WELCOME TO THE NEW 2013
GOLD LOCATIONS IN CALIFORNIA
The great "Gold Rush of 1849" caused California to be named
"The Golden State". Even today, gold mining continues on a large scale. Gold
ranks 3rd in California's mineral production. The state has produced over 150 million
ounces of gold with most of that being produced in "The Mother Lode" placer
THE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH WAS THE SECOND USA GOLD RUSH FIRST ONE WAS OUT IN THE EAST GOLD BELT.
AMADOR COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Amador County was the most productive of "The Mother Lode" counties. This county produced approximately 6,500,000 ounces of placer gold and 7,700,000 ounces of lode gold. Mining continues today. The richest area in this county is about 1 mile wide across the west central part of the county from the south to the north. The Old Eureka Mine had the deepest shaft in America at 1,3500 feet deep and it was the largest producer in the mother lode in the early days. The Kennedy, Argonaut and Keystone Mines were also large gold mines in the same area.
BIG INDIAN CREEK
Sizable dredging and drift operations between 1850 - 1950 produced about 100,000 ounces of placer gold near Fiddletown along Indian Gulch which goes into Big Indian Creek. Big Indian Creek is said to contain placer gold in large quantities. Around the Plymouth area is said to be rich.
Close to the town of Plymouth, in the west central part of the county there were many placer operations that produced tens of thousands of ounces of placer gold. The Loafer Hill mine, near Oleta, had several small gravel deposits that produced well.
Near the town of Jackson, you will find the Gwin Mine, it produced lode gold in masses of crystallized arsenopyrite. These are great specimens. Jackson Creek reportedly contains placer gold.
MIDDLE FORK OF THE MOKELUMNE RIVER
Hydraulic operations were located on this river that produced considerable placer gold.
NORTH FORK OF THE MOKELUMNE RIVER
Hydraulic operations were located on this river that produced considerable placer gold. Near Volcano in the west central part of the county around Jackson Gulch and Ranchero Gulch there were some very rich placer deposits.
SOUTH FORK OF THE MOKELUMNE RIVER
Hydraulic operations were located on this river that produced considerable
BUTTE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Total production from Butte County, 1880-1959, is reported as approximately 3,200,000 ounces of placer gold and 104,000 ounces of lode gold. The Surcease Mine located at township 21N range 4E was a large producer of lode gold.
The town of Magalia located in north central part of county, production from 1932 - 1959 was 15,976 ounces of placer gold.
LITTLE BUTTE CREEK
The Magalia Tertiary gravel deposits produce placer gold. The Perschbaker Mine, major producer prior until 1910 was a major lode gold producer.
Cherokee City, area stream gravels, contain placer gold. On Cherokee Flat,
alluvial gravel deposits contain placer gold. Oroville district, in south part of county,
along the Feather River, had a total production between 1903-59, of 1,964,130 ounces. The
area gravel deposits contain rich placer gold deposit. At Thompson's Flat there were large
placer gold operations. Yankee Hill district, located at township 21N range 4E and 5E, in
central part of county had a total production of 5,154 ounces of placer gold and 34,427
ounces of lode gold, all along the Feather River there are many placer operations and area
lode gold mines.
CALAVERAS COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
After placer gold was discovered in 1849, rich lode veins were opened in 1850 above the placer workings. Placer gold production is estimated at 2,415,000 ounces and lode gold at 2,045,700 ounces
The Calaveras River channel and all tributaries contain rich placers. In the Table Mountain area placers were also very rich. Located at township 3N and Range 10E, along the Calaveras River, you will find the Jenny Lind district which had large scale dredge and dragline operations, with and estimated production of over 1,000,000 ounces of placer gold.
Camanche district, in NW part of county, had a total production estimated at 1,000,000 ounces, along the Mokelumne River there were huge, bucket type dredge operations with rich placer gold. Campo Seco district, located at township 4N and 5N and range 10E, in northwest part of county had a total production around 70,000 ounces. All the area tributary stream gravels contain rich placers. You will also find the Pern Mine, it was primarily a copper mine with a rich by product of gold. Mokelumne Hill district located at township 5N range 11E. South of the Mokelumne Hill 2 miles you will find the Eclipse, Infernal, and other mines that were large producers of lode gold.
Angeles Camp had many area mines. The Keystone, Lancha Plana, and Union
mines were gold mines with a by product of copper. The Utica and Gold Cliff mines were
major producers of lode gold. Melones districts contained over 800 lode mines. Carson Hill
was the most productive area and contained many mines with rich lode gold deposits. The
Sheep Ranch Mine was a huge producer of lode gold. The Royal Mine was also a large
producer of lode gold, with over 10,000 ounces of production.
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Gold is reported on Mount Diablo, in Mitchell Canyon. There was an old
prospect on Walnut Creek in a ravine tributary. Gold was reported with bornite and
DEL NORTE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Between 1880 and 1990 Del Norte County has produced approximately 50,000 placer gold ounces and about 1,000 ounces from lode deposits.
Diamond Creek area had several lode mines with placer possibilities. The Keystone mine was a lode mine in the Rockland district.
Monkey Creek is said to contain placer gold.
Shelly Creek contains placer gold associated with area quartz mines.
The Smith River is definitly the place to look in this county. The Smith
River produced about 45,000 ounces from placer operations dating back to the 1880's. Most
of the tributaries contain gold as well.
EL DORADO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
James Marshall discovered gold at Coloma in 1848 on the South Fork of the American River 8 mile northwest of Placerville to initiate the great gold rush of 1849-50. From 1880 through 1959 the county produced 1,267,700 ounces of gold, earlier production not being recorded, but probably very large.
Along the American River and its tributaries, very many placer operations were conducted. In the Georgia Slade district, located at township 12N and range 10E, in northwest part of county there were many area quartz mines, that produced rich lode gold. In the area weathered gravel deposits, extensive hydraulic operations produce rich placer gold. Throughout the Mother Lode, East Belt, and West Belt districts in an area about 10-20 mi. wide extending north to south in the western part of the county. The total production is around 1,000,000 ounces. The Union and the Church mines were major lode gold producers. The Big Canyon, Mt. Pleasant, Pyramid, Sliger, Taylor, and Zantgraf mines, were all major producers of lode gold. Around the town of Fairplay had many area lode mines and placer operations. At the Indian diggings, placer grounds, and lode mines. Around the town of Georgetown in the North part of the county there were also many rich area placers. Around the town of Nashville there were also many area lode mines, opened in 1851 for rich lode gold. Also around Nashville there were rich area placer mines that were reactivated in the 1930s, when large, floating dragline dredges were introduced.
Near the town of Placerville there are many old placer mines that exist in all regional stream. If you go northeast 5.6 miles, along the American River there are some very rich placers. The gravel deposits in Cedar Ravine, Forest Hill, Smith's Flat, Webber Hill, and White Rock Canyon all had very rich placer gold history. If you go south 18 mile in township 9N and range 13E, you will find the Grizzly Flat Placers which were very rich. In the west central part of township 10N range 11E there were also some very rich mines that produced lode gold.
This is a very rich river. It contains good gold on most bars and benches.
FRESNO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
SAN JOAQUIN RIVER
Placer gravels along the San Joaquin River produced 121,000 ounces between 1880 and 1959, when it was part of Madera County. All sand and gravel operations along the San Joaquin River between Friant and Herndon had rich placer gold operations. At the Friant Dam the gravel excavated for use in building the dam produced $196,977 in placer gold between 1940-42.
HUMBOLDT COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Gold is the principal mineral resource of Humboldt County, primarily from placers along the Klamath and Trinity rivers. The total production through 1959 was 131,300 ounces. There are six lode gold mines shown on U. S. Forest Service quadrangles.
It has long been known that this river contains placer gold almost
everywhere in its length. Near the town of Orick the area ocean beach sands north and
south of the mouth of the Klamath River was once worked for placer gold, platinum. Near
the town of Orleans in the Northeast part of the county very many gravel bars and benches
along the Klamath River to SOMES BAR in Siskiyou County along Highway 96 had very rich
gold placer operations.
IMPERIAL COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Gold occurs throughout Imperial County in its arid mountain ranges. Here is where the classic pick, pan, shovel and burro prospector of the nineteenth century crisscrossed the desert between water holes. A minimum estimate of 235,000 ounces of lode and placer gold have come from this county.
Northwest of Yuma, Arizona, in the southeast part of the county you will find Ogilby site of the Cargo Muchacho district, it had many old mines worked since Mexican times with a total production about 193,000 ounces. Gold can be found in all regional arroyo bottoms, benches, terraces. This is dry wash placers with abundant gold. There are many abandoned area lode mines that produced gold. Most of the gold is fine, grain, wire, nuggets, often with copper.
On the Colorado River due north of Yuma, Arizona you will find Picacho Camp in the extreme southeast corner of the county. The Chocolate Mountains area placer and lode claims produce considerable gold. In the southwest you will find the Picacho Mountains that had many gold bearing veins in gneisses and schists overlain by lavas, tufts, and conglomerates. The Paymaster district, minor lode gold production to the South by 5 miles the Picacho Mine, Bluejacket, and others produced some lode gold. A ghost town named Tumco was also a good producer from several area mines.
INYO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Inyo County produced 496,000 ounces of gold between 1880 and 1959, primarily from lode mines scattered throughout the county, with a considerable percentage as byproduct from lead, silver, copper, and tungsten ores. In the Inyo Range, the Russ district opened in 1861) had many area mines that produced lode gold. On the west and east slopes of the Inyo Range in Mazurka and Marble canyons, there were many small scale placer workings.
At Ballarat, in the South Park District, in the southcentral part of county there was a total production of over 100,000 ounces. There are many area old mine dumps that show gold traces. The Ratcliff Mine, was a chief producer of lode gold. Southwest of Ballarat 10~15 miles, in township 23S. range 42E and 43E, in the Argus Range, the Sherman district had a total production, 1939-41, of 14,184 ounces of lode gold. There are also many area lead, silver mines that had a by product of gold. The Arondo Mine was a rich producer of free gold. The Ruth Mine was also a rich producer of free gold, with pyrite.
West of Bishop by 17 miles, the Willshire-Bishop Creek district, on east front of the Sierra Nevada Range and in the Tungsten Hills; had a total production, 75,000-100,000 ounces of by product gold, from lead, silver mines. The Bishop creek Mine and, at head of Bishop Creek and the Willshire Mine were large lode gold producers. The Pine creek Mine was once the largest domestic tungsten mine also had a by product of gold. The Cardinal Gold Mining Company Mine only produced lode gold.
At Death Valley National Monument on slope of the Funeral Range you will find The Chloride Cliff district which had a total production of 60,000 ounces. Also the site of the Keane Wonder Mine which is now in ruins, but once a large lode gold producer.
East of Lone Pine in the Inyo Mountains in north central part of the county, you will find the Union district, that had a total production,1860s-1959, between 10,000 and 50,000 ounces of lode gold. The Reward and Brown Monster mines, were major producers of lode gold. In area canyon and gulch gravels, slopes and drainage channels, placers gold can still be found.
In the southeast corner of the county, you will find Tecopa. If you go east 5-10 miles, you will find the Resting Springs district, that had a total production through 1959 of 15,000 ounces of lode gold from lead, silver ores, from the Shoshone Group of mines.
If you go west in the Panamint Mountains you will find Wild Rose district,
a ranger station is located in Monument, west in the Panamint Range, had a total
production of about 73,000 ounces of lode gold from the Skidoo Mine.
KERN COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
A total of 1,777,000 ounces of gold came from Kern County between 1851 and 1959.
Amalie district, is located between south summit of the Piute Mountains and Caliente Creek in township 30S. range 33E and 34E, it had a total production of 30,000 ounces of lode gold. The Amalie Mine was a major producer; but there were several other area mines that produced lode gold.
If you head southeast by dirt road to Bodfish, the Green Mountain district located between the west slope of the Piute Mountains and edge of Kelsey Valley on east side of mountains, you will find the Bright Star Mine, which had production around, 34,000 ounces of lode gold. 7 miles northwest of Piute, in township 29S and range 33E, you will find the Joe Walker Mine which produced about 100,000 ounces of lode gold.
In Kernville, located in township 25S. range 33E, the Cove district had a total production, 262,800 ounces, primarily from the Big Blue Mine. It produced free gold, associated with arsenopyrite.
West in the Greenhorn Mountains at Lake Isabella along Greenhorn Gulch, extensive placers produced rich gold deposits. Also in area quartz mines there was some lode gold. West in township 26S. range 32E and 33E, the Keyes district had a total production, 39,600 ounces through 1959. There were numerous area Mines that produced lode gold.
In Mohave in township 11N and range 15W, you will find the Pine Tree Mine, which produced 75,000 ounces of lode gold. If you go southwest by 4 mile in township 10N and 11N and range 11W, 12W, and 13W, you will find the Rosamond-Mohave district, that had total production, 278,250 ounces of gold plus silver. West of Rosamond several miles, you will find the Tropico Mine, it was a major producer into 1950s. Many other area mines around adjacent Wheeler Springs produced lode gold. If you go to the northeast 25 miles in the El Paso Mountains, all regional gravels contain placer gold, This is a rich area. There are major mines in the area. The Cudahy Camp, Owens Camp, Burro Schmidt's Tunnel, Colorado Camp, etc. all were rich in lode gold.
If you go to Randsburg, in the heart of the Rand district, which lies along the Kern County, San Bernardino County line, produced nearly all of the 836,300 ounces of gold is from the Kern County half, with silver as a by product. The Yellow Aster Mine was the largest producer, and many other area mines produced lode gold. If you go northwest 9 miles, in Goler Gulch, the placer deposits were worked 1893-94. The GPAA has a claim at Goler Gulch, see the claim information page.
Goler Wash or Gulch
Colors can be found by the dry wash method in Goler Wash located approximately 3 miles north east of Garlock Ghost town. Some of the area is ownwd by a prospect club out of Barstow. They are real friendly and encourage site tours and membership. The down side to this area is that it is open to off highway vehicles and the dirt road traffic gets heavy and noisy at times. There are no toilets or water or organized camping of any kind. The nearest formal camping is at Red Rock Canyon about 15 miles away.
If you go to 16 miles south of Weldon, in township 28S. range 35E, you
will find the St. Johns Mine, which was a rich lode gold producer.
LASSEN COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
The Diamond Mountain district and Hayden Hill district, produced a total of 147,500 ounces of gold in Lassen County, with a considerable amount of unrecorded placer gold produced before 1880.
At Hayden Hill, in northcentral part of county, in township 36N and 37N. range 10E and 11E, produced 116,000 ounces of lode gold, 1870-1910, from several mines. This burned down in 1910. Six miles south of Susanville, in township 29N. range 11E and 12E, the Diamond Mountain district had a total production of 10,000 ounces of placer gold and 22,000 ounces of lode gold. In area stream gravels of Tertiary age you can find placer gold. There are several area gold quartz lode veins in three types of igneous rocks, at the lode mines.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Gold placers were worked in Los Angeles County between 1834 and 1838 by Mexican and Spanish miners, and by 1858 more than 6,000 miners were working placer deposits 35 miles northwest of the Los Angeles city hall. Most of the county's total production of gold through 1959 was 1,109,200 ounces which came from lode deposits, but small yields of placer gold are garnered every year by amateur gold hunters from many places, especially from sand and gravel pits and from the streams of the San Gabriel Mountains above Azusa.
In the north central part of the county, you will find Acton, it is located in the Cedar and Mt. Gleason district, the area had many area mines and prospect pits, notably the Governor Mine, which had a total production of at least 50,000 ounces of lode gold.
If you go north up San Gabriel Canyon, you will find Azusa, which is located in the San Gabriel district which had a total production, 1848-1957, of about 165,000 ounces of gold. In the San Gabriel range gravels, worked 1848-80 for estimated 120,000 ounces of placer gold and still productive of colors and nuggets to weekend panners and dredgers. There were also several area lode mines in area which contained gold quartz veins cutting igneous and metamorphic rocks. In the East Fork of the San Gabriel range, the old site of Eldoradoville which was a gold camp of early 1860s and favorite amateur gold hunting area today, in area watercourse and bench gravels you can find placer gold with some sizable nuggets.
North along the Kern County line and south of Neenach, you will fin Lancaster, which is in the Antelope Valley district. Gold was discovered in 1934 in the Antelope Valley district. It had a total production through 1946 of 9,700 ounces. There are many area claims and prospects, and the River Mining Company Claims are the most productive for placer and lode gold.
In Placerita Canyon State Park near Newhall, it is the area of original productive placer operations, in present gravel deposits you can still find placer gold.
Northeast of San Fernando by 12 miles, in Pacoima Canyon, the headwater and area gravels and slopewash deposits contain placer gold. If you go 12 miles up the canyon from its mouth, you will find the Denver Mining and Milling Property which was a rich lode gold producer.
In Tujunga located in Tujunga Canyon, the area gravel deposits contain
colors and small nuggets.
MADERA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Total gold production of Madera County through 1959 is calculated at 90,000 ounces. Along the Fresno, Chowchilla, and San Joaquin rivers, there were many dredging operations from discovery years until now for its placer gold content. Near the town of Coarsegold there are many area lode gold mines hidden back in oak covered hills. North of Coarsegold by 2 miles there are old mine dumps with gold showings. Northeast of Coarsegold by 5 miles there are area gold quartz mines, and on dumps gold showings. Near Hildreth area extending to Grub Gulch, there are quartz mines that contain lode gold. Near Raymond you will find the Mount Raymond district, The Star Mine produced gold with lead.
Chowchilla River is said to be rich in placer gold.
Fish Creek is located in the North Fork district, and it contains many area lode gold mines and placer operations.
Fresno River is said to contain placer gold.
SAN JOAQUIN RIVER
San Joaquin River is said to contain placer gold.
MARIPOSA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Mariposa County is southernmost of the Mother Lode counties and has had a long and productive gold mining history, with total production of 2,144,500 ounces of gold recovered from 1880-1959, of which 583,500 ounces came from placer operations. Following the closure of mining during World War II, the annual gold production has been about 1,000 ounces. There were very many important lode gold and placer gold producers. The Copper Queen Mine produced copper with a by product of gold. In sections 9 and 10, of township 4S and range 15E, you will find the Fitch Mine which was a rich lode gold producer. West of Bagby in Quaternary gravels along the Merced range, placers produced 50,000 ounces of gold, between 1860-70. In Bear Valley , area mines, especially the Josephine produced lode gold. In Coulterville, which is located more or less central in the Mother Lode and East Belt areas, a northwest trending zone 3-4 miles wide extending from Mormon Bar into Tuolumne County, had a total production, about 1,009,000 ounces of lode gold. The major mines include the Princeton, Pine Tree, Mt. Ophir, Original and Ferguson, Hite, and Mariposa all which produced rich lode gold deposits.
AQUA FRIA CREEK
Aqua Fria and Mariposa Creeks were the first placers discovered before 1849, many rich placer gravels.
In the Hornitos district, more than 500,000 gold ounces were produced along Hornitos Creek, in Quaternary gravels. This offers abundant placer gold for the panner.
In the northwest part of county, you will find the Blanchard district; it is located along the Tuolumne county line, just south of Jawbone Ridge; and on the ridge between Moore and Jordan Creeks. 4-5 miles northwest of Bower Cave. There are many placers in regional Tertiary gravels which produced about 75,000 ounces of gold.
Aqua Fria and Mariposa Creeks were the first placers discovered before 1849, many rich placer gravels. Two and a half miles south of Mariposa, in township 5S. range 18E, you will find the Mormon Bar district that had a total production, 75,000 gold ounces. Near the headwaters of Mariposa creek and its tributaries rich placer gold is to be found. At Mormon Bar, area of extensive dragline operations in the 1930s also rich placer gold is to be found. Southeast of Mariposa by 6 miles, the Silver Bar Mine can be found and it was a rich lode gold producer.
Is said to be rich in placer gold.
In the northwest part of county, you will find the Blanchard district; it
is located along the Tuolumne county line, just south of Jawbone Ridge; and on the ridge
between Moore and Jordan Creeks. 4-5 miles northwest of Bower Cave. There are many placers
in regional Tertiary gravels which produced about 75,000 ounces of gold.
MENDOCINO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
It is reported that gravels along the Navarro River in Anderson Valley contain placer gold and platinum.
MERCED COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
From Merced Falls to Snelling in the alluvial plain between these towns
the gravels were extensively operated 1929-43 by several connected bucket dredges of the
Yosemite Mining and Dredging Company. They had a total production, 1880-1959, of 516,346
ounces of placer gold.
LOOK FOR TAILING PILES FOR METAL DETECTING OF LARGE NUGGETS.
MODOC COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
It is reported that in the northeast part of the county there were several quartz mines in the High Grade District that produced about 14,000 ounces of lode gold.
MONO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Gold mining began in Mono County in 1862, with a total production of 1,176,200 ounces through 1959, with activity continuing today. At the Blind Springs Hill district, you will find the Diana, Comet, Comanche, mines which were mainly copper, silver with a byproduct gold. In the Benton district, there are area lode mines with gold, lead, silver. In the Bodie district and State Monument to the ghost town in township 4N. range 27E, discovered 1860 had a total production through 1959 of 1,456,300 ounces of lode gold. There are many area old mines and dumps with gold showings. On slopes above the town of Bodie, the Standard Mine, was the principal producer. In the Casa Diablo Mountains, at Mammoth Lakes, there are scattered small mines and prospects for lode gold. In the Paterson, in the Sweetwater Range, there are area silver mines that had a by product of lode gold. At Tioga Pass, there are area quartz veins and stringers in granite with gold showings.
At Bridgeport near headwaters of the Walker River, you will find Dog Creek which had very productive placers. North of Mono Lake, the Bodie Diggings had good placer gold. Northeast and east of the East Fork of the Walker river, just north of Masonic Mountain, in township 6N. range 26E, you will find the Masonic district. The area had many small mines, and the Pittsburgh Liberty Mine, was a major producer to district's total production of about 34,000 ounces of lode gold.
At Bridgeport near headwaters of the Walker River, you will find Virginian Creek which had very productive placers. North of Mono Lake, the Bodie Diggings had good placer gold. Northeast and east of the East Fork of the Walker river, just north of Masonic Mountain, in township 6N. range 26E, you will find the Masonic district. The area had many small mines, and the Pittsburgh Liberty Mine, was a major producer to district's total production of about 34,000 ounces of lode gold.
Is said to contain gold.
MONTEREY COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
It is reported that in the Los Burros district that there were small area mines in quartz veins that contain lode gold.
NAPA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Napa County had a total gold production of around 24,000 ounces the came as a by product of silver mining. Near Calistoga, north by 2 miles, you will find the Mt. Saint Helena Mine, the Palisades Mine and the Silverado Mine.
NEVADA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Both placer and lode gold mines of Nevada County, opened in 1850 and continuing active to today, produced a total of over 18 million ounces of gold. Many placer deposits are known to be rich today, but have not been touched because of state laws ending hydraulic mining operations. Many Tertiary gravel deposits that produced at least half the placer gold through 1909 include the San Juan Ridge, North Columbia, Scotts Flat, Quaker Hill, and Red Dog, You Bet mines, all of which became big hydraulic operations with huge untouched reserves that are producing small amounts of placer gold by amateur panning and small scale high banking efforts. At French Corral all area stream gravels produce placer colors and nuggets.
In Grass Valley and Nevada City districts, with very many Mother Lode area camps and mines, total production estimated at 2,200,000 ounces of placer gold and 11,000,000 ounces of lode gold. At Grass Valley, on outskirts of town, the Gold Hill Mine was the first lode mine in the district. At Ophir Hill, Rich Hill, Massachusetts Hill; you will find famous mines the Empire, North Star, Idaho, Maryland ( which had the largest production of any lode gold mine in state) all produced very rich lode gold deposits. At Nevada City; the Blue Tent and Sailor Flat operations were placer gold producers. The Champion, Providence, Canada Hill, Hoge, and Nevada City mines were very rich lode gold mines in this area.
At Meadow Lake which is 35 miles east of Grass Valley, a relatively minor
lode gold district of several mines, worked 1863-1905, with total production of about
10,000 ounces of lode gold.
PLACER COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Although best known for its great placer mines, Placer County also produced substantial amounts of lode gold, with a total of production of over 2 million ounces from 1880-1959. The gold produced from 1849-1880 was not recorded, but probably was very considerable. One and half mile west of Colfax you will find the, the Rising Sun Mine, which was a leading gold mine in the county and had a total production of 200,000 ounces between 1866 and 1932, rich pockets in quartz stringers produced lode gold. East of Colfax by 5 miles you will find the Iowa Hill district, it consisted thick Tertiary gravel deposits worked hydraulically and by drifting. The many area placer operations produced 800,000 ounces of placer gold. The Morning Star Mine produced about 150,000 ounces of lode gold as well. The Dutch Flat - Gold Run district, along north boundary of Placer county due east of Grass Valley (Nevada County), all Tertiary stream channel gravels extending south from Nevada County, produced about 492,000 ounces through 1959 of placer gold from the Tertiary beds. At Forest Hill district, in southcentral part of county, extensive operations produced total of 344,000 gold ounces from area Tertiary channel gravels, worked by drift mining placer gold. East of Forest Hill by 5 miles in south part of the county, you will find the Michigan Bluff district which has a total production, 300,000 gold ounces. The Big Gun Mine, largest hydraulic operation in district produce rich placer gold. The Hidden Treasure Mine, richest drift mine in California was also a rich placer gold producer. There are several area lode gold mines, the Pioneer, Rawhide, etc. that were also rich. At Loomis the area gravel deposits along the American River were dredged during the 1930s for placer gold.
At Penryn go east 1 mile, and you will find the Alabama Mine, it was a rich lode gold mine, with lead and silver.
Near the town of Auburn along the American River, many rich placers existed. The Ophir district was most productive, with 1,500,000 ounces of lode gold produced. At the Green Emigrant Mine, the Crater, Bellevue, Oro Fino, and Three Stars mines, were very rich producers of lode gold.
One of The favorite places to go is the Auburn State Recreation Area. It
is located about 30 minutes east of Sacramento in the Mother Lode. It is easy to find on a
map. It is a public area, therefore, claims cannot be filed so it is open for mining. The
primary gold is placer and I suppose if you get real lucky you may find a vein, however,
this area has been well prospected for 150 years. There is a lot of black sand in this
system and usually plenty of fine gold as well. Up to one pennyweight nuggets are not
uncommon to be found occasionally but, the norm is fine gold, flakes of all sizes and
small nuggets. There are many areas where a person can get one pennyweight in one day with
nothing more than a pan! A friend recently found more than a 7 pennyweight in nuggets in
one afternoon! Just remember that before you set up the equipment, do your testing as
there are also areas that contain little or no gold.
PLUMAS COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Of the approximately 4,582,000 ounces of gold produced in Plumas County, 1855-1959, more than half came from Tertiary gravel placer mines worked on a large scale by hydraulic methods. The Gopher Hill, Nelson Point, Sawpit Flat, and Upper Spanish Creek mines, were all in alluvial gravels for there placer gold content. The Engles and Superior mines, primarily copper with a by product of gold. In the Crescent Mills district, in township 26N. range 9E, there was total production through 1959 of 3,255 ounces of placer gold and 32,069 ounces of lode gold. In area streams, in Quaternary gravels you will find placer gold. At the Green Mountain Mine they produced of 100,000 ounces of lode gold by 1890. In the Johnsville district, in the southcentral part of county, in east l/2 of township 22N. range 11E, they had a total production, 393,000 gold ounces. All regional stream and bench gravels contain placer gold. The Plumas-Eureka Mine, was a major producer of lode gold. At the La Porte district, in southwest part of the county, in township 21N and range 9E, was the hydraulic mining center since 1850s, with total production, 1855-1959, of 2,910,000 gold ounces. At Mumfords Mill the area copper mines had a by product of gold. At Spring Garden go northeast 9 mile and you will find the Walker Mine, primarily copper mine with a by product of gold.
Near Belden, along the North Fork of the Feather River there are rich placer deposits.
At Rich Bar, the area gravels along Indian Creek, a tributary of the Feather River, has very rich placers.
The Ancient Yuba River channel traced northeast of La Porte for 10 miles
500-1,500 ft. wide and 10-130 ft. deep, with placer gold concentrated in lowermost 2 ft.
above bedrock, it was very rich placer.
RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
A total of 108,800 gold ounces, mostly lode gold, came from many
relatively small mines and a few placers scattered throughout Riverside County, 1893-1959.
Southwest of Blythe by 20 miles, you will find The McCoy Mountain district, numerous
copper mines had a by product of gold. North of Desert Center, a large area along the
north boundary of the county, in township 2S and 3S and range 10E and 12E, the Pinon-Dale
district had a total production, produced over 33,000 ounces of lode gold. The Lost Horse
Mine, producer of 1,000 ounces of lode gold and The New Eldorado Mine, produced about 500
ounces of lode gold. At Packards Well go south 2 miles in the Palen Mountains to area
copper mines that had some production of gold. West and Southwest of Perris, in township
4S and 5S and range 4W you will find the Pinanate district. In that district you would
find the Good Hope Mine which was worked prior to 1850 by Mexicans, It produced 1,500
ounces of lode gold.
SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Among the leading gold producing counties, Sacramento County produced over 6 million ounces of placer gold and 5,000 ounces of lode gold between 1880 and 1959.
Along the Cosumnes River, stream and terrace gravels contain placer gold.
The general area is south of the Cosumnes River in sand and gravel pits, and regional
tributary streams and ancient channels all contain placer gold. Near Folsom, the center of
intensive bucketline and dragline operations, had many area placer mining operations, and
drift mines, mostly opened before 1930, district production about 3,000,000 ounces of
placer gold. At Sloughhouse district, along the Cosumnes River in township 7N range 7E,
had a total production of 1,700,000 ounces of placer gold produced by early hydraulic
methods and dredging during the 1930s, many area stream gravel deposits contain placer
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
San Bernardino is the largest county in the United States and has very
many mines scattered throughout its desert and mountain ranges. Although some placer
deposits were worked in the early 1850s, most of the recorded production of 517,000 gold
ounces through 1959 came from lode mines and as a by product of other base metal mines.
South of Ludlow 7 miles, in township 6N and 7N and range 8E, you will find the Stedman
district, the Bagdad Mine, discovered in 1903, 150,000 ounces of lode gold. Southwest of
Needles by 36 miles on U.S. highway 95 to a westward trending road in the Turtle
Mountains, at Carson Wells, you will find the Lost Arch Mine which produced lode gold.
West of Oro Grande by 5 miles, you will find the Silver Mountain district, area silver
mines had a by product of lode gold. The Black Diamond Mine produced gold, with copper and
silver. Northeast of San Bernardino by 20-25 miles, in township 2N and 3N and range 1, 2,
and 3E, you will find the Holcomb district which had a total production, 400,000 ounces of
placer gold and 54,500 ounces of lode gold. The Ozier Mine, major producer since 1850 for
lode gold. In Holcomb Valley many area rich placer deposits located in the 1860s,
producing about 340,000 ounces of gold. Also in many valley area mines, mostly abandoned
now you can find lode gold. Southeast of Twenty Nine Palms by 15 mile, in township 1S and
range 11E and 12E, you will find the Dale district, which had the Brooklyn Mine which
opened in 1893 and had a total production of 63,500 ounces of lode gold. Southeast of
Victorville by 30 miles, you will fine the Wild Rose Group of claims that produced lode
gold in tremolite.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
The total gold production of gold in San Diego County, 1869-1959, was
about 219,800 ounces of lode gold, with very minor placer production. fifty-five Miles
northeast of San Diego you will find Julian which was the most important gold producing
section of the county. Around Julian there were area lode mines that produced well. If you
go east of Julian by 5 miles, in vicinity of Banner, you will also find area lode mines.
If you go south of Julian by 3 miles, you will find a copper mine that had a by product of
gold. If you go south of Julian 4 miles, you will find the Friday Mine which was a nickel
mine with a by product of gold. In the Ramona district, there is the Spaulding Mine which
was a lode gold but it is said that in flats below the Little Three Mine you will find
placer gold. In Wynola there are area small placer gravel deposits.
SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
The 1885-1959 production of 126,400 ounces of gold in San Joaquin County came largely from sporadic placer deposits along the Mokelumne River. In the Belota district, along the Calaveras River, in township 2 N and range 9 E, in east central part of county, a western extension of the Jenny Lind district in Calaveras County had a total production estimated between 20,000 and 40,000 gold ounces in numerous area Quaternary gravel deposits that produced rich placer gold. In Camanche, along the Mokelumne River all the way to Clements, numerous placer deposits. The Clements district in northeast corner. of county, along the Mokelumne River, production estimated between 50,000 and 100,000 gold ounces, all area Quaternary gravel deposits, worked small scale before World War I and dredged during 1930s for its rich placer gold.
Near Linden, numerous area gravel deposits along the Calaveras River had rich placer gold.
SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Also throughout the County Gold has been found and mined mostly in the flour variety. Only three locations have produced sizable nuggets. Mostly, West of Paso Robles, in the Mountain Country. A lot of it is private. Some is National Forest. (Los Padres National Forest). Just to the Northern Outside Boundary of the County in Monterey County and to the Eastern Boundary of San Luis meets the Kings & Kern County line, Nuggets have been found on Private Cattle Ranches for years. On JACK RANCH, now owned by the Hearst Corp., there is a butte behind the Headquarters, known as Gold Hill, for good reason. The Mission Padres of San Miguel Mission (7 miles north of Paso Robles) and Mission Indians mined gold there around 1805. Gold has been found North of there in the Castle Mountains, also known to the locals as Kings Peak.
La Panza Area
An abandoned town / mining district east of Pozo, CA. San Juan Creek and its tributaries. It's called the La Panza district, but no town of La Panza there today. Mostly flour gold. Two GPAA claims in the area.
The area west of Mission San Antonio (Hwy 101) and east of Ragged Point
(Hwy 1)is an old mining district called Los Burros, but it's mostly private.
SHASTA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Between 1880 and 1959 Shasta County produced a total of 2,033,000 ounces of gold, of which 375,472 ounces came from placers. Each summer finds many amateur and "pocket" gold hunters, as well as dredgers, working the county's streams.
Along the west central border of the county in the Deadwood district is French Gulch, It had a total production of 128,000 ounces, between 1848-1959, mostly from lode mines along Clear Creek, which were also the earliest placer discoveries. The Washington Mine, was discovered in 1852 and was a lode gold producer. The Greenhorn Mine, in section 33, or township 37N and range 5W was a copper mine with a by product of gold.
In the Southwest corner of the county you will find Platina, which is located in the Harrison Gulch district, the Midas Mine discovered in 1894 and destroyed by fire in 1914 after producing more than 20,000 ounces of lode gold.
West of Redding 4 miles the Silver King Mine was a silver mine with a byproduct of gold. Southwest of Redding by 10 miles, in township 31N range 6W, you will find the Igo district, along Clear Creek, the placers produced 115,022 ounces of gold, primarily 1933-42, with minor amounts since. Northwest of Redding by 20 miles The West Shasta district had a copper-zinc, gold production, 520,000 ounces. The south part of district, the Iron Mountain Mine by of product gold, with silver, copper. The Balaklala Mine was a silver mine with by product of gold. Six miles west of Redding is the ghost town of Shasta, now a historical monument, area old mines and site of early day gold rush for lode gold.
SIERRA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Lode gold mines in Sierra County produced most of the total recorded 2,161,000 ounces of gold, with an unrecorded production prior to 1880 probably boosting the total well above 3,000,000 ounces.
Allegheny and Downieville districts in southwest part of county about 10 miles apart, with total placer production of 194,000 gold ounces and drift mine total from Tertiary gravels of 485,000 ounces, total production recorded as 2,173,000 gold ounces. All regional stream gravels and bench deposits have panning colors and nuggets, The 16 to 1 Mine, principal producer of 100,000 ounces of lode gold located on Kanaka Creek. The Kenton Mine, also on Kanaka Creek was also a large producer.
In Sierra City you will find The Sierra Buttes Mine and district, producer of 825,000 ounces of lode gold.
Indian Hill is in western Sierra County about 10 miles west of Downieville and just south of the Brandy City District. Much of the Production here has come from the Indian Hill and Depot Hill hydraulic mines. These mines were heavily worked from the 1850s until the 1880s, and intermittent development work and mining continued through the 1930s. Both mines used long flumes filled with copper plates coated with mercury to amalgamate the gold. Several nuggets over a pound were found at the Depot Hill mine. The Depot Hill mine has been prospected recently. The deposits are on the LaPorte-Brandy City Tertiary Channel. The lower gravels contain abundant quartz and are as much as 100 feet thick. They are overlain in places by inner volcanic gravels and andesite. Bedrock is granite with amphibolite to the west and slate, schists and serpentine to the east. There are also a few gold quartz veins in the Indian Hill district./P>
I have personally dredged this creek with a 3" and 5" dredge below the Kenton Mine. This is one of the richest creeks in the Mother Lode as far as I am concerned. I found some good gold on Kanaka creek below the Kenton mine. Nice Nuggets with quartz attached.
Jim Labuz and I dredged this creek with a 3" dredge on the Trios Mine Claim, owned by Harry Deter. We did real good for the time we were there. We found some real nice nuggets. This was an excellent place to dredge.
Gold in several areas on the Slate Creek. The Slate Creek was filled with white quartz cobble from the many hydraulic mines. As a recreational, weekender miner, you will recover about an ounce or so in a week. It's common to find quartz with gold in it or on it. This last summer, several pieces were found that weighted from 7 grains to 17 pennyweight.
Many have dredged this river in many places and always done well when they hit virgin dirt. This river replenishes every year. I saw a 22 pound nugget that came out of this river above Downieville. The nugget was name "The Lure".
SISKIYOU COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Many have done quite a bit of mining in this county and it is one of my favorite places to hunt for gold. Heart of the famed "Northern Mines", Siskiyou County contains more than 370 once active gold mines, which yielded 1,800,000 troy ounces of gold between 1880-1959, with a large unrecorded amount produced between 1850 and 1880. Each summer many amateur prospectors work the gold bearing streams throughout the county in perhaps the most rugged region in California. Compared to other California counties little has been officially reported on Siskiyou County and gold production and much of the information available is questionable. Placer mining is the main way that gold is taken, due to the complex geology in the county. Gold is not the only metal of importance in Siskiyou County. The county is said to contain large Platinum Group metal deposits. The Platinum Group Metals in the Klamath Mountains are unique in that they are composed largely of iridium and osmium, in the form of osmiridium, with platinum being lesser importance. The Klamath River has not been an important source of placer platinum because it is so fine and difficult to recover. Platinum Group Metals collected at the Ten Eyck Mine near Orleans on the Klamath were assayed at 92% osmiridium and 8% platinum. It is reported at a placer operation near Orleans that 3 ounces of osmiridium were saved in a period of 6 years. Platinum on the Salmon River and its tributaries was larger, with nuggets up to 1 ounce in weight being recovered. Most of the platinum has a black coating. The primary areas to look for platinum in Siskiyou County are Callahan, Seiad Valley, Independence, Ten Eyck, Orleans, Forks of the Salmon, Sawyers Bar and the North Fork of the Salmon River.
Close to the southwest border of Shasta County Cottonwood creek and its tributaries (Antelope, Crow, Dry Driver and Roaring Creeks) have produced a large amount of placer gold. Estimates put it as high as 260,000 ounces and this may not be an exaggeration. The area was dredged with buckets in many places during the depression and little has been done since.
Deadwood Creek is still a favorite with recreational prospectors and the area has a rich history of producing placer gold since the early days. Other producing streams in the area are Cherry, French, Indian and McAdam Creeks.
Dillon Creek from where it joins the Klamath River in the west part of the county, has produced a considerable quantity of placer gold. It had a rich history of late from 1951 to 1960 it was worked on a large scale. For those who want to prospect the area, it is well to remember that this last discovery was of a type that required cyanide heap leaching and investigation to the local geology might prove profitable.
Elk Creek produces gold throughout its length.
Horse Creek is a very rich creek. Watch for natural cinnabar deposits that contain mercury. I filled a sluice completely full once on this creek with mercury.
Humbug Creek placers were discovered on Humbug Creek about ten miles northwest of Yreka. Later many gold bearing quartz veins were found and worked. Overall estimates range upwards of over 600,000 ounces recovered. Large scale bucket dredging continued until 1950 and recreational miners are active in the area now.
North of Happy Camp in area jade mines along Indian creek you will find nephrite jade, gold colors and nuggets, and most prized of all, jade laced with stringers of raw gold which is a prime collectors' gemstone.
The Klamath River contains placer gold along its entire course through Siskiyou County. The Klamath River was a productive placer stream and many operations continue today. Many of the tributaries were major producers. Many gold lodes were also discovered near the river. Today, even though much of the river is claimed, amateurs find spots to work their dredges and many do very well. A study of local history and property rights is suggested. Some of the best locations are at where the following creeks come into the river; Humbug, Horse, Schutts Gulch, Scott River, Independence, Dillon, Elk, Indian, Thompson. This list is not complete and many of the tributaries produced large quantities of gold.
Klamath River bar and bench gravels contained rich placers. All tributary creeks and bench deposits contain placer gold. From Somes Bare north along highway 96 following the Klamath River to Happy Camp, vast bench gravel deposits untouched to today, extremely rich extensions of huge hydraulic operations east of Happy Camp to highway turnoff to Yreka contains tremendous placer gold potential.
As much as 50,000 ounces was produced at the Gilta Mine about 5 miles south of the town of Forks of Salmon. Of more interest to the amateur dredgers are the very rich placers which were found on Know-nothing Creek near the mine. Virtually nothing has been done in this area since the early 1900's.
Along every mile of the Salmon River in Siskiyou County placer gold is found. Almost every type of placer mining has been used on the river. Both the north and south forks were productive and one stretch between Forks of Salmon and Sawyers Bar is estimated to have produced over 1,000,000 ounces. This is one of the richest rivers in Siskiyou County.
Cecilville is located 30 miles southwest of Callahan on the South Fork of the Salmon River. The Salmon River produced considerable gold on both the east and south forks, near the point where they join in southwestern Siskiyou County. After the placers had been worked a for several years, lode veins were found and mined until 1940. The lodes had both massive bodies and stringers which ran to high grade pockets. If you go north of Cecilville by steep USFS road to the summit, the Black Bear Mine, now private property, but was a producer of 150,000 ounces of lode gold. Many area mines in regional canyons produced lode gold. The East fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River you will find placer gold, with platinum nuggets.
Forks of the Salmon
The Forks of the Salmon was the center of large gold mining operations and all regional stream and bench gravels had very rich placers. There were huge hydraulic operations on the major streams which produced 1,000s of ounces of placer gold. If you go southeast of this area, about 10 mi., you will find The King Solomon Mine which can be reached by Matthews creek jeep road. This mine was a major producer of lode gold with over 50,000 ounces recorded.
The Liberty district is about 10 miles east of Forks of Salmon. The placers were discovered here in the 1850's. The area was active until the start of World War I and although some prospecting has taken place since. Many lode mines in the area.
Sawyers Bar is located in the Salmon River district and contains roughly 800 square miles of extremely mountainous country between the Marble Mountains and Salmon and Trinity Wilderness areas. This area had a total production between 1855-1965 estimated at 16,000 ounces of placer gold and 20,000 ounces of lode gold. In all regional stream gravels you can find placer gold and platinum. There were very many huge hydraulic operations and Chinese diggings, accessible from the east on Sawyers Bar road. The North Fork of the Salmon River in all gravel and slope wash deposits you will find placer gold. In the South Fork gravel bars, especially near mouth of Black Gulch there are rich placer gold deposits. The Whites Gulch Mine was a hydraulic operation worked until 1970 for its placer gold. If you go east 10 mile to Idlewild which was the site of an old sawmill and USFS campground, the gravels of South Russian River have rich placer gold and platinum deposits on bedrock. It is reported that on the North Fork of the Salmon there were very many mines, The Hickey Mine, The Gallia Mine, The Red Hill Mine all of which were substantial producers. Also it should be noted that gold in this area is said to be fine to flour and you should have recovery systems that will handle that type of gold.
A large amount of gold was recovered from the Scott River near the town of Callahan with most of the recorded production coming from a dredge operation which worked the stream for about five miles. There were also many lode deposits near Callahan. The veins were small, but they were rich. One lode mine is reported to have recovered between 15,000 and 20,000 ounces. Callahan is located 44 miles Southwest of Yreka at South end of Scott Valley. This is an area with enormous amount of mining activity. The bed of the South Fork of Scott River, from Callahan South toward headwaters there were great hydraulic operations and Chinese rock piles which still contain placer gold. Gold is still found after every winter runoff. Also placer gold is found in all gulches and creeks, with many lode mines hidden back in steep mountains. North along the Scott River, several miles of dredging operations which were halted in 1955 by law. Southwest of Callahan, by jeep road, the Martin McKeen Mine, was a producer of 12,100 ounces of lode gold. The Porphyry Dike Mine, was also an important producer of lode gold. Go North of Callahan 5 mile to Sugar Creek and follow west on USFS road to a hydraulic workings which contains very rich placer gold. Go South a few mile to Camp Eden, then go Southeast across canyon you will find the Blue Jay Mine, and in the gravels of nearby Jackson creek is an area which was a rich producer of gold nuggets after winter floods. Go East of Callahan 10-12 miles along Grouse Creek and you will also find additional rich placers. The Copper King Mine was a silver mine that had a by product of gold. South of Callahan 14 miles, Carter Meadows Recreation Area in Trail creek there is also rich placer showings.
Fort Jones is located by traveling southwest along the Scott River road to Indian Creek, it had extensively dredged gold placers. All access roads into the Scott Bar Mountains lead to productive mines, most which were lode gold producers. Placer gold can be found in all regional gulches, canyons, streambeds, and bench deposits (some extensively worked). If you travel north 12 mile you will find the vanished town of Deadwood on old road. to Yreka and all area canyons and gulches contain gold. If you travel west down Scott River road you will find Cottonwood and Rancheria Creeks which had large scale dredging operations which produced over $4,000,000 in 1850s. There are many area lode gold mines, especially the Golden Eagle, produced 48,500 ounces until 1931.
Greenview is located in Scott Valley. If you go west 3 miles you will find Oro Fino area mines on south and east sides of Quartz Mountain and it was the site of a gold rush camp. The Quartz Hill Mine was a lode gold mine located in this area
Placer mining began early during the gold rush in the area about five miles west of Fort Jones. Rich lode mines were found later in this area.
West of Greenview 4 miles, in Quartz Valley, is where you will find Muccinsville which had several old mines on west side of Quartz Mountain and site of a 5 stamp mill remnant near Quartz Valley School. The area stream gravels contain pannable colors.
Scott Bar is located where the Scott River meets the Klamath River. It is 3 miles east of Hamburg on highway 96. The Scott Bar Mine operated from 1850 until 1970 and had lode gold in hesitite. Placer gold was discovered here at the beginning of the gold rush and for many years the nearby area supported hydraulic and lode mines. It is worthy of note to amateur prospectors for many rich pockets were found here.
The mines just west of this small town were lode and although they produced around 30,000 to 40,000 ounces they were considered worked out shortly after the turn of the century.
Yreka is the county seat of Siskiyou County and contained many rich lode mines, rich placers. Following winter storms, large gold nuggets can be picked up within city limits, especially around the water works where, in December 1964 floods, several nuggets to 4 ounces each were found on the surface.
Hawkinsville is a suburb of Yreka and was the site of a rich gold camp of early 1850s. The canyon and gulch gravels contain rich placer gold. Hungry Creek, area gravels and slope wash deposits contain placer gold. 14 miles southeast is the Peg Leg Mine which was a rich lode gold mine.
The gold on Thompson Creek is large and slabby, but Thompson creek is very spotty and it is a good idea to have some good boulder moving equipment. Bedrock is generally deeper on this creek.
STANISLAUS COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Between 1880 and 1955 the Quaternary grave deposits of Stanislaus County produced 365,000 ounces of placer gold.
Along the Stanislaus River near Oakdale to the Northeast to Knights Ferry in all the gravel bars, benches and terraces gravels you will find placer gold.
Along the Tuolumne River, near Waterford all the way East to La Grange in
the Tertiary gravels and benches you will find placer gold.
TRINITY COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
ABOUT TRINITY COUNTY
Lode mines and placers produced over 2 million ounces of gold in Trinity County between 1880 and 1959, most of it came from placer gravels of the Trinity River. Trinity County is the dredgers best chance to find a large platinum nugget in the state of California. Several Nuggets of Platinum greater than 1 ounces have been found.
Near the mouth of Coffee Creek, the area gravels contain placer colors and many area lode mines were big producers.
If you go North along the East Fork of the Trinity River, especially in the Indian Creek tributary, you will find productive placer gold locations.
On the west edge of the county, in gravels of the Trinity River stream, bench, and terrace gravels you can find placer gold. There are many area quartz mines that produced lode gold. Dedrick, Douglas City, Hay Fork, all gravel bars, benches, and tributary deposits along the Trinity River contain placer gold, platinum nuggets. Near Helena area gravel bars and benches along the Trinity River contain placer gold. If you go North along the East Fork of the Trinity River, especially in the Indian Creek tributary, you will find productive placer gold locations. In Junction City there are numerous area lode and placer mines. In Trinity Center, original town now under waters of Claire Engle Lake, but central in the Trinity Basin district, which had a total production of over 1,750,000 gold ounces from 1880-1959. There are many huge hydraulic operations, visible from the U.S. Forest Service logging roads, all of these produced placer gold and platinum. The Golden Jubilee Mine was a very productive lode gold mine. Three miles above old town site of Trinity Center you will find the Enright Claim which was a rich placer gold producer, with platinum nuggets to several ounces. In Weaverville there were many big productive mines along side roads that produced lode gold. The La Grange Mine was the largest hydraulic operation in area for placer gold.
TULARE COUNTY, CALIFORNIATulare County had more than 60 lode mines, but only those in the White River District (discovered in 1853), produced a large amount of gold. The total gold production for this county was about 21,000 ounces. It had two districts the Mineral King District and the Whte River district that produced gold. In the Mineral King District there are many area prospects that produced lode gold in arsenopyrite deposits. In the White River District there were many manys that produced lode gold. South of Porterville by 30 miles, on the middle fork of the Tule River there were many small copper mines that had a by product of gold. South of Porterville 11 miles you will find the Deer Creek Mine. This mine was a silver mine that had a by product of gold.
TUOLUMNE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
ABOUT TUOLUMNE COUNTY
Tuolumne County produced over 3 million ounces of lode gold and over 8 million ounces of placer gold, the placers are thought to be the richest in the state. At Columbia many area gravel deposits are worked for placer gold. At Sawmill Flat, the Barney Pocket Mine was a big lode gold producer. In the south part of the county in township 1S and range 14E, 15E, and 16E the Quaternary stream gravels yielded about several 100s of thousands of ounces. Near Groveland you will find the Longfellow Mine which was the most productive in the district with 24,200 gold ounces produced before 1899 of lode gold. Southwest of there at Big Oak Flat, the Washington Mine was also a rich lode gold producer.
At Jamestown and Sonora, is the Columbia Basin district, which is about 2 miles in diameter, in parts of township 1N and 2N and range 14E and 15E in the northwest part of the county and it had a total production about 5,874,000 ounces of placer gold. In all area stream, bench, and terrace gravels you can find placer gold. About 3 miles south of Jamestown you will find the Mann Copper Mine that had a by product of gold. In Sonora the area gravel deposits in the streambeds, benches, were very rich and extensively worked for there placer gold. The O'Hara mines produced some beautiful crystallized lode gold. At Tuolumne, Standard and Soulsbybille, in the East Belt district, they had total production, 965,000 gold ounces. The area had very many area lode and placer mines. The area mines around the settlement of Pooleys Ranch also produced rich lode gold.
West of Tuttletown, beginning of the Mother Lode belt of about 40 lode mines extending northwest to southeast across Tuolumne County had some very rich areas as well.
At the headwaters of Moccasin Creek near Mariposa County, they had a total production over 2 million ounces. The Harvard Mine and the Dutch mines were the most productive properties in district with 450,000 ounces produced to 1928.
Between Jamestown and Sonora and the Stanislaus River, the Pocket Belt district which is 5-6 miles wide had a total production 1,267,000 ounces of placer gold. There were many small area mines that produced lode gold. The Bonanza Mine was so rich that it produced 15,000 troy ounces in a week one time.
VENTURA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
A suggested prospecting site in southern California. It's the Piru Creek area in the Los Padres National Forest. It is located just north of Los Angeles in the Gorman Region on Interstate 5 in Ventura county. this is a very scenic and accesable area for the Southern California Prospector It is a year round creek good for panning and sluicing. The gold is fine flake with an occasional nugget.
YUBA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
ABOUT YUBA COUNTY
The placer gravels of Yuba County produced over 5 million ounces of gold, its lode mines yielded only 1 million gold ounces.
In the Browns Valley and Smartville district, in central part of county, in township 16N. range 5E. There were many area mines that produced lode gold. The Hibbert and Burris mines were the most productive lode gold in the area.
At Challenge there were lots of lode gold mines.
In the Dobbins district, in the Indiana Ranch area, the California M Lode was a rich lode gold mine. In section 30 of township 18N and range 7E, you will find the Red Ravine Mine which was also a rich lode gold producer.
At Smartvile there are many lode gold mines that are rich.
I have a friend that is doing real well on the Feather River with a 5" dredge. He is on some club claims. At Marysville and Yuba City, regional gravels of the Feather River especially upstream toward the mountains are very rich in placer gold.
In the Hammonton district, in S part of the county along the Yuba River, in parts of township 15N and 16N and range 4E and 5E, total production over 500,000 ounces. In Quaternary gravels, extensive placer operations were done in all regional buried channel and exposed Tertiary gravel deposits, these were extensively worked placers. I have used large dredges in this area on the Yuba River and I have personally had 10 ounce days with an 8" dredge.