A simple gold pan is effective in detecting and recovering gold from a streambed. Recreational gold panning is a popular hobby in California and is enjoyed by California natives and visitors, alike. If you want to find some gold and have fun doing it, gold panning will suffice and will provide many happy hours of outdoor activity for you and your family. Inexpensive light weight sluice boxes are often used in flowing streams to increase the amount of material being washed for gold.

Metal detecting is done to detect nuggets in streambeds, dry washes and arid areas. Dry washers are also used to recover gold in the arid areas. The great California Gold Rush in was of such importance, and has received so much publicity, that many people are not aware that the California Gold Rush was preceded by gold rushes in the Southeastern States. Nor are they aware that much gold mining was done to the south, in what is now Southern California, long before the discovery at Sutter’s mill that set off the gold rush.

The first documented discovery of gold in the United States was in North Carolina in and gold mining started there in A major gold rush took place in Georgia in and a lesser rush occurred in Alabama in the ‘s.


Most of the gold mining districts in the West were located by pioneers, many of whom were experienced gold miners from Alabama and Georgia.

Gold mining, prospecting and panning locations in California extend from the Mexican border to the Oregon state line and eastward to the Arizona and Nevada state lines. Both Northern and Southern California provide ample prospecting and panning locations where you may find gold. Prior work by geologists of the U. Bureau of Mines, the U. Of special mention is the prior work of William B. Lindgren of the U. Clark, was drawn upon for details of specific gold districts throughout the state and for text regarding the Klamath Mountains region of Northern California.

Lindgren’s work published in the year as regards the ancient Tertiary Rivers is considered a classic. Knowledge of places where gold has been found in the past is useful in searching for more gold.

Gold Country Campground Resort

For more details, please click on each map listed in the left column of this page. For your benefit, you will find there lists of towns near which gold deposits exist and a much expanded description.

You will see gold mines and prospects in the mountains, valleys, dry washes and deserts.