There is a lot of gold in Arizona and this makes it one of the best states for gold prospecting. This state has a lot of open land where it's legal to hunt for gold. It's also legal to gold pan in the national forests.
The best places to look for gold are near rivers, but sometimes it's not as easy as taking a gold pan and wading in the river. In Arizona the rivers can run completely dry for parts of the year. If that's the case then you'll need to use more advanced gold hunting equipment. In this article we go over which equipment to use and the best places in Arizona to find gold.
Metal detectors are effective tools but cost can be an issue. You would need to buy a specialty gold metal detector, otherwise you wouldn't be able to pick up much. The quality gold-specific metal detectors can be expensive.
A drywasher is another good option that prospectors have been using for centuries. It's essentially a machine that uses gravity to trap gold. You just put the dirt in the top of the machine, and then it filters out the lighter material and keeps the gold. To generate power you can either use a hand-crank or you can attach it to a power source like a generator or battery. Drywashers retail for around $300-600, so in some cases it's best to build one on your own.
There are several good places to find gold, especially near rivers. Sometimes the river itself is not the best place to look- the creeks and washes around the river can have even higher concentrations of gold.
The Lynx Creek placer district is a great place to pan, and historically a lot of gold has been pulled from this area. It has been estimated that around 125,000 ounces have been extracted since the first traces of gold were discovered in 1863.
The north side of the park is where the best panning opportunities are. The waterways connected to Lake Pleasant are where you should look. These bodies of water include: Humberg Creek, Castle Creek, and the Agua Fria River.
Note: It's best to stay inside the park boundaries if you are gold panning here. The legality of gold panning outside the park boundaries is questionable. In some cases you would need a permit to pan on state owned land.
The Hassayampa River is situated in rich gold territory. There were once gold mines all along this river during the late 1800s. For gold prospecting here it's recommended to go the metal detecting or drywashing route.
If you're new to this hobby then a guided gold prospecting adventure could be a great option for you. Essentially you'll learn how to find gold in Arizona's deserts and mountains. It can make for a great educational experience.
A guide will take you to a gold rich area where you will learn different prospecting techniques- panning, sluicing, and drywashing. The exact adventure itinerary will depend on the season. Panning and sluicing are simply not possibly during dry season in the warmer months.
There are several different companies that offer these adventures. The most recommended company is American Gold Prospecting Adventures, and they provide you with two different offerings. There is the four hour class where you learn all the basics. Then there is the eight hour class where you can hone your skills and learn some advanced technique. The prices are relatively affordable and there is a child discount which can make this a good idea for a family outing. Group discounts are also available.
In Arizona there is a legend called Lost Duchman's Gold Mine, which is essentially a lost gold fortune located east of Phoenix. Nobody knows the exact location and even the general area is sometimes disputed. But most people believe it to be located near the Superstition Mountains.
Arizona is rich in gold, but usually it doesn't make for the best panning experience. This state is better for the more dedicated crowd who treat gold prospecting as more than a recreational hobby. That's why it's best to have either a high-end gold metal detector or a drywasher. If you want a better panning experience then it's best to go north to Colorado during one of the warmer months.
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The Desert Gold Diggers is a club devoted to all aspects of small scale mining, including panning, sluicing, drywashing, and metal detecting. In addition to promoting small scale prospecting, the club exchanges ideas and information on the various aspects of prospecting & mining.
Over the years, the Desert Gold Diggers has changed and expanded in many ways. The club has obtained numerous unpatented mining claims where members can dig for gold at their leisure and keep all the gold they find without fear of working on unauthorized ground. Monthly outings scheduled on the claims provide an opportunity for those who are experienced to share their knowledge with novice gold hunters.
Additionally these outings are planned to give members a chance to dig for gold together as well as to socialize and exchange ideas about prospecting, mining, equipment and tools that can be used. Searching for gold can be an exciting and vigorous experience for the whole family.
The Desert Gold Diggers main objective is to enhance this experience for those who wish to take part in Arizonas heritage, network with other prospectors, enjoy the great outdoors, and maybe just find some of that nice Yellow stuff.
Throughout the year, the club sponsors a family picnic, several overnight outings, an annual 1/2 oz. Nugget Raffle, an October steak fry, and a Christmas party to provide its members opportunities to socialize with friends and tonetwork with other local gold hunters. The Desert Gold Diggers carries on a continuing dialog with the National Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to enhance small scale prospecting in southern Arizona as well as to provide a conscientious care taking of the environment.
Monthly meetings are held at 6:00 pm on the first Tuesday of the month at Donna R. Liggins Community Center, 2160 6th Avenue, Tucson AZ 85705 unless otherwise designated by previous announcement. Generally, the meeting consists of a guest speaker on topics about gold prospecting and mining, as well as related topics on the region, local history and environment, followed by a business section. Nugget raffles are held at the close of the meeting.
Now that you have taken time to read about our club we welcome you to visit us at our next meeting. Again, our meetings are held on the first Tuesday of the month, at 6:00 pm, at Donna R. Liggins Community Center, 2160 6th Avenue, Tucson AZ 85705. Families are always welcome!Get in Touch with Mechanic