Exclusive preview: Devil’s Canyon sees prospectors risk lives in perilous hunt for gold

Boyce Goff talking to the camera in Devil's Canyon
Devil’s Canyon sees man take on nature in one of the most unforgiving places on the planet

Discovery launches new series Devil’s Canyon tonight — following three gold-prospectors who risk their lives in the hunt for unimaginable riches.

The series sees Boyce Goff, Ben van der Valk and John Belcik searching for their fortunes in British Columbia, Canada, in a canyon which has long been rumored to be cursed.

These real-life extreme miners bet everything on the mother lode.

Our exclusive clip below shows how potentially millions of dollars in gold are waiting for anyone who is willing to risk their life to get it in this foreboding place.

Devil’s Canyon has what is believed to be the largest creek-side gold deposit in the world.

But it is a daunting topography, designed by nature to beat even the most prepared prospectors down.

Along with volatile weather they also face the constant threat of predators like bears and wolves.

And they are at the mercy of the perilous canyon itself with its treacherous streams, rivers and soft spots in the beds.

Goff tells us in the preview how it often seems like the canyon itself does not want people to take its gold.

He says: “That’s why so many people feel Devil’s Canyon is cursed.

“Legend has it that for every 100 men that enter this canyon, 90 men go home empty-handed, one goes home with gold and the rest go home in a box.”

Boyce Goff talks to the camera on Devil's Canyon
Boyce Goff is deadly serious as he talks about the perils of Devil’s Canyon

The official gold rush started in British Columbia in 1858, as 30,000 prospectors headed to the area, from all points in the Americas and Europe, looking for gold.

Goff reveals how the next year only 3,000 remained. Between superstition and fear, the weather, and the lack of food, it was lore and legend that Devil’s Canyon was a hard place to survive.

A historical photo of a gold prospector in Devil's Canyon 
A historical still that shows some of the original miners in Devil’s Canyon 

But if you make it, you could rake in some serious money. Goff and van der Valk are willing to go further than the big mining companies dare in the hunt for the payoff.

That means carrying everything that they need on their backs and heading off into the wilderness to hunt for gold.

The burdens of going on foot are explained by Goff, who says: “It is back-breaking and there aren’t any trails out here. I’m carrying everything in [and] everything is coming in on my back, so I had to make strategic decisions.

“I decided to pack only the bare essentials of mining and survival equipment that gave me the extra room in my pack so I could carry more food.

“My pack has got to be pushing 130-lb. Just doing that is dangerous. One wrong step…I [could] roll an ankle. Who’s out here to save me?”

Goff carrying a backpack, with several labels showing what is inside
The gear Goff decided upon is heavy, weighing in at around 130-lb

The series sees Goff, van der Valk and Belcik travel separately deep into the forest with just their carefully curated and chosen gear.

They will venture well past where corporate mining companies can go in the hopes of finding a vein or big pay streak.

But with no roads, bad weather, a lack of trails, no camera crew and really no help, this will feel like a Gold Rush mashed up with a hardcore survival series where no mistakes can be made.

Errors of judgment in this cruel environment can mean instant death.

These three men will be alone for weeks. They will serve as their own cameramen and self-document the experience.

With winter bearing down fast, the search for gold will be second only to their need to survive. It’s a classic man versus nature story…but with no safety net.

Devil’s Canyon premieres Tuesday, June 6 at 10 PM ET/PT on the Discovery Channel.

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