Exclusive: Parker Schnabel Weighs in on Todd Hoffman's 'Gold Rush' Retirement

Gold Rush is losing a major player, with larger-than-life miner Todd Hoffman announcing his retirement at the end of this season after eight years appearing on TV.

On Gold Rush Live after the season finale, Hoffman said: "My father Jack, and my son Hunter and team Hoffman are … we're not going to be back on Gold Rush — maybe never again."

When the Discovery reality TV show premiered in 2010, the hook was that Hoffman, his father Jack Hoffman, and his crew of Oregon miners were chasing the dream of prospecting for gold in Alaska after being hit by a tough recession.

The show took off, and Todd quickly became a star for his gumption and grand predictions, even when they didn't quite come true.

Fellow crew lead Parker Schnabel weighed in on the departure of the man who helped bring him onto the show in an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com.

"I've talked to a lot of people who say it's great, I've talked to a lot of people who say it's terrible," he exclusively told PopCulture.com. "I think that it is what it is."

He did admit that the show was losing a legend.

"He was the only operation that was still going from the original season one," he said. "From a mining standpoint, it really doesn't affect me at all. He was mining in Colorado, I'm in the Yukon."

He continued: "We really don't see each other or deal with each other, but from a filming standpoint we've worked together for a long time."

Schnabel who has had a sometimes playful, sometimes contentious relationship with Hoffman, acknowledged he'll miss working with the OG Gold Rush star, "We poke each other, we push each other's buttons," he said. "And it's been a pretty interesting seven years."

Schnabel is also following in the miner's footsteps when it comes to adventure.

The Discovery personality headed to Guyana this winter to search for the legendary site of El Dorado with fan favorite foreman Rick Ness, survival expert Karla Anna and cameraman Sam Brown. Hoffman previously wasn't so successful when he tried this previously on the show.

"It was by far the most challenging two months of my life," he told PopCulture.com. "It's so far out of any realm of comfort for an Alaskan boy, that it was pretty weird."

Part of what took Schnabel so out of his element was the number of insects and snakes constantly surrounding them.

"One time, we were on a boat, and there was a pretty fast current and like a six-foot snake just swimming up the current," he said. "Spiders the size of dinner plates and all that jazz."

Mining in the Yukon certainly isn't a walk in the park, Gold Rush fans know, but mining in Guyana was even harder.

"It's just hard to get a lot done," he told PopCulture.com. "And then when you finally do get some place where you want to work, it's like 120 degrees, 100 percent humidity. You're active for 10 minutes in that heat, and you're cooked."


Gold Rush: Parker's Trail premieres on March 31 at 9 p.m. ET on Discovery.

Photo credit: Discovery