Recommended Posts

I'm not going to list the litttle known gold areas individually as there are so many but I will show you how to find some of them in any area you may have an interest in.

U.S.G.S or Bureau of Mines bulletin books and placer mining maps. All of them for that area you can find not just the most recent ones. Many prospecting books are based on them and I’ve seen some gold areas in them come and go with different new editions. 

Historical libraries. I’ve spent countless hours in them they have some of the best rare books and info available.

 Mining patent maps. There is Tons of mining info on old patent maps in a given area. Mining entries on topo maps. Look for the mine symbols ie: (Y) etc. learn to I.D. the symbols on the maps.

There is often placers under the old hard rock mines even test digs have produced gold for me. More maps have hard rocks marked them than placers in books.

If you looking for an old mine, mountain, river or treasure and can't seem to find the rivers or mountains your looking for this may be why.

This may solve a few treasure stories too.

I ran across this when I was trying to find a mountain described in an old story about the discovery of the Tucson Ring meteorite.

I dont remember where I came up with this idea but one day I’m thinking how often do they reprint and update the topo maps? And do they ever change names of creeks and mountains on them? So I do a little research and it points me to Virginia National Archives. Where the old topos are archived. I call them and I get this very nice lady on the phone and I explain what I'm trying to find and she says I think you need to talk to the head surveyor at U.S.G.S. in Colorado and she gives me his phone number and I give him a call. He had been all over the south west personaly. I told him what I do and what I’m looking for. I can't recall his name but I do recall he said he was over 90 years old back then in 2001. He was a wealth of info on the S.W. Deserts.

 I ask him does the U.S.G.S. ever change the name of mountains,rivers,creeks on topo maps? And he said yes! Another mystery solved! 

And I asked why? He said there are many reasons.

A city or town nearby puts in requests for it, the locals dont like the name that’s on it. Political, There are lots of reasons. I thanked him after several hours of talking to him. He was a great guy to talk to I could have talked to him for hours more. 

He even mentioned some places I need to go see, I wrote them down. he was right.  😄

            If he didn't write a book he should have. 

So now I'm calling back the archives. I call her up again and I ask is it possible to get copies of the older original topo’s that are stored there ? and she says yes. I tell her the areas I'm interested in and in less than a week the copies of the old topos are in my mail box.

Take care out there



Edited by AZNuggetBob
dang it found a mistake
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

Hey Bob,

  Funny you mention "Little Known Gold area," as more than 1/2 of all my gold locations are just that, "Little known and undocumented."  There wasn't much really written on gold nugget locations, but more so gold locations that produced larger amounts of fine and flake gold or mines that produced payable quantities of gold in the lode.  

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree Rob as you mentioned in the other thred. there are some patches that are “not in any” publication. they have never been found yet. they are often virgin, with no signs of mining you are the first person to find them! 

I have found a few of those also.

But not as many as I would have liked too. 😁



 I will say this, bookwork and research has saved me a lot of leg work and often led me right to the gold.


I’ve been saying this for years. Topo maps are road maps to “little known gold areas” and in great detail!

Some of the best patches I’ve found were on topo’s and not always in the prospecting books. 

It's really just topo 101. Originally I was always looking at topo’s to stake mining claims. 

Just look for the little mining symbols on the topo map and you may have one of the best detailed gold and road maps out there. Keep in mind all the mine symbols are not just for gold they are for other types of mined minerals also. But if its even near a gold area or if the geology looks right (mineral maps) go look at it.

Here is an example of one I found on a topo map and then confirmed it as viable on a patent map. It was patented!. There were gold areas in the books about an area several miles away but nothing about this placer.

So I drive up to look at it. Drove right to it. I had a nice map to it with gps coordinates. What more could you ask for. LOL  Its was tucked up in this little valley all by it self.  I’m looking around and I’m thinking well I dont see any signs of mining right off? No big mines or tail piles nothing?

 I couldn't see anything from the road. I drove back and forth. I did see what was left of an old cabin.

So I get out and I walk down to one of the main washes in the area ( it was very brushy) and I see drywash piles up under and in the bushes. Every wash and trib  for a hundred yards as I’m walking down the wash. One after the other. But only on one side of the main wash. That pointed me to the source of the gold right off. It’s coming down off the E. side of that mountain ridge. 


I head back to the camper van, grab my detector and the hunt is on!! 

You could have easily walked or driven right by this place up on the road and not seen it.

I also didn't see any other signs of it being nugget hunted with a detector before. It was a (semi-virgin patch) 

Based on what I found the old timers had to have done very well in there.  After looking at the area well I think it was worked by one family. I only saw remains of the one cabin.

I hunted it for weeks and I took well over 50 nuggets out of this patch and Im talking nuggets, gram or better. Here is a photo of the largest nugget I found in there. 3 ½ ozs. 

Sorry about the photo quality. I blew it up too much.




Take care out there


  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hey BrownNugget 

just because I have a bigfoot camera doesn’t mean I believe in bigfoot. 🤣

Here is another photo of that nugget. Its sitting on a RxR tie next to a u.s. penny.

It's a bigfoot nugget, It doesnt like having it's picture taken..

sorry I photgraphed the nugget upside down.

I’ll put up more when I get time.


Edited by AZNuggetBob
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeff here is another story you may learn a little more about nugget hunting from.

Sometimes spotting old dig holes from large to small can be a way to find old mining sites. 

It could be nothing more than small piles of old classified cobble stones to stacked larger stones like a wall along the wash that are not natural.

There are some places that they are almost impossible to cover up. Like west Quartzite, Az. the ground has a serious desert varnish and in most areas it is almost white under the grey-black surface. I dont care how much you brush a back filled hole it leaves a white spot. Once you flip a rock or dig a hole it leaves what we call a hunting freckle.

 You can see these freckles for miles if you know what your looking for. Lots of them in some places, even Nevada. 

Jim Straight figured me out from the past one day when he told me I was following you around in Nevada for a couple days, he said I knew it was you by the cigarettes butts put you put out on top of a back filled nugget holes. (A comment I had made on a forum), 

He is a very smart guy. He payed attention to what I was saying on the forums.

He was right. I had left them to mark out patch/s with nugget finds and trash finds. 

I should say Jim I have quit smoking so your going to have to find a new way to track me. lol

But seriously he is a wealth of info on desert gold prospecting and I highly recommend his books. if you can still find them as many are out of print..

I have learned a lot from him and I’m sure you can too. 


Take care out there


Edited by AZNuggetBob
  • Like 3
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.