Gold Panning In Oregon
Beautiful Oregon Fine Gold
Gold panning in Oregon - what a trip!
I have been gold panning in Oregon for at least 30 years. I have found plenty of gold flakes and specks, in many different streams, and it is still a thrill.
So it's stream gold I am after. Rain and gravity brings gold out of hillsides into rivers and creeks, and that is where I prefer to prospect. If the stream has any gold in it at all, it is actually pretty easy to find.
Because gold is just about the densest stuff in a watercourse, it tends to settle in certain places, based on the windings of the stream and the kind of obstacles the stream presents to the passage of material during flood times.
So what you look for are the areas where eddies can form. As water slows in places like that, the heavier stuff settles out, along with plenty of other stuff as well. But gold, being so heavy will tend to settle first (at least the bigger pieces). Your job is to dig down to the gold.
What specific locations are we searching for? Behind big boulders, on exposed or shallow bedrock with cracks or depressions, in grass roots along the edge. These can be very productive places. Sometimes, clumps of grass can be quite rich. I have found hundreds of flakes and colors at times in a single clump. During times of high water flow, the blades of grass waving in the current can filter gold particles and carry them down deep into the clump, where they stay until you find them.
I also like to work the gravel over shallow bedrock. Sometimes I can get gold all the way from the surface down to the bedrock itself. When I get into a hot spot, where each pan has many golden particles and specks (flour gold), I just work faster and faster, almost until I wear myself out. I get as excited as a kid with a new toy!
When you come across cracks, it pays to dig them out very carefully. Gold will slide along in the water and drop into cracks and depressions. These can be a bonanza if you have the patience to work them. There are gold digging tools that can be used to clean cracks, and even suction tools to slurp up the sand and gold. It's good to have a variety of tools on hand in your bucket.
When panning for gold, you are not going to process much gold bearing sand and gravel with a pan alone. The pan is for sampling to find a hot spot, and it is necessary for dealing with concentrates at the end of the day. To move much larger quantities of gravel, you need a rocker box or a sluice box. You can buy them or make your own. I have done both.
Gold Panning Tricks
Gold Panning Supplies
Where to find gold in Oregon
i feel fortunate that I live in a state so well populated with gold. I live in WESTERN OREGON, within easy driving distance of several minor and major gold areas. Even the river flowing through the city I live in contains gold. I can walk down the bank in some places and get gold specks in my pan very quickly. Of course, you are not going to retire on gold specks alone, but it's nice knowing the stuff is so close by.
But within an hour or two, I can be on some streams where the gold is abundant. Years ago, when I was scoutmaster of my sons' Boy Scout troop, I would take the boys out for a day of horsing around on a gold bearing creek. I taught them how to pan for gold, and some took to it quickly, and others found it just too much work. But eventually, we'd all be in the river diving and splashing and having a grand time cooling off. Everybody had fun, gold or no gold.
The BEST PLACES to do gold panning in Oregon are the SOUTHWESTERN and NORTHEASTERN quarters of the state. But even the BEACHES have varying amounts of very fine gold. I tested the black sand deposits left behind after a spring storm, on a beach about an hour from my house, and I was getting hundreds of specks per pan. Now, they may not add up to much value, being so fine, but again, it is just nice knowing it is there. Some of the beaches farther south were in fact worked commercially many years ago.
Even the marine deposits off the shoreline are laced with gold, according to research vessels some years ago.
There are lots of resources available to anyone who wants to try his or her hand at panning for gold. The Internet is loaded with info, and there are books that target individual states. Here is a place where you can get these great books and also basic gold prospecting supplies (link below)
books on how and where to find gold (USA), and basic gold panning supplies
- Gold Panning Supplies
Get your gold panning books and supplies and be ready for your summer stream side fun.
Finding Nuggets With Gold Metal Detectors
You might like to opt for another, less strenuous way to find gold. Special metal detectors are designed to find gold nuggets in the ground. Some are so sensitive that you may be able to find even little tiny nuggets inches down in the dirt or gravel.
These specialized metal detectors are a bit more expensive than coin shooter type detectors, but used in the right places, they can pay for themselves pretty fast. Take a look at the link below to read more about this and see some recommended mid-level gold detectors.
Learn Metal Detecting For Gold
- Metal Detectors For Gold
Using metal detectors for gold is an awesome way to find those gold nuggets with minimum effort. Here are some great medium priced models that are available.
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