Backhoe Gold from the Famous La Paz Placers

Recommended Posts

  • Admin

Hello All,

   The forums have been pretty slow, so I thought I would post this picture from about 10 years ago.  A friend and long time customer from around the Kingman area had a few claims in the famous La Paz placer district, now owned by the CRIT (Colorado River Indian Tribes).  We took some great nuggets and placer gold from this claim in several years time, but the Indian's were trying to push my friend out.  Every year the BLM was pressuring my friend with much higher BLM fees, which I believe the Indian's were placing pressure on the BLM to get everyone that was Grandfathered out.  

Majority of the claim owners in the region were already gone, my friend was one of the last besides the Goodman Mine. 

I figured we only had a limited amount of time and we all were on tight budgets.  We were able to scramble up a old backhoe from the Quartzsite region in hopes of getting down deeper below the caliche layers.  As you can see the Backhoe wasn't in the greatest shape, but it worked.  Unfortunately were were limited on the depth we could reach and pressured by time.  

We managed to hit a few nice pockets of placer gold deep on bedrock, but due to faulty equipment, low budgets and time, the claim ended up going back to the CRIT tribes. I still know where there are many pounds of gold if we could get the claim back and bring in a good piece of equipment that would reach 20-25 foot to bedrock in the better spots. 

There was a nugget up creek in this area that was 37 ounces solid.  I know there was some lumps on these claims, but we were a "day late and a dollar short!"

Hope you enjoyed. 


  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cool pic Rob.

Yah, ever time I got to Quartzsite I look at the CRIT area and think "what a shame" They are doing nothing with the land. They could make some good money if they charged to let people detect on it.

Tom H.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the memories Rob. A friend of mine  was among the last group of people working the Goodman Mine. They were using his backhoe with a front end loader to move the material and another guy had a septic tank dump truck which they used to bring in water that they ran through a sluice into a settling pond. They moved a lot of material and were averaging an ounce a day the last time I was in there.

*Some of the real old time drywashers (Banjo Bob for one) around there also said they averaged an ounce a day. The price of gold was way down back then but they were happy. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great pic and great story. One of these days when the political winds change or the money dries up those lands will be part of the USA again I'm sure and we can all rush out there to get our share of the gold. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.