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Only Three Cast Members Have Appeared In Every Season Of Gold Rush

Avid viewers of "Gold Rush" know that there is no reality show quite like the Discovery staple. Since its premiere in 2010, the show has gone on to spawn a massive empire based around chronicling the pursuits of gold miners looking to strike big across the globe. The majority of the show takes place in Dawson City, Yukon, Canada, but the original series has led to numerous spinoffs capturing the ins and outs of gold mines worldwide, including in South America and Australia. 

While many associate gold mining with past centuries, the business is alive and well today. The crew has to work hard in pursuit of valuable finds, but the payoff is often worth the hustle. Since the dawn of "Gold Rush," fans have become acquainted with some interesting characters who, for one reason or another, decided to pursue a life of professional treasure hunting. But looking back through the show's more than 270 episodes, there are only a handful of stars who have been there since the very beginning, appearing in every one of the show's 12 seasons. 

Parker Schnabel essentially grew up on Gold Rush

Parker Schnabel is arguably the heart of "Gold Rush." He first appears in the show's first season as a teenager just getting his footing in the lucrative business. Throughout his more than 230 episode appearances in the show (the most of any current or former cast member), he goes from a naive kid to the boss of Big Nugget Mine (via IMDb). His legendary grandfather John Schnabel hands him the mine in Season 2, and he's been commanding major finds ever since (and racking up quite a profit). 

It's hard to imagine the "Gold Rush" story without Parker. He can be hotheaded, as fans have seen more than once, but it comes down to his undeniable drive to succeed. His "Gold Rush" fame even helped create one of the many spinoffs titled "Gold Rush: Parker's Trail," which aired for four seasons between 2017 and 2020 (via IMDb). The series could come back for another season, as it has not been canceled or renewed yet by Discovery.

Chris Doumitt accidentally became a 12-season star

Aside from Parker Schnabel, Tony Beets, and Rick Ness, Chris Doumitt is the fourth "Gold Rush" star to appear in the most episodes at 171 as of right now (via IMDb). The cigar-loving miner, who accidentally got into the business, has been in the show since Season 1, appearing in each one following. 

Doumitt is no stranger to hard labor, working on a farm and as a carpenter throughout his life. Doumitt fell into mining when Todd Hoffman hired him to embark on a 10-day trip to Alaska to build a cabin. However, the short trip turned into a five-month stint, with Doumitt learning the ropes of gold mining. 

From the beginning, Doutmitt is one of the most colorful characters in "Gold Rush." He spends the first two seasons working for the Hoffman crew, then joining Big Nugget Mine. These days, when he's not unearthing a $600,000 haul from a faulty pump, he's pursuing his cigar business or perfecting his "hooch" recipe. 

Fred Dodge has appeared in nearly 100 episodes since Season 1

Out of the three "Gold Rush" stars to appear in all 12 seasons of the show, Fred Dodge has racked up the fewest episodes. According to IMDb, the guest star is only in 98 episodes, but the appearances are scattered across all of the seasons. The main reason Dodge's appearances are infrequent is that he's the guy the miners call when they run into major problems. He's most often seen with the Hoffman crew, helping the likes of Rick Ness or Fred Lewis in their most dire moments. 

Dodge has been mining since he was a kid, which he previously described as a hobby in an interview with Discovery. "Started with a gold pan," he recalled. "I was lucky enough to turn a hobby into a career." In the same interview, he explained that he was "part of the 'Gold Rush' family before it was even a show," as showrunners first approached him about assisting them on an initial mining trip to Alaska. 

Aside from appearing in "Gold Rush," Dodge also appears in his own spinoff, which is basically the mining version of "Bar Rescue." In the 2021 special, "Freddy Dodge's Mine Rescue," Dodge travels around the U.S. to help underperforming mines become successful, which is an entirely new approach to the business.