Gold panning in the Black Hills


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Thanks for the replies. I hope more people from the Hills check in and perhaps give me some good info/advice about panning sites in the Black Hills. "Four Guys and a Girl" ... the family members ... will be staying in a campground in the Deadwood area ... so, what about that "mob from Deadwood"? :) 2 years ago we were in the Prescott area of AZ doing some panning, and also in the Arkansa Rvier in CO. Although we didn't find much ... it sure was fun trying. This summer we will be mixing gold panning with rockhounding ... and again, if we don't find color, the fun is in the hunt. Thanks again.

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I haven't found a pay streak worth digging up for myself, let alone pointing someone else there. That said, the gold-bearing creeks are all well known. French Creek, Castle Creek, Spring Creek all have gold. All the biggest nugs came from the Tinton area, but that's almost all private or claimed. Rochford north of Castle Creek and there's a FS fee camping area. Forest Service land is ok to handwork for recreational prospecting with no permit needed. Lots of spots are being claimed as much for speculation of selling said claims as any genuine active mining going on. There's a few pay to pan/prospect spots. Wade's Gold Mill Tour outside of Hill City might be worth a stop. GPAA had a few claims in the program last time I checked. We found a few fine gold flakes there.

Plenty of old workings to stomp around. The old Gold Mountain Mine up Burnt Fork is being refurbished as a FS heritage site, pretty cool. They were going to tear it all down, but a few of us stepped up to help save the last standing mine on FS property in the Black Hills. That has gold in fissure veins so it's mostly hardrock right around where I live on Deerfield Road.

Almost all private land here is a former patented mining ground. So if that says anything, there was gold most everywhere enough to "prove up" some ground enough to patent it. You'll notice private land follows all the major drainages of the hills. So find a likely spot that's still FS and test your luck!

Here's a link to some old mining pics on my website: http://www.whiteriverprep.com/trails/mines.html

If you do find a spot, please let me know where the heck it is! ;) We have tons of pretty walkway rocks, but no gold! :huh:

-Ed

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