

Though these details are only limited to his professional life, they’re enough to put Parker’s fans at ease, after not knowing much about him for almost a year.

How Did The Pandemic Affect Him?

It’s not a secret that the COVID-19 pandemic deeply affected the entire world’s economy, putting productive industries of every type in a bad situation. Unsurprisingly, “Gold Rush” and its cast were put in a difficult situation due to this, as every season of the show is filmed early each year, unfortunately coinciding with the start of COVID-19 restrictions implemented by the Canadian government, which included the closure of borders and mobility limitations.

Moving to the Yukon during Alaska’s resident off mining season was expectedly a rough mission for Parker at the time, however, once the Canadian government stated that miners were essential workers, and thus weren’t obligated to stop working, Parker was able to arrive in the Yukon, while complying with the required self-quarantine period.

Nonetheless, things weren’t as easy for “Gold Rush” production staff, as the entertainment industry isn’t considered essential, and as such was prohibited from setting-up their filming base in Parker’s and his fellow miners mining claims.

Fortunately, “Gold Rush”s filming company Raw TV made it to the Yukon, though they had to go through 14 days of quarantine, and one month after the start of the mining season. All in all, it was a difficult time for everyone.

Did The Government Restrict Parker’s Operations?

Besides the many issues that “Gold Rush” staff had to face during the show’s 11th season, Parker Schnabel had to deal with other serious matters as well.

As it happens, during the show’s 10th season, Parker accused Tony Beets of purposely causing him ‘detriment’ while working together, part of an ongoing drama that had been dragging on for several seasons already by then. Due to their complicated past, it was surprising to find that instead of mining in Ken Tatlow’s land as it was expected, Parker set-up his operation in Beets’ land the following season.

While at first this unexpected situation was rumored to be a strategy to cause more drama between Parker and Beets on-screen, it was also rumored that Parker had been restricted by the government in some way. However, both rumors are false, as the issue actually has to do with water permit limitations in the Yukon area.

As it happens, the fact Tatlow’s land doesn’t have any running water means that Parker is unable to mine there. Seeing himself with no other option than to keep working with Beets, Parker spent the entirety of the show’s 11th season digging for gold there, even if dealing with his personal and business issues with Beets wasn’t necessarily welcomed.

Could These Water Issues Affect Parker?

Although the issues with water permits have been a constant during the latest “Gold Rush” seasons, the truth is that many viewers have dismissed it as some sort of drama sub-plot.


However, the matter is more serious than shown on screen. Some years ago, a member of Tony Beets’ staff apparently severely damaged part of the area’s environment with a fire. As expected, the issue raised eyebrows everywhere including in government, due to which allegedly limited Beets’ land’s water permits.

Nonetheless, the issue with these permits has extended beyond Beets’ land, and according to reports, has to do with a general concern for the environment’s preservation and finances, instead of a personal restriction against him.

For starters, the royalties provided to the Canadian Government by the gold industry are extremely low, especially for a field which allegedly produces almost $100 million per year. More importantly, the area’s thriving mining operations were deemed potentially damaging for rivers, in addition to ‘devastating fish numbers, and threatening human health’, according to reports.

Parker Schnabel

Knowing how serious the issue looks, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume Parker Schnabel’s mining might be affected by it, either as a result of water permits being denied, or simply because of money.

Who’s Parker’s Current Girlfriend?

He’s young, apparently a millionaire, and a very popular TV personality. Parker Schnabel is everything most people in their twenties can only dream of being.

Although his reticence at posting anything about his personal life is admirable considering his age, speculation regarding his romantic life is not something Parker has been able to escape.

Nonetheless, it’s necessary to point out that there’s no confirmation of him having any romantic partner at the time. This might come as a surprise to many, as rumors of him dating fellow miner and “Aussie Gold Hunters” star Tyler Mahoney, were very strong for a while.

No one can fault his fans for thinking he was in love with the Aussie beauty, though. As it happens, they pair met back in 2020 when he filmed the “Gold Rush” spin-off “Parker’s Trail” in Australia.


Although Parker and Tyler weren’t seen interacting as anything beyond co-workers and somewhat close acquaintances, the many similarities between them including their obvious mutual interest in mining and age, led many of the audience to assume love was bound to bloom.

Despite the fact that those assumptions were proven wrong, when Parker finally finds his other half we’ll surely know it.

How Much Gold Has He Dug?

We know Parker Schnabel from the first season of “Gold Rush”, but the first operation he actually set was seen the following season. Though there’s no way to know how much gold Parker has extracted when cameras are off, his recorded results are impressive enough. During “Gold Rush”’s second season, he started on the humble side with only ounces. However, that number vastly multiplied the following seasons, passing from extracting 191 ounces in the third season to ending up with 7504 ounces of gold by the 12th.


Though it’s easier said than done, Parker’s impressive gold findings result from more than just an uncanny talent to find the precious mineral under rocks and dirt. As he advanced as an independent miner, Parker’s business skills have improved as well, to the point where today his operations in the Yukon area are considered massive and his land claims million-worthy.

Regardless of what people assume, Parker isn’t one to fall prey to the luxuries that fame and his apparent richness might potentially bring. As he affirmed to Money Week, having ‘a big expensive sandbox’ kept him away from pursuing boats, cars or other luxuries.

How Did Parker Start In Mining?

Seeing Parker Schnabel pass from being a 16-year-old clueless boy, to seeing him become a skilled miner and sharp businessman was quite an experience for long-time “Gold Rush” fans.


Nonetheless, it wasn’t casual for Parker to be in the mining business in the first place. His grandfather, John Schnabel already owned the Alaska-based Gold Nugget before Parker was even born, so it wasn’t shocking when he became a helper in the mining operation as soon as he was able. In his mid-teens, Parker was Gold Nugget’s boss and by the time he was 19-years-old, he stepped up his game and left old Alaska behind to explore the more profitable Yukon gold fields.

Many people might argue that Parker had it easy for not having to build the family’s business from the ground, but that’s not exactly true. By the time he took over his grandfather’s land, gold production wasn’t even near to fulfilling its potential, so Parker managed to take it to the next level.

Though Parker didn’t learn what he now knows about the business without the help and guidance of more experienced miners, his so-called secret for success is just investing the money ‘right back into the ground’, and nothing other than that.

Parker Schnabel

His Debut On TV

Nowadays Parker Schnabel is known for his impressive success as a miner, businessman and TV personality. However, his early years were nothing of the sort. Describing himself as ‘a pretty typical Alaskan kid’, Parker’s childhood saw him learning to hunt with his family, who allegedly didn’t have to buy meat for at least five years, thanks to their conjoined efforts.

Nonetheless, as years passed, Parker’s slight obsession with bears became a fully-fledged passion for finding gold. After he’d been working for a while with his grandfather in the Gold Nugget operation, a TV crew approached him with the sole intent of featuring him in a TV show. Fast forward a couple of months, and Parker was one of the youngest “Gold Rush” cast members, though no one imagined that he’d become as prominent in the business as he is now.

Being so determined in transforming his gold fever into an accomplished goal effectively turned out well for Parker.


To date, he’s appeared in most “Gold Rush” spin-off series, including “Pay Dirt”, “The Rise of Rick Ness”, “The Dirt”, and most recently “Winter’s Fortune”.

Who Was His Grandfather?

Though it’s Parker Schnabel who is internationally acclaimed as a mining genius, and the ‘dirt nerd’ by excellence, it’s his grandfather John who actually guided his steps in the business. As admitted by Parker himself, his ‘grandpa’ was his biggest inspiration, and certainly his first tutor. Although he retired from mining well into his 80s, and left the business in Parker’s and his brother Payson’s hands, John had been mining for gold for almost three decades by then.

Buying the Gold Nugget in his sixties might have looked too risky back in the day, but it was John’s way of keeping himself physically active after undergoing triple bypass surgery.

Besides following his dreams despite his age, the fact that John was a WWII Air Corps veteran only makes the admiration Parker feels for him more understandable. Unfortunately, John died in March 2016, but he’s surely still well-remembered by his loved ones.

Is “Gold Rush” Real?

As many other reality shows out there, “Gold Rush” is not the exact embodiment of an unscripted or totally genuine series. While this is disappointing for its audience, the truth is that planning certain scenes and dialogues is the reason many shows of this type are successful in the first place. While not every situation seen on screen is faked, some were most certainly spiced up to catch viewers’ attention in a compelling way.

This doesn’t mean that the entirety of “Gold Rush” is fake, as the settings, earnings, and some of the drama are real.

Most importantly, the most vital part of the show is its cast, and they are definitely as real as they look.

Olivia Wilson

As the Freelance Writer at Net Worth Post, I steer producing riveting stories about the lives and triumphs of influencers. With an unwavering commitment to precision and a flair for weaving compelling tales, I guide our content creation, from the depths of research to the pinnacle of narrative excellence. My responsibilities encompass the full spectrum of editorial management, including the meticulous investigation, narrative development, and upholding the integrity and high standard of our output.

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