The Untold Truth About “Gold Rush” Star Parker Schnabel

At 16 years old, Parker Schnabel became an international “Gold Rush” star. Despite his amazing success, Parker has dealt with many challenges in his young life, including a broken heart. This heartbreak came as quite a surprise not only to Parker but also to millions of fans around the world who follow his show. 

Park & Ashley

When Parker first met Ashley, they instantly hit it off. He invited her to the U.S. and they began dating officially – The upbeat blond wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty and she agreed to move to the middle of nowhere to work with Parker in the gold mines. At first it seemed like the two were a match made in heaven until things started to come apart slowly. 

Park & Ashley

What He Does In The Off Season

Although parker recently tackled the Klondike trail in his offseason, that isn’t what he normally does. When he is not at the mine, he tries to relax and de-stress. This what led him all over the world and ultimately what led to one of the greatest things ever. In an interview with Maxim, he said: “Normally I come home and spend a week hunting with my dad in November, and then I usually travel – I’ve been to Australia twice.” It was during one of those trips to Australia that he met his current girlfriend, Ashley.

What He Does In The Off Season

She’s The Perfect Fit For Parker

It seems like Parker may have found his perfect partner in Ashley. He said fondly, “Ashley just rolls with the punches and helps out where she’s needed,” Parker said in an interview with the Discovery Channel. “If we need her to drive trucks she’ll drive trucks. She ended up cleaning gold a lot of the summer or helping do fuel things or whatever we needed her around the place.”

She’s The Perfect Fit For Parker

Living In A Mining Camp Isn’t Easy

The crew lives far from civilization and when you’re stuck in the middle of the wilderness, life can be tough. Parker described life in his camp. “For the main crew, there are ten people sharing one satellite internet dish. And the service is already terrible,” Parker said. “It’s always a fight of who’s using up all the internet.” It is no easy place to live, and Ashley was learning that first hand.

Living In A Mining Camp Isn’t Easy

Honeymoon Phase

Despite this, Ashley was a shining light in season 8 of Gold Rush. She brought levity and positivity to the show and worked wonders to calm Schnabel’s trademark grumpiness. Ashely seemed to have a radiating effect on the crew members, with Parker himself admitting that she always managed to improve his mercurial moods. Ashley, herself, seemed to be loving her time on the show. So, when the breakup finally came, it left audiences completely shocked.

 

Honeymoon Phase

Breaking The Law

Even though the crew and viewers loved Ashley, not everyone was happy about her presence there and wasn’t long before her appearance in the show did lead to some trouble.  According to Gold Rush News, people in the Yukon area began to complain that Ashley had been working illegally. Allegedly, Ashley’s visa to visit the Yukon states she is only there as a tourist. Therefore, by law, she is not allowed to work.

Breaking The Law

Who is Ashley Youle?

Before establishing herself as a famous celebrity on Gold Rush, Ashley Youle was just an ordinary Australian girl. Born in Victoria, Australia, Ashley studied to be a vet nurse. In addition to working professionally as a vet nurse, Ashley is a passionate and talented dancer. She also sings and writes songs. She was just like any other ordinary girl when a millionaire gold miner swept her off her feet.

 

Who is Ashley Youle?

Ashley Knew His College Fund Was Used For Mining

Parker Schnabel had been around gold mines since he was a young boy. His grandfather, John, ran the successful Big Nugget mine. Parker took over for his grandfather when he was only 16-years-old. When it came time to choose college or gold mining, he chose gold mining. All of his savings for college were used to start his mining operation. Ashely knew that mining was a huge part of Parker’s life when they met.

Ashley Knew His College Fund Was Used For Mining

Not In It For The Money

However, if Ashley was only with Parker for his money, she was slowly realizing that was a terrible assumption to make. We found out it is rare for even experts to find large nuggets of gold. Usually, you’re collect small sharps or just a lot of dust mixed up with sand. During a Q & A interview on Facebook live, Schnabel said the largest nugget he ever found was “maybe a quarter ounce? $400-$500.” He added that his grandfather would find 3-4 nuggets when the land was still widely unscathed.

Not In It For The Money

Unsupervised With The Gold

Over the past few years, Parker has become extremely skilled in his trade. He knows how to read the land and understand if it is worth it or not to dig. In the field of mining, this is a very important trait to carry along with you.  Through his gold collection as well as the salary he receives from the reality series, Parker has gained a net worth of $8 million. Parker had to put a lot of trust in his new girlfriend, as she was working unsupervised with valuable metal.

Unsupervised With The Gold

 

Ashley Fixed The Biggest Downside To Digging

Parker loves what he does for a living. However, there is one major downside, he has no social life.  “I don’t take the time to keep in touch with friends from home, it’s just a hell of a busy summer,” said Parker. “So that’s definitely a downside: all the guys I used to hang out with, they’ve moved on.” That’s what was so great about Ashley- she was willing to go and live with him at the mine. However, this is exactly what led to their demise.

Ashley Fixed The Biggest Downside To Digging

“There Is Definitely A Lot Of Built-Up Rage.”

When you are in the middle of nowhere for several months, you start to go a little crazy. Parker said a lot of tension builds up amongst the crew. ‘There is quite a bit of built-up rage and working all those days and weeks without time off. A few weeks ago, I had a party, and some of the guys started body slamming each other, and started throwing potatoes at each other. If I didn’t intervene, it would have turned into complete chaos. There is definitely a lot of built-up rage.”

“There Is Definitely A Lot Of Built-Up Rage.”

Cameramen Drive Ash and Park Apart

Cameras follow each mine and their team for five longs months to create each season of “Gold Rush.” Camera crews made things especially challenging for the young couple. It’s stressful enough to live and work together without a full camera crew trying to spy on your every move. It drove a wedge between Parker and Ashley. Parker was surly and refused to let the cameramen see them kiss.

Cameramen Drive Ash and Park Apart

Refusing To Kiss

He simply refused to let the cameramen too close where they could see into his and Ashley’s private life. It got to the point there was a wager with the film crew that whoever caught the two kissing on camera would win a fine bottle of whisky.  Although sweet Ashley tried to help them out and steal a kill from Parker in front of the cameras, this just made Parker even angrier. Parker was (and continues to be) the most difficult to work with for the camera crew. One crew member said out of all the miners, “he has the least regard for the camera crew.”

Refusing To Kiss

His Grandfather’s Last Words About Ashley?

Parker’s bad mood didn’t only affect his relationship with Ashley, but his relationship with his digging crew. The stress led him to make some poor judgments, such as betting his arch-rival, Todd Hoffman, 100 ounces of gold that he would have a more successful summer. To add even more pressure, Parker told his crew that his goal for the season is 5,000 ounces. Ashley was not happy. If that wasn’t enough, his beloved grandfather was on his deathbed, and his parting words were actually about his relationship with her.

His Grandfather’s Last Words To Him

Trusting Wise Words

Parker was once asked about the best highlight of his career during an interview on Facebook live. His answer was very sentimental. Parker said the biggest highlight of his career has been learning from his grandpa John. No amount of money in the world that could buy out those beautiful memories. It goes without saying that Parker took John’s words to heart about himself and Ashley.

Best Highlight Of His Career

He Knew

Grandpa John’s parting life advice was, “Parker, I wish you the best of everything, I don’t particularly wish billions of dollars…but I do want you to have a wonderful feeling for someone who becomes a part of your life. That’s all that’s important. Good Luck.” Did his grandfather know the two were about to break up?

He Knew

Trusting Ashley

If you watch the show, you know Parker, stores all the gold they find in jars until the end of the mining season. Personally, we feel this doesn’t seem like the safest way to store something so valuable. Parker was asked about security involving his loot. He said security doesn’t worry him and has a “big safe and a big shotgun.” Ashley was one of the only people that Parker trusted to be alone with the gold.

How Does He Keep The Gold Safe?

Piles Of Money

Last season Parker’s right-hand man Gene left Parker’s operation and left Parker with even less attention and energy to give to Ashley. He fell into a rut, but he soon appointed a new partnership  Rick Ness. “it’s the best decision I’ve ever made,” said parker. “The thing about Gene leaving is that it gave us kind of our imagination back — to be able to try new things and change things up.” At this point, Parker is all business, all the time. He said, “It’s combining a lot of different ideas that people have to move dirt and sluice different ground. Once we got that established, we saved and made a pile of money.”

Piles Of Money

Entitled Attitude

One thing Ashley knew about Parker from the start is that he is different than most young adult men. Even though he is only in his early 20’s he runs his own gold mine worth millions. His father runs a construction business in Alaska, and when the company is done with old equipment, it gets passed onto Parker. Parker’s whole life revolves around finding more gold, to the point that he was barely spending time with Ashley even though she lived and worked with him.

Entitled Attitude

Rookie Of The Year

It was just too much for young Parker to handle, a million-dollar business takes laser focus and hard work. He started to lose sight of how much he needed Ashley. He began running his own mine when he was only in his teen years, and many expected the young miner not to succeed. However, by sacrificing his friends and family, he proved them wrong. In his rookie season, he mined 1029 ounces of gold.

Rookie Of The Year

“My Youth Is An Advantage And A Disadvantage.”

“The nice thing about being young is that I’m willing to try new technologies and take on a lot of challenges that I think a lot of the other guys wouldn’t. At the same time, without the experience that the older guys have, I’m at a disadvantage and last year that was a huge issue.” He needs experience being a boss, and also experience in work-life balance. He was about to learn the hard way.

“My Youth Is An Advantage And A Disadvantage.”

Hates The Film Crew

Parker has made it clear to the crew that the last thing he wants to do in his free time is to sit down and do interviews or more filming. The more they bothered him in his free time asking him questions about Ashley, the more agitated he became. He is a very private and quiet person by nature, so he was on the brink of a meltdown from the badgering.

Hates The Film Crew

The Cameras Add More Pressure

After having the cameras around for so many years, Parker should be used to them. However, he said they only add more pressure. In an interview with Discovery, Parker said, “The cameras bring a big focus on, you know, how many ounces are you getting every week, so you know, it’s a lot of pressure. Sometimes I just need a moment to myself and I can’t have that ever.”

 

The Cameras Add More Pressure

Break-up

So why did Ashley and Parker end their relationship? The announcement was made towards the end of season 8, and fans and viewers across the world were devastated by the news. They had grown attached to Ashley’s likable character and presence on the gritty show. Well, Parker was the first person to claim responsibility for the breakup. Parker, by his own admission, failed to prioritize Ashley. His obsession with the gold took first place, and the constant presence of the camera crew eventually put a wedge between them they could not fix.

Break-up

Post Break Up

After the breakup, Parker does follow Ashley on Instagram, but the smily Aussie girl does not follow Parker back. Even though Parker still followers her, he did take down photos two of them together on his site. It appears Ashley ha nearly cut all ties with Parker, as she deleted all his photos. Almost nothing of the relationship remains. But she did keep some of her photos from from the digging on Instagram, many of which Parker took of her. Perhaps these star-crossed lovers will cross paths again.

Post Break Up

Lessons Learned Through Mining

Every season, Parker tries to learn something. However, there is one lesson he feels he has learned well from running a mining business. “I think I am starting to deal with people a lot better, learn from our mistakes and learn from our successes and try to grow from that…One thing I still struggle with is putting people before the money, but, that’s something you learn with experience.”

Lessons Learned Through Mining

A Tribute To His Grandfather

After he lost both Ashley and his grandfather passed away, He passed he decided he wanted to do something for a change of scenery and to honor his grandfather’s legacy, and “Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail” was born. Parker led a group of friends along the Klondike Gold Rush trail. The trail took the lives of thousands of pioneers in search of gold in the late 19th century. Of course, Parker and his team ran into many bumps along the way.

A Tribute To His Grandfather

Why He Chose Rick For “Parker’s Trail”

Parker was allowed to build a team of whoever he wanted for the filming of “Parker’s Trail.” Therefore, he chose friends Rick Ness, Karla Ann, and James Levelle. It took some convincing to get Rick to agree to the trip as he was very out of shape. This is part of the reason why Parker asked him to join. “He was really not built for that kind of thing, you know? So I was really interested to see,  first of all, if he would do it…and then what kind of attitude he would have about it and if he would stick with it,” Parker said.

Why He Chose Rick For “Parker’s Trail”

Lost A Friend On The Trail

Parker needed a cameraman to join him on his trip. His decision was quick and easy in picking James Levelle. However, Parker would come to later regret that decision. Turns out that sometimes chemistry just doesn’t click and problems arise. “James and I got into it quite a bit,” admits Schnabel to People. “I just don’t really like the guy. I thought I did before this all really started. I haven’t spoken to him almost since it ended.” We doubt they’ll be sitting to dinner anytime soon.

Lost A Friend On The Trail

The Hardest Thing About Filming “Parker’s Trail”

Parker hiked a trail that took the lives of thousands of men due to its extreme landscapes and harsh elements. However, it wasn’t the weather or lack of food that Parker found the hardest to deal with. The hardest part for him was being around the same people for 18 hours a day. “We were stuck in there together, especially in the water… it was challenging,” Schnabel told People. “It’s easy to forget about some hunger or the cold because I didn’t lose any toes or fingers, but the one [obstacle] that sticks out is the psychological warfare.”

The Hardest Thing About Filming “Parker’s Trail”

Why he Asked Karla Ann To Join On The Trail

Like Rick Ness, Karla Ann was handpicked by Parker to participate in “Parker’s Trail.” However, she was a necessity. Karla Ann is a wilderness expert and trained in first-aid. She would make a promising and much-needed addition to their crew. “She spends tons of time out in the woods, hunting and fishing and all that kind of stuff,” Parker told Monsters & Critics. “So it was kind of a no-brainer in that we needed somebody who knew what they were doing. Cause Rick and James and I certainly didn’t.”

Why he Asked Karla Ann To Join On The Trail

Possibility Of More Spin-Offs?

Parker loved doing “Parker’s Trail.” Therefore, he would not be opposed to doing more spin-offs like it. In an interview with Monsters & Critics, Parker said, “I would love to do more of this kind of stuff. I like being out in the woods, and I like the challenges of these kinds of expeditions, so yeah, I would be open to doing something else.” If Rick and Karla were up to the challenge again, he would also love to have them on board.

Possibility Of More Spin-Offs?

Parker Injured In Guyana

Parker’s career might be changed forever. While filming for an upcoming episode of Gold Rush, Parker was given permission to use a high-pressure hose. The cast was a bit uneasy and showed him how to hold the hose. They also warned him about the high pressure and the consequences it could have on everyone. While he seemed in control for a minute, the hose soon got the better of him and went out of control and injured him. It was a bad experience for the young star.

Parker Injured In Guyana

Mother Encouraged Him Not To Be A Miner

Parker had watched his grandfather run the mines since he was a young boy and by his mid-teen years, he had decided that is what he also wanted to do with his life. There was nobody he wanted to be like more than his grandfather. However, in an interview with Monsters & Critics, Parker said, “My mom has always pushed us NOT to go to work in the family business because there’s a whole world out there to see.” However, she still supports him in all of his decisions.

Mother Encouraged Him Not To Be A Miner

His Favorite Music Is Surprising

Parker is certainly an interesting individual. Many young people are quite interested in the young man’s taste in music and other things. Although Parker is only 23-years-old, he has a very sophisticated taste in music. He probably got the taste from his grandfather. Parker says his favorite singer and songwriter is Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson is in a close second. However, he has recently been getting into rap music, so he also enjoys D.R.A.M. Seems like he’s really starting to liven up a bit.

His Favorite Music Is Surprising

Advice To Aspiring Miners

Although he is still in his early 20s, Parker is considered an expert when it comes to mining gold and he has plenty to show for it.  Therefore, if you are an inspiring gold miner here is some advice direct from an expert: “my advice is that you need to start small,” Parker told Maxim. “Start off with a gold pan and a tiny sluice box. Don’t go huge where you’re hurting for money and your wife gets mad.” This is very solid advice. One music always start from the bottom and slowly work their way all the way to the top.

Advice To Aspiring Miners

The Toughest Thing About Mining

Gold mining is not the easiest trade, and it comes with its risks. However, one of the toughest things about it, Parker believes is the time constraints, yet without any constraints might as well be playing with fire. In an interview with Fox Parker explained everything. Parker said “The toughest thing is that it’s very seasonal work and we basically have four months to make a year’s worth of money… Not only is it difficult but it is also dangerous because everybody is working long hours, long days … from a safety standpoint, that’s risky.”

The Toughest Thing About Mining

He Was In Debt When He First Started

Although his first operation was handed down to him from his grandfather, Parker still incurred a lot of costs. He wanted to revamp the location with new equipment. It was the best he could do with all the money he was saving from his grandfather’s success. Therefore, by the end of his first season, Parker was already in debt. “We have a lot of costs,” Parker said in an interview with Fox News, in 2015. I have probably a lot more debt than the normal 20-year-old.” It was something he earned back quite easily.

He Was In Debt When He First Started

Mined More Than $13 Million In Gold

Since his later teenage years (As of February 2018 he is 23-years-old), Parker has mined a lot of gold. Maxim reported that since he took over his first operation, he has mined over $13 million in gold. That’s enough to live three lives worry-free. “He consistently out-earns his rivals on the reality program using wisdom and determination that outpaces his age.” Maxim wrote. It looks like he is taking the world of mining by storm and so far nobody will be able to hold him back.

Mined More Than $13 Million In Gold

“I Think I’m Going To Be A Grandfather”

Yes, you read that right. Parker Schnabel is going to be a grandfather…sort of. During an interview on Facebook live, Parker said “I do have a big announcement to make!” He then went onto continue. Our ears were perked and we were listening. He said, “Possibly, I’m not sure, but Dozer’s been running the streets of Haines, and it looks like we’re going to have some new Schnabel babies coming up. So I think I’m going to be a grandfather, which I’m stoked about.” Who wouldn’t be stoked?

“I Think I’m Going To Be A Grandfather”

Richard Madden Loves Him

Richard Madden is best known for his role as Robb Stark on “Game of Thrones.” In his downtime, Madden loves to watch “Gold Rush.” In an interview with The Dirt, Madden said: “I think I see you [Parker], more than my own family.” When asked if Parker was his favorite Madden replied: “Absolutely… because he’s the young guy going out and doing it by himself, and that’s what I can relate most to.”

Richard Madden Loves Him

Favorite Thing About Mining

Besides running the business and finding the gold, Parker says his favorite part about mining is just being in the Yukon. “I love being in the Yukon, I love it up here,” he told Discovery. It’s beautiful, it’s [part of] some of the most beautiful country in the world.” Parker truly appreciates the beauty of the nature around him.

Favorite Thing About Mining

If He Could Prospect Anywhere In The World…

As much Parker loves mining in the Yukon, he has his eyes on some other places in the world, in particular, South America. “[South American has] Some of the last untouched areas of minable ground that are left,” he said in an interview with Discovery. “Like everything in the Yukon that has gold in it has had a road built to it and has been mined, you know, for years and years and years. It’s on the bucket list, and I definitely want to try and make that happen.”

If He Could Prospect Anywhere In The World…

He Is So Different Than Todd & Tony

Part of the reason “Gold Rush” is so successful is that all three of the bosses are completely different. Therefore, viewers don’t see the same process in three ways. But, rather each mining camp offers a different perspective on the industry. “Well, all three of us are very big personalities, and all three of us have — are completely opposite in the sense of how we conduct ourselves and how we run a business and how we prioritize things. And it’s pretty interesting,” Parker told Monsters & Critics.

He Is So Different Than Todd & Tony

Often Told He Has A Doppelgänger

Everyone in the world has a doppelgänger. However, many times, people do not find that person. But, Parker has had no trouble finding his as people often tell him he has one. His doppelgänger is actor, Adam Driver, but more specifically, his character Kylo Ren from the Star Wars movies. There are definitely some similarities.

Often Told He Has A Doppelgänger

Winning Is Very Important

Although Parker tries not to worry about the other camps, he always has in the back of his mind that he would like to dig out the most gold. “I come from a pretty competitive family. It was bred into me at a young age. Sports were a big thing in my hometown. Being a winner was important to us,” Parker told Fansided. The first thing he remembers winning was the Derby races in Cub Scouts, and ever since, he has been hooked on winning.

Winning Is Very Important

Would He Leave Mining For A Different Job?

Parker has poured his heart and soul into gold mining since he was a child. Therefore, it is hard for him to picture himself doing anything else.”Right now I’m enjoying what I’m doing with people I enjoy spending time with, and I enjoy the challenges. Until that changes, I’ll keep doing this,” he told Scout. However, he did mention to Fansided that he would like to get his helicopter license.

Would He Leave Mining For A Different Job?

Salary Per Episode

Parker makes most of his money from the gold he finds. However, he does get paid to appear on the show as well. It has been reported that Parker makes approximately $25 thousand per episode. Todd Hoffman also makes the same. As for the mining crew, their payment depends on how much time they appear in the series. Therefore, many say miners act out to receive more airtime.

Salary Per Episode

Why Does Todd Dislike Him?

Although it seemed like they may have been able to form a friendly relationship at the beginning of the series, Todd and Parker’s relationship turned sour quickly. But why is there such a dislike? Parker was asked, by Channel Guide magazine, if he has ever spoken to Hoffman about the hatred. His response: “I didn’t ask him, but it seems like a pretty extreme stance on his part, but that’s fine — to each his own, right?”

Why Does Todd Dislike Him?

Parker’s True Feelings On Todd

Parker does not like Todd and in a recent interview with Discovery, he expressed just that. “I used to let Todd get to me,” Parker said. “You know, the typical preaching to me about how there’s more to all of this than all the gold, and us not having enough heart to find the gold… The one thing I saw from Todd early on is that I never want to run the colt-style management like he does.”

Parker’s True Feelings On Todd