Northern California nugget hunting locations?


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I bought a detector (couldn't afford a Minelab, so I went with a Garrett Infinium) a little over a year ago, but have yet to use it to hunt for gold nuggets. It seems like the majority of people on this forum (or at least those who post) are located in Arizona. Well... that would be a bit of a drive for me, since I live in Northern California, just west of "Gold Country." I'm wondering if there are any members here who can suggest possible locations (within a couple-hour drive of the Sacramento area) to go test out my detector, and possibly come home with a little bit of color. I've done plenty of reading/research about the areas here in NorCal where a lot of the mining took place. I've considered driving up to some of the areas where hydraulic mining was prevalent back in the late 1800's, and wandering around with my detector on, hoping for that signal that tells me to "dig here"... but finding locations that are open to the public (i.e. haven't already been claimed, or aren't on private property) can be a bit tricky sometimes. Are there any Northern California members out there who can offer up suggested locations to try? Any help will be appreciated!

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Howdy blueviking... To go wandering around the goldfields with your LS may be a

great adventure and fun at the same time. I do not know the depth of your knowledge

or if you are "funnin," but I will reply with my thoughts. Since you are in Sacramento

you could be in luck.

Jim Hutching, who is a well known prospector/miner is also in Sacramento.

He is the contact person for the Sacramento chapter of the GPAA. His email

is [email protected] I believe Jim is also a member of the goldhounds

and they are an long established and active educational group. js

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  • Admin

Hey BlueViking,

Welcome to the Nuggethunting.com forums. Like Jim Straight mentioned, there are many guys on here, along with many guys like Jim that might be able to refer you to locals around your area. I've personally only hunting N. Cali a few times, but I'm sure others will chime in and give some advice.

The Infinium LS is a gold finder, learn it and reseach gold nugget areas. Just a matter of time until you see that "gold" shining in your hand!

Hope to see you posting more in the near future.

Rob Allison

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  • 4 months later...

Northern California detectings biggest challenge is all the private property, but there's some good gold on public lands. I'm not a member myself but the Motherlode Goldhounds could be a good place to learn some local knowledge. Don Robinson is very knowledgeable and from my few meetings with him happy to share. They meet in Auburn so it's a close drive from Sacramento.

Mike Greyshock

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The Auburn State Recreation area has enough open area to keep you busy for the rest of your life. A good spot right in my back yard is the Todd Valley Hydraulic area, located behind the transfer station(dump)

If you take some questionable advice , the Smartsville area, stay off the State Lands....... Possible big legal issues.

The Motherlode Goldhounds is a top notch group, you cannot go wrong with them

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Yankee Jims @ Auburn State Rec area. Seen and found some gold there. TONS of bedrock. Can't go there anymore cause I have moved. Short drive from Sac.

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Im a member of the goldhounds and highly recomend. Theres a lot of area in Auburn rec area. You need to be in goid shape to get to the better spots, most the easy areas get hammered. Try hiking down Stevens Trail...its pretty easy but about 5 miles to the river. Bedrock everywhere. Als o South fork of yuba at Purdone is good gold. Plus theres plenty of eyecandy in the summer as in naked girls, lol

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