Where to look:
Stream placers have been very productive and the greatest concentrations of gold are found close to or in crevices in the bedrock. It is advisable, therefore, to work the bedrock of creeks or gullies in gold-bearing regions. To search for gold in a dry creek, find a place in the watercourses where the bedrock is exposed or nearly exposed. Gold lodges under large rocks and in cracks in the solid formation. Find a fracture in the bedrock and pry it open with a pick or bar. Your pan filled with water should be handy. Lift out the rocks as they are broken, and wash them in the pan, scraping off any sand and clay
Before you start panning for gold there are some basic rules you need to follow. Private lands are not available for prospecting or claiming. If you wish to mine on private lands, you must get permission for the land owner. The land you find may also already be claimed by another miner. To determine if another previous claim exists you should search the area looking for a copy of a location notice. You can also get information by asking local residences or possibly by researching County mining records.
Federal land, both those managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service, are generally open for prospecting and mining claims. There are some parcels that have been withdrawn from action of the mining laws for a variety of reasons. These withdrawn lands include campgrounds, administrative sites, the national recreation area and planned land exchanges. Information on withdrawn lands is available at various district headquarters.
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