New guy, wanna find some gold in Arizona!!!

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I live in Texas, but we are going to Flagstaff and Yuma to see family at Christmas. My parents, in Yuma, said their neighbor found a nugget in her backyard, and research shows that Arizona, as a whole, is pretty gold-laden.

I am using a entry level Bounty Hunter.

Bought a pick-axe tool.

So, where should I go? What should I look for? Where/how do I get started?

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There are tons of places to go flastaff wouldnt be my first choice. there is also some companys that can take you outto find gold around the stanton area like Frontier gold prospecting , they even provide equipment(better detector) and will help you find the yellow stuff. look at the website and good luck in whatever you do

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The best thing to do is do a search for clubs in the place your wanting to go.Just where in Texas do you live?You'll find me in San Antonio.What kind of detector are you swinging?If you don't have the right VLF or PI detector it may be best you think about that first.

Chuck Anders

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Do you know what KH frequency that detector runs at?What is the different size coils do you have with it?I meet a guy in N.M. some years back and he had one and I put a nugget on top of the ground and his detector never knew it was there.It would be good if you had a test nugget to see if you could detect it.Now when you get to Az. it's going to be another story when you get it in that hot ground it has.

The Best.

Chuck Anders

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Share on other sites will find more gold and money using that detector at the parks, schools and beaches...then you can use the gain to buy a reasonable nugget hunting detector...

otherwise you may only get exercise and anger management training in the hot ground of Arizona.

good luck


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I was talking to Rusty, at Rusty's Gold and Treasure Hunting in Anaheim CA last week while I was out there visiting, and he said he used the same machine for many years, but it is only good for 6-12" depth, depending on the conditions. He strongly recommended a better machine, but I don't have the funds right now for an upgrade.

He also said a 12 year old girl came in with a fresh 2 oz nugget from Quartzite, CA the week before, using the same machine (he said don't get my hopes up and expect similar results, that was a fluke!).

Not sure of the specs, and it only has the coil that came with it. 8" coil, specs say it detects coins down to 7" and larger metal items down to 3'. I have found rings, coins, bobby pins down to about 8", and railroad spikes down around 24".

Like I said, entry level machine.

When you say hot ground, do you mean hot in temperatures, or mineral laden with lots of background noise?

We will be there at Christmas, so it shouldn't be temperature "hot".

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hmmmmmm 6 to 12 inches, very interesting, I don't think that will even ground balance in the AZ desert. I would hate to see you get discouraged because of an inadequate detector.

Like Fred said use it in the parks and play grounds to find the coins and then get one that will find gold,

Check some of these forums in the classified as there are always used vlf machines more suited to finding gold for sale.

Take your detector out to a city park and give it a try on whats in the ground there. If you have the time bury some nickels at various depths, say every 2 inches and see how your detector responds.

Not trying to burst your bubble, just trying to help you get prepared. and welcome to the gold hunting community.

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Bounty Hunter Tracker IV/TK4-PL Metal Detector - Camping Supplies

$99 online

The stylish Gold Digger Metal detector will detect all kinds of metal from iron relics, coins and household items to precious metals like silver and gold. Streamlined in appearance and with only two operating controls and a mode selection switch, the Tracker IV has eliminated the most difficult aspect of metal detector operation: ground balancing. With built-in Automatic Ground Trac, the Tracker IV balances for mineralization while you detect. The Tracker IV will detect in extreme ground conditions from wet salt beaches to highly mineralized inland sites, with no operator adjustments to the circuitry and with no loss of sensitivity.


Well new guy,

I guess I am going to be the one who will bust your bubble so you dont end up hating us all here for not telling you the facts....

Fact is : you got a better chance to get hit by a bus that to find a nugget with that machine in AZ....

Do youself a favor like some others said.... and keep it in the parks and school yards... not trying to be mean just trying to save you a lot of headaches....

Do like Border Boy suggested and find your self a Gold School like, " Frontier", [who i perrsonally know] and let them make it a FUN outing instead of a heartache!

I didnt read anything about where you plan on hunting...and I hope you understand that you just dont waltz in to AZ and start swinging a detector anywhere you want!!!!!

That's a real good way to get shot..... or worse..... humiliated in front of your friends and family when someone kicks you off their claim....

You are doing the right thing by asking people on the forum their all you have to do is pay attention and listen to what they have to say before going off half-cocked.

i wish you the best and hope to hear plenty of good stories about your vacation,,,, just dont end up being Clark Griswold !!!!! lololol

PS i dont want to be an ad for Frontier,,,or i guess maybe that is alright???...anyway,,,they have the best Minelab machines, and a variety of others you can use, plus you can drywash, recirculate, whatever....that is how i started and am am a ripe old prospector of almost 3 years now,,,hahahahaha,,, but i started like you asking a billion questions so pour it on junior!


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Holy Hell!!!

Am I getting honest answers from people who know more than I do?

Heaven FORBID!!! :D

No, that is why I am asking.

I realize I have "entry level" tools (have been called "toys" by some), and if I don't get input from others who have done this before me, then I will most likely "just dont waltz in to AZ desert and start swinging a detector anywhere you want!!!!!" and end up getting discouraged.

But, to face the facts, I will be swinging this cheap machine, and most likely won't find anything but pop tops and bobby pins. This is what I have, and until I acquire some money, this is all I will have.

So, considering what I have, where should I start. I already hit the tot-lots, and have found quite a bit of change and jewelry in them. Not enough to buy a high-end machine, though :(

Oh, and for what it is worth, I am not driving across AZ just to dig for gold. I am visiting family for the holidays, and if I happen to be near some place that might be fun to scan, I will pull over and play around.

I am not planning on making a living on this least not right now. Still too young to retire to Alaska with high-dollar panning and digging tools.

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Hey Scooper

The guys on here tell it like it is in the field.If you had the money you could just maybe find something in the ads a used detector you could nugget hunt with.

I was talking about the mineralization in the ground when I said hot ground.To most detectors like a coin machine it's a brick wall to them.

Chuck Anders

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I'm a,

You said:

"...That's a real good way to get shot..... or worse..... humiliated..."

hmmm if you don't mind I'd rather be humiliatedph34r.gif

(yes I know you were too)


It is hard sometimes to tell the truth in a way that is not off-putting or patronizing.

The gents who have posted above have put it pretty well;

even with the best equipment it is difficult to find gold in the first place

and it is really hard to find it consistently.

But, If any of us had paid attention to the truth

most of us would have missed the amazing experiences we have all had just being out in the wild.

It awakens a sense of being that very few undertakings in life do.

The worst thing that happens detecting for gold is that you have a great time outdoors.

So as you read these guys trying to be encouraging and yet being compelled not to bs you,

we are all hoping you will read what we say and then do as we have done

pay no attention to the hard part, just be aware that good equipment is pretty important

and then get your butt out there and begin your own search for your own personal gold

whatever that may be. It is out there and obviously it has called to you...

Happy hunting...

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Hey all, just remember this whole thing is about hope. Finding gold is not easy with any machine and if you think a great detector will turn black sand into gold nuggets you're wrong. But remember they say a guy down south found the "Boot of Cortez" with a radio shack detector, why not you? Get out and enjoy the hunt, no one knows what you are going to find. And if you do find some gold it will be a ripper! You have a better chance of getting hit by lighting but what the hell, I say go for it.

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Scooper, If you can find gold with that detector, and you could, you would feel a great accomplishment. Many here mean well with their advice. But I would have to agree with AZoverland. Further, it's all about user interface and the detector you are using.

There was a guy here this year who kept buying more better, expensive equipment. Only to give up or change his interests.

However, by learning the so called hard way. With your current detector. You will know what trash (metal targets are), mineralization or hot rocks that sound off your detector are, or if your lucky, some gold. If you can master that machine which you have. Practice=perfect!

However one of the best metal detectors to use is Minelab (PI) or Fisher (VLF) which is also good for hard rock detecting. Buying used in time is a great way to get introduced more to this hobby as you progress.

Good places to hunt in AZ. Central AZ, in an area from Wickenburg NNE toward Prescott. Bradshaw Mts., Quartzite, Gold Basin. Generally from the central part of state to west. Search the internet and this forum for info.

Tip: Always know and be aware of the area you are in. Take protective equipment with you as needed.

Good luck!

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I dont for a minute disagree with the advice being given BUT I do remember a guy using one of those Bounty Hunter Tracker IV's, while

his Extreme (current at that time) was being serviced by Minelab.

As I recall there had been a bush fire go through the area in one of the less mineralised parts of Victoria's golden triangle and he scored a 1oz nugget.

I don't want to build anyones hopes up but at times it can happen, just not often. :rolleyes:

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For me, this is just a "weekend trip", I may get upwards of 5-6 hours total time to play in the desert, so I don't feel the time is right for a higher end machine.

But that being said, I appreciate all your suggestions, ESPECIALLY the one about looking for a used machine. I would have a better time finding one out in AZ than here in TX.

I may hit the intarwebs while I am out there and see if anything pans out! Craigslist, maybe?

Thanks for the suggestions on which machines are best!

Originally, I intended to just go out and hike in the desert with wife and dog, but my parents suggested I bring the Bounty Hunter and see what, if anything, I find.

So I will not be heartbroken or disappointed if I find nothing.

If gold hunting was that easy and that productive, it wouldn't be called "hunting" and gold would only be worth $50 per oz. So I am completely realistic about my chances of finding anything other than pop tops and bobby pins.

I was just asking where (location) and which terrains to look in the Flagstaff and Yuma areas, or anywhere along the way (from OK City I-40 over, then down to Yuma).

A guy in Anaheim (Rusty's Gold and Treasure Hunting) even suggested finding old roadways and/or wagon trails and scan for old lost items or throw-aways. My dad just found an old wagon trail outside of Yuma, so I may even try that a bit.

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Bounty Hunter Tracker IV/TK4-PL Metal Detector - Camping Supplies

just dont end up being Clark Griswold !!!!! lololol


Um, Paul,

Stumbling around in the desert, I make Clark Griswold look like James Bond.

But- the doggie and I have fun so...

Scooper - you've gotten some good advice so I'll just say: keep it fun.

I explored non-producing areas of Montana most of the summer cuz it was more fun for me than hammering beaten ground.

Didn't find gold but met cool folks, enjoyed beautiful scenery and had a ball.

Let us know what you come up with and someone may rendezvous with ya. ;)

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Well, bring your snow boots for Flagstaff...if you do get out detecting in the parks there...spend you time under and near the pine trees as they tend to stay a bit warmer and often people don't detect right near for Yuma, your detector will almost certainly have serious ground balance issues...stay away from the Indian areas along the river might yield a nugget or maybe some old coins...there are also some old areas in yuma that you could work the sidewalk medians...

By the way...a very nice patch was found a few years back by a young man using a Bounty Hunter "toy"....sometimes it is much better to be lucky than skilled...


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I flew over Flagstaff on Saturday morning, so I am well aware that snow clothes are in order. I am actually quite worried about my dog. She is a boxer, and gets chilly easily.

Basically, what I was hoping from this question was just a couple of hints of where to start scanning with what I have, so I don't just go blindly into the night.

Of course, going blindly is still hiking in the Arizona desert, and I am perfectly fine with doing that!

I have been doing a little research, but not for gold as much as for old once-inhabited areas that are no longer inhabited. Just to look out for relics.

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