Of course, there are more than only 10 places where you can find and pan for gold around North America. However, if you are just starting out, these are some of the most convenient and easy to reach locations... Stan
Naturally occurring gold can be found in almost all fifty states. This gold may be still embedded in rock, known as "lode gold", or it may have been deposited in a placer (a natural concentration of gold particles in sand or gravel bars) after weathering from the host rock -- or it may be found in plant tissues, or seawater, or even present in minute quantities in beach sand.
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(Gold is found in copious amounts on Alaska beaches and even in Oregon.) If your interest in gold is more than academic, the trick is to find locations with enough gold to make it worthwhile to try to recover some of it.
Location is arguably the single most important factor when it comes to determining the success of your gold panning experience. You can have the most expensive equipment and tools in the world, but unless there's actual gold in the water and land, you simply aren't going to come out with any. Thankfully, the U.S. is filled with hotspots from the east to west coast that are perfect for hopeful panners. As long as you're willing to make the trip, you'll find these locations are well worth the extra time it takes to reach them. Here we'll take a look at some of the top gold panning places in the U.S. and reveal some of the unique features that make them so popular.
Crow Creek Gold Mine Crow Creek Mine is a family owned and operated Historical and Recreational Gold Mine. You will find everyone from your first time miner just hoping for a few flecks, up to actual gold miners who have been working these grounds on a very serious level. Panning & Mining // $20 adult, $10 children (7 & under)
Gold Prospecting Adventures For over 40 years Gold Prospecting Adventures has offered an exciting variety of gold mining adventures. Located three hours east of San Francisco. Gold Prospecting Adventures is a great introduction for anyone, any age, who wants to find gold and learn something new.
It started as a commercial gold mine and opened to the public in 1984. At Gold n Gem Grubbin you can pan for gold and screen for gemstones in a convenient sluices sitting comfortably under shade trees with a view of our 7 acre lake.
The mine's trained staff will teach you the art of gold panning just like the old timers did it!
What you may Find Gold, Gemstones (Rubies, Emeralds, Sapphires, Amethyst, Garnets). There is no admission fee, and have free parking and handicap facilities.
Reed Gold Mine is the site of the first documented gold find in the United States. From this discovery, gold mining spread gradually to nearby counties and eventually into other southern states. Reed Mine is a state historic site that belongs to the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Visitors can tour a museum with extensive displays about North Carolina gold mining. In addition, they can explore several hundred feet of restored mine tunnels. No fee is charged for admission. Gold panning fee is $3 plus tax per pan.
Big Thunder Gold Mine was discovered in 1892 by two German immigrant miners. Today, it contains the most types of rocks, structures and minerals indigenous to the area, and it offers mine tours, a mining museum and gold panning. There is also a full-service eatery and a gift shop. Big Thunder Gold Mine is completely handicap accessible and fun for all ages. Fees: Adults: $10.95, Children 6-12: $7.95, Children younger than 5 no charge
The Alta Ranch is a beautiful place about 4 hours south of Glacier National Park. It is the ultimate place for gold prospecting. Although the town doesn’t officially exist anymore, you can still hunt for gold in the active placer gold mine a few miles upstream of the Alta Ranch.
Alabama Gold Camp is the best place for prospecting on the East Coast. Located in the heart of the Alabama Gold Belt, the camp is great for beginners or experinced prospectors. With more than 10 miles of gold bering creeks there's enough for everyone. For a mere $5 per person, you can get admission with panning and sluicing included. Children 11 and under are free with an adult. Camping is also available, for only $5/day for “primitive” camping or $30/day for RV hookups. You may bring your own equipment, with costs varying from $15-$60, depending on the size of your dredge (6-inch maximum).
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