ABANDONED GOLD MINES ~ near KINGMAN ARIZONAThe Miner is not the best place to research mining claims. County and BLM records are better. I have been to many of these old sites. Mining claims are usually marked by corner markers, rock piles or rough posts, and many have way more than four corners. MC (former editor of Kingman Daily Miner)
List of Mines in various California Locations
Exploring the Abandoned Ready Relief Mine Near Banner, CA
The Ready Relief Mine was one of the biggest gold mines in the late 1800s near Julian, CA. This is our exploration of the lowest level.
LOCATION: Latitude:33.0625446 Longitude:-116.552796
Lucky Pardner Mine
Previously called the Lucky Partner Pardner Mine, the Lucky Pardner gold mine is at an elevation of 4,180′ in the Banner mining area outside of Julian, CA. Just above the Warlock Mine, these area mines were part of the Julian gold rush of 1870.
LOCATION: Latitude:33.0733775 Longitude:-116.5725187
Exploring the Abandoned Elcuado Mine Near Julian, CA
The Elcuado Mine is a 700-foot long, bat-filled tunnel that ends at an intersection where two side tunnels branch off. This is our nighttime exploration of this awesome mine! 33° 3’47.15″N, 116°31’48.96″W
Inside the Old School Mine
The Old School Mine off of McCain Valley Road in San Diego is a very shallow mineshaft that only goes back about 20 feet. The mine was dug years ago directly into a vein of quartz in which one can find mica, tourmaline, and other things.
Finding Something Unexpected in the Abandoned Golden Sugar Mine
LOCATION: Latitude:33.0444895 Longitude:-116.5452959
San Diego’s Abandoned Mines: The North Star Mine
Exploring an Abandoned Mine in San Diego County (The Last Chance Mine)
that’;s not last chance, that looks like the Mineral Hill mine. Good try though! Last Chance hasn’t had an entrance for several years.(Last chance for the civil war btw) .
“Other high-hazard mines, state and federal officials said, are: Hilton Mine 28 miles from Borrego Springs; Anchor Prospect three miles from Pine Valley; Noble Mine four miles from Pine Valley; and the Pronein Group mine eight miles from Julian. Less hazardous, but still dangerous, are the Gold Standard mine five miles from Pine Valley and the Last Chance and Prosperity mines seven miles from Julian.”We thought maybe this mine was the Last Chance since it was near the area where the Last Chance Mine was supposed to be at. Why would the article cite the Last Chance as being “particularly dangerous” if it hasn’t had any entrances for years like you said? Or did they just recently seal it off? Also, I can’t find any of the mines on that list except for the Noble Mine which was already gated a few years ago.
LOCATION: Latitude:32.988936 Longitude:-116.6705766
Golden Gem Mine
SDME exploring the Golden Gem (aka Big Blue) Mine on the Wilcox Toll Road in Banner, CA
Historical Land Sale Listing – Golden Gem Gold Mines #1 and #2
Historic Gold Mines. Property consists of the Golden Gem Gold Mines #1 and #2. Adjacent to Golden Gem Mine #3, BLM Land and adjacent 4.23 acre parcel listed for $70K and APN 291-221-06 included in this listing.T Property has deeded legal easement. he property is undeveloped steep terrain, covered with thick manzanita growth. Salton Sea, Volcan and Granite Mountains views from this property.
Continue on Woodland Rd past the cul-de-sac, approximately 1/2 mile. It’s paved part of the way, and then it turns to dirt. The address of the last house on the left is 2598. Just past 2598 there is another house on the right, the number is not visible from the road. There is a parking place just past the last house on the right. This is basically in front of this property. We have placed a small sign with a flyer box next to the marker with the coffee can on the 4.23 acre adjacent parcel. There are directional arrow signs going to the property from 78 to the parcel. See aerial map in the Media link. Some interesting history trivia: The Golden Gem Group or more correctly, the Golden Gem Mines numbers 1, 2 and 3 are located on both sides of the Banner Mine Road at the elevation of about 3,800 feet in the heart of the Banner belt of mines. This mine illustrates the tendency to consolidate older mines into a new one resulting in a single property superimposed on old claims. The Golden Gem Mine occupies what were once the Gardiner, City of Richmond, Blue Hill, Blue Hill #2, Canadian and Big Four Claims.
Mine Entrance Below the Golden Gem Mine
This was another entrance to another Golden Gem Mine off of the Wilcox Toll Road near Julian, CA. Unfortunately, this entrance was no longer open due to erosion and landslides.
View 1 of Vertical Shaft 1 at Golden Queen Mine
The Golden Queen Mine south of Julian, CA was in operation at the beginning of the 20th century. Topographic maps show three vertical shafts at the site. This video shows one of the three shafts. Historical accounts say that the Golden Queen Mine was dug to a depth of 550 feet.
View 1 of Vertical Shaft 2 at Golden Queen Mine
This second vertical mineshaft at Golden Queen Mine looked deeper than the first one.
View of the Vertical Shaft 3 at Golden Queen MineThe third vertical shaft at the Golden Queen Mine near Julian, CA was filled in and sealed.
The MINES OF JAMUL PEG LEG AND MORE” ON McGinity Mountain!!http://youtu.be/yPOSp4GIUSk
Digging Out the Entrance to an Abandoned Gold Mine Near Pine Valley, CA
This abandoned gold mine near Pine Valley, CA had an entrance that was almost completely eroded shut. There was only a 2-inch gap from the top of the dirt pile to the top of the tunnel arch. We began to dig out this tunnel in hopes of gaining access to what was probably a large mine. It is a work-in-progress.
Oak Canyon Mine
Exploring one of the Oak Canyon mines near Pine Valley, CA.
Exploring an Abandoned Miner’s Cabin Near Pine Valley, CA
This old cabin is located next to a small creek and four abandoned gold mines. This is near Pine Valley, CA.
Walking Down Long Valley Road In Search of Eagles Nest Mine (an Abandoned Gold Mine)
At the Eagles Nest Mine Site, an Abandoned Gold Mine
This is the site of the abandoned gold and silver mine called Eagles Nest Mine in remote East County in San Diego, California. This is off of Long Valley Road.
The Three Vertical Mineshafts at Eagles Nest Mine
Topographic maps showed three vertical mineshafts side-by-side at the Eagles Nest Mine. The shaft sites were easy to find, but they were filled in and sealed as shown in this video.
Looking at Some Active Mining Claims on the Old Wilcox Toll Road
Further down the old Wilcox Toll Road are several active mining claims. When hiking on the Wilcox Toll Road, hikers should remain on the road and not venture onto the active claim sites to look around and explore the open mines.
Queen Mountain [includes Stewart mine, Tourmaline Queen mine, Tourmaline King mine, Ed Fletcher mine, Pala View mine] – north of Pala. albite, apatite, beryl, elbaite, lepidolite, lithiophilite, microcline, muscovite, quartz, schorl, secondary Mn-phosphates, spessartine, spodumene.
STEWART MINE: Latitude:33.3811431 Longitude:-117.0622515, TOURMALINE QUEEN: Latitude:33.3900318 Longitude:-117.0689183, TOURMALINE KING: Latitude:33.3914206 Longitude:-117.0733629.
GRAPEVINE MINE, SAN DIEGO COUNTY
County: San Diego County Latitude:33.1778185 Longitude:-116.5236283
THE QUEEN MINE PALA CALIFORNIA JUNE 2012AN INCREDIBLE VISIT TO THE FAMOUS TOURMALINE QUEEN MINE AT PALA CALIFORNIA USA JUNE 2012
Latitude: 33.0367121 Longitude:-116.5533517
Exploring the Himalaya Tourmaline Mine
Exploring the Himalaya Tourmaline Mine with Chris Rose and Gary Kratochvil. See an actual tourmaline pocket as it is uncovered for the very first time. This particular pocket had fallen to the floor out of the pegmatite during past large scale mining operations and was completely missed by the miners.
Bail Out Mine – Pt. 2 of 4
Extensive exploration one of the largest remaining mines in San Diego County. Now home to many Pallid bats, the mine has a main entrance and shafts above, also accessible from within the large upper stopes (dug out ore veins) as disclosed by ore chutes in the main tunnel.
Bail Out Mine – Pt. 3 of 4
Making the first ascent to the first upper stope level, and then on to the second upper level and beyond. LOTS of labored mask breathing in this one.
It takes approximately 40mins to reach the shaft exit (pt.4) from the main tunnel entrance and involves free-climbing shafts and steep inclines. We find many interesting things along the way, and have yet to explore all the extensions of this mine.Notable: 4:02 is “The Bridge” which we did not have time to explore on this trip, and the ore old cart tracks 5:14 running along the stopes. Also the impressive endless gobbing (or rock stacking) lining the stope passages. This mine is quickly deteriorating.
San Diego County Districts
Aguanga Mountain district [includes Ware mine (also known as Mountain Lily mine, Emeralite No. 2 mine, Gem Mine No. 1), Maple Lode](Latitude: 33.3330913 Longitude: -116.767244) – Aguanga Mountain, 4 miles SSE of Oak Grove. albite, beryl, elbaite, lepidolite, microcline, muscovite, quartz, topaz.
Blue Lady mine [also known as Blue Bell mine] – east end of Chihuahua Valley, Chihuahua Valley district. beryl (morganite), cassiterite, columbite, elbaite (indicolite), lepidolite, muscovite, quartz, schorl, spessartite.
Dehesa deposit – near Dehesa, 2.5 miles SSW of Alpine. dumortierite, quartz, rutile, sillimanite, titanite.
Fallbrook axinite locality – Fallbrook. axinite, epidote, quartz (smoky).
Jacumba district [includes Beebe Hole mine, Pack Rat mine] – Tule Mountain, NW of Jacumba. albite, beryl (aquamarine), helvite(PR), herderite(PR), lithiophilite, microcline, muscovite, quartz, secondary Mn-phosphates, spessartine(PR), spodumene (kunzite(BH)).
Mesa Grande district [includes Himalaya mine, San Diego mine, Esmeralda mine, Mesa Grande mine, Cota mine] – NW of Mesa Grande. albite, beryl, elbaite, fluorapatite, hambergite(H), lepidolite, microcline, quartz, rynersonite(SD), spessartine, stibiotantalite(H).
Pala district, Hiriart Hill [includes White Queen mine, Katerina mine, Vanderburg mine, San Pedro mine, Anita mine, and others] – ENE of Pala. albite, albite, beryl (morganite), elbaite, lepidolite, lithiophilite, microcline, muscovite, petalite, quartz, secondary Mn-phosphates, spodumene (kunzite).
Pala district, Chief Mountain [includes Pala Chief mine, Elizabeth R mine (also known as Oceanview mine), Margarita mine] – NE of Pala. albite, apatite(ER), beryl (morganite), elbaite (rubellite), lepidolite, lithiophilite(ER), microcline, muscovite, quartz, schorl, secondary Mn-phosphates(ER), spodumene (kunzite).
Pala district, Queen Mountain [includes Stewart mine, Tourmaline Queen mine, Tourmaline King mine, Ed Fletcher mine, Pala View mine] – north of Pala. albite, apatite, beryl, elbaite, lepidolite, lithiophilite, microcline, muscovite, quartz, schorl, secondary Mn-phosphates, spessartine, spodumene.
Palm Wash calcite deposit [also known as Hilton deposit, Calcite Operators, Inc. mine] – Palm Wash, 9 miles west of Salton City, east edge of Santa Rosa Mountains. calcite (optical).
Ramona district [includes Little Three mine, Hercules mine, ABC mine, Surprise mine] – 4 miles ENE of Ramona. albite, apatite, axinite, beryl, elbaite, lepidolite, microcline, quartz, schorl, spessartine, topaz.
Rincon district [includes Mack mine, Victor mine, Clark mine] – Rincon Mountain, 1 to 2 miles SE of Rincon. albite, apatite, beryl (aquamarine), elbaite (indicolite), lithiophilite, microcline, quartz, quartz, spodumene (kunzite).
Whaley mine [also known as De Luz quartz deposit] – 2 miles north of De Luz, 7 miles NW of Fallbrook. goethite (a.pyrite), quartz (w/adularia, arsenopyrite, chlorite, muscovite, spodumene).
The Dulzura district is in southern San Diego County in the San Ysidro Mountains and about 25 miles southeast of San Diego. Placer gold was discovered here in 1828, but the lode deposits were not mined until 1890. The mines were worked sporadically from the 1890s until the 1930s. The principal gold source has been the Donahoe mine; others include the Johnston and Doolittle mines. The district is underlain by granitic rock, quartzite, gneiss, and schist. The deposits occur in a northwest-trending shear zone in metamorphic rock and consist of broken and crushed quartz containing native gold and sometimes abundant sulfides. The deposits are shallow and usually are discontinuous.
Vertical Shaft at Donohoe Mine (Sealed)
Topographic maps show a vertical shaft on the opposite side of the road from the Donohoe Mine adit. Not much is left of the site — the shaft has been filled in and sealed. A rusted water tank high up on the hill is all that remains as well as several rusted pipes running up and down the hill towards the site where the vertical shaft would’ve plunged deep into the hillside.
Timbered Gold Mine in Red Rock
SDME exploring a Timbered Gold Mine in Spangler Hills near Red Rock, CA
Tony and Rea Spangler worked gold mines near Teagle Wash in the early 1900′s
Stephens Holding Main Mine
SDME exploring the Stephens Holding Mine in Spangler Hills near Red Rock, CA
San Bernardino County Latitude:35.5460699 Longitude:-117.5167246
The Gunsite Mine Tecopa MAY 2011
Great pictures inside, The Gunsite Mine is an extensive complex with numerous portals, shafts and open stopes. It’s one of the oldest Tecopa mines.
Grant Mine Tecopa May 2011
The Grant Mine is one of the smaller Tecopa mines. It connects to the War Eagle Mine and possibly the Noonday Mine as well.
Climbing the 400 foot shaft in the abandoned Grant Mine
The Grant Mine is located near Tecopa, CA outside of Death Valley.
War Eagle Mine, Trip Two – 1 of 3
This mine is located approx. 12 km. east of Tecopah, CA. at the south end of the Nopah range.
War Eagle Mine, Trip Two – 2 of 3 “We love rails, yes we do!”
From the standpoint of a mine rescuer, it does not appear that you guys have gas detectors or scaling bars. Calico’s mines aren’t known for gas too much, but the ground in some of those spots you guys pass looks really bad.
The Tecopa Mines: Exploring the War Eagle Mine and the Grant Mine
Two of my fellow explorers had never visited the massive mines near Tecopa, CA, so we headed out there and spent five hours underground in the War Eagle Mine and the Grant Mine. This video features us climbing up a 200-foot inclined shaft in the War Eagle Mine to reach the Grant Mine. Once in the Grant Mine, we climbed up the 400-foot inclined shaft there and explored a drift tunnel that is located approximately halfway up the shaft. This particular inclined shaft is almost completely blocked near the top by a gigantic fallen boulder and other debris. We climbed back down the 400-foot ladder and returned to the War Eagle Mine where we briefly explored the western entrance area.
War Eagle Mine
An excellent photographed mine guide for the War Eagle Mine. Another great job by Starbuck’s Exploring!
Abandoned Mine Exploration: The Grapevine Mine and the New Era Mines
Near Independence, CA. I made a mistake in my initial reply to you regarding the New Era Mines! They are located on the WEST side of Highway 395 — not the East side!
Exploring the Reward Mine: Its Upper Levels and Inclined Shaft (LONE PINE, CA.)
This video is an exploration of the Reward Mine near Lone Pine, CA. We explored the many upper adits as well as the upper levels of this extensive mine. Footage includes the ore bins on the mountain side, a wooden ore cart in one of the tunnels, ladder-climbing, and the exploration of the main inclined shaft.
The Silver Spur was also called the Union Mine, located near Lone Pine, CA.
“Tin Camp” and the “Brass” Mine, MNP
These are some old mines that were worked and re-worked over the years. “Tin Camp” dates to 1867 and was worked for lead-silver and later for tungsten. The camp is neat for its remaining building that people have taken care of. The nearby “Brass” mine was worked for gold. Both are fairly remote spots.
Oro Fino Mine, MNPexploration of the old Oro Fino Mine in the Old Dad Mountains of the Mojave Preserve. The mines are closed by iron bat-gates. The cabins, however, have been recently repaired by volunteers and are in good shape.
“Gold was discovered south of Seventeen Mile Point at the Oro Fino Mine in the 1890s and at what became known as the Brannigan Mine in 1905. By 1909, another group of claims nearby was being worked by the Precious Metals Development Company of Los Angeles. These claims later came to be known collectively as the Whitney Mine. A mill to refine the ore was set up and running at the camp at Seventeen Mile Point by February, 1911. Water for the mill was reportedly piped in from Indian Springs some 4 miles away.”
“After a shut-down in the 1920s, activity at the Brannigan Mine resumed in March, 1930. That year M. A. Sisleyand John Herrod relocated the claims and worked them until 1935. The Oro Fino Mine was also reactivated, and from 1930 to 1943 produced about $50,000 in gold.”
Joshua Tree National Park
Wall Street Mill, JTNP
The Wall Street Gold Mill is a very interesting and rare example of a complete small desert gold mill. And to boot, it is only a short walk inside the backcountry of Joshua Tree National Park.
Once owned by prospector and rancher Bill Keys, the mill was a custom mill, meaning that it processed ore in batches for many local area mines. Keys started up the mill here in 1932 after purchasing the stamps from New Eldorado Company at Pinyon Well and relocating it from there. The mill had been working at Pinyon Well since 1891. Keys worked the mill intermittently until 1942 when WWII closed all the gold mines. His son took over and operated it for a brief time starting in 1949. Bill last ran the mill for about a month in 1966. It was acquired by the National Park Service in 1971 from the Keys estate.
Pinto Wye Arrastra, JTNP
An arrastra is a simple and primitive gold milling device. Heavy stones are dragged over gold ore to crush it. Mercury and water is added to the floor of the arrastra to create an amalgam and capture the gold.
There is somewhat of a mystery about who built this arrastra and used it. There is a small incline shaft up on the hillside above the arrastra and there are a couple of prospects in the area. The arrastra could have been built to mill ore from these prospects. Perhaps the ore played out too quickly and the miners moved on before using the arrastra heavily.
It is also possible that this was a custom mill for other mines in the area, maybe centrally located to serve some of the other mines?
Champion Spark Plug Mine The Champion Spark Plug mine is quite a place. The deposit was initially found in 1916 by a dentist, Dr. Joseph Jeffery, who was looking for better minerals to build dentures from but the minerals found fame as insulators for spark plugs. The Champion Spark Plug Company successfully worked the mine from 1919 to 1945. It is currently maintained by volunteers.
Unfortunately for the miners, the deposit is up on cliff (around 9,000’) high up on the mountain side. The terrain was too steep for a road so all the ore was hauled out by mule. This also means everything hauled in was by mules as well. There is a camp up at the mine (appropriately called the Upper Camp) but the main camp is the Black Eagle, a few thousand feet below the mine. Even from the lower Black Eagle Camp, it is a long way down to the canyon bottom where the road ends at around 5,900’ in elevation. From there the ore was loaded onto a truck and then hauled to the railroad siding where it was shipped to Detroit for processing at Champion’s factory.
The camp has half a dozen furnished cabins, a cookhouse, three outhouses, a workshop and even a museum! It has running water piped to the cookhouse and wash house but sometimes the water line is in disrepair. The cabins are free to use and stay at. No reservations are required. The cabins are on a first come, first served basis.
Please enjoy and care for this incredible place.
This fairly remote and old silver, lead and zinc (with some traces of gold and copper) mine is a pretty neat site. The old camp dates from the 1870s and was re-worked in the 1920s. The mine has four levels (not including the adit level) and a few thousand feet of workings. I recently revisited the site and it still looks to be in good shape.
The Bellehelen Merger mine was a remote gold and silver mine was mainly worked from 1906 to 1930s, and was the principal mine of the district. There was an active camp with a 50 ton cyanide mill here at one time. Not much is left these days. The mill is long gone and the hills are quiet again.
Bald Mountain Mine, DVNP
The cabin and mine were probably from the 1930s Depression era, but I found signs that there was a camp here long before that time. Information on the mine is hard to find but it looks like it was a gold mine. One report states that the white rock on the hillside is a talc deposit. It does look like one from a distance but I don’t think it is talc. The main mine is across the canyon and consists of some small workings and rails down to an ore bin.
Rio Pinto – “Lost Spanish Mine”, DVNP The arrastras were likely briefly worked, if not built by, William Hunter and John Porter in 1875 working the nearby mine. In 1906, mine promoter A. D. Whittier rediscovered the ruins and called them the “Lost Spanish Mine” and used the site to promote the “fabulous wealth” of the Ubehebe Mine. Local newspapers reported the ruins to be the work of early Spanish who were driven off by hostile Indians. You can read more of the story in the references below.
Greene, Linda and Latschar, John A. 1981. Historic Resource Study: A History of Mining in Death Valley National Monument. Volume I, Section III C 2 “Ubehebe Mining District”.
Johnson, Jean 2006. “Boom and Bust of the Ubehebe Mining District” Boom Town History p 114-116.
Lingenfelter, Richard E. 1986. Death Valley and the Amargosa: A Land of Illusion. p 327-328.
Big Bell Mine, DVNP
The Big Bell mine was discovered in 1904 by Johnnie Cyty, a prospector with the nickname of “Johnnie-behind-the-Gun.” He got his name because he was known to draw his machine pistol on more than one occasion. Johnnie optioned out the mine for a small fortune but the operators only worked it on a minor basis. Unfortunately, the mine (and district) were overshadowed by strikes in the nearby Bullfrog district and the rush there was on. By 1907, both the mine and Johnnie had fallen on hard times and were out of money. A year later, late one night in Rhyolite, Johnnie gambled away all of his stock in a twelve hour roulette game to C. E. Jones. Seemingly Johnnie accepted his loss and moved on. (He was involved in a gunfight later that year over another mine where he killed a man but was acquitted.)
Even with new owners, the Bank Panic of 1907 made it very difficult to find any investors for the property. The mine lay idle until the 1930s when another company purchased the mine and built most of the camp and mill. The operation only lasted for a few years and the mine lay idle again.
Getting to this old mine site is half the fun. There are two trails, but I recommend the steep trail down from the top of the cliff. Take plenty of water in the summer time. There are no trees and it is hot even at this elevation.
Up and Down Mine, DVNP The mine was never a very big operation. It is mostly open cuts with two short adits. The most interesting thing here is the mercury retort and miner’s cabin. The cabin itself needs some work but it is in fair condition.
“Hilltop” Mine, Nevada At the mine, there was an ore car, the remains of a boiler and a few other pieces of old mine equipment. It looked like an interesting mine camp.
Fay, Little Buck and Horseshoe Mines exploring on the Nevada-Utah state line
White Caps Mine
The 75-ton mill is the first thing you see when you come to this mine site. The mine was discovered in 1905 and first worked in 1912 for gold, later for mercury and antimony as the ore tenor changed with depth. There are a few empty buildings in the camp, but the rotating furnace is the star of the show. Ore would be roasted before cyanidation. The multi-level mine itself is in poor condition and mostly caved. We visited this mill site more than ten years ago, reportedly, the site is fenced now.
Columbia #2 Mine
GREAT PICTURES inside the Columbia #2 Mine! “These are various photos from our trips over the years to the Columbia #2 mine out in the Mojave desert. Part of the War Eagle complex of mines, it is well-travelled. The main incline has caved and no longer useable.”
The Abandoned Tropico Mine: Exploring Four of Its Tunnels (Rosamond, CA.-Antelope Valley)
In Mohave in township 11N and range 15W, you will find the Pine Tree Mine, which produced 75,000 ounces of lode gold. If you go southwest by 4 mile in township 10N and 11N and range 11W, 12W, and 13W, you will find the Rosamond-Mohave district, that had total production, 278,250 ounces of gold plus silver. West of Rosamond several miles, you will find the Tropico Mine, it was a major producer into 1950s. Many other area mines around adjacent Wheeler Springs produced lode gold. If you go to the northeast 25 miles in the El Paso Mountains, all regional gravels contain placer gold, This is a rich area. There are major mines in the area. The Cudahy Camp, Owens Camp, Burro Schmidt’s Tunnel, Colorado Camp, etc. all were rich in lode gold.
Mines est. in the area: The Albany,Antrium Lode,Rochester Consolidated Gold and Silver Co.,Lone View,San Francisco,Copper Queen Mine,Gold Bottom Mine,Ophir Mine,Arondo Gold Mine,Ruth Mine,Davenport Mine,Mohawk Mine.
West in the Greenhorn Mountains at Lake Isabella along Greenhorn Gulch, extensive placers produced rich gold deposits. Also in area quartz mines there was some lode gold. West in township 26S. range 32E and 33E, the Keyes district had a total production, 39,600 ounces through 1959. There were numerous area Mines that produced lode gold.
The Cactus Queen Mine: Descending Its 1000-Foot Inclined ShaftWe headed out to the Cactus Queen Mine in the high desert to explore its 1000-foot inclined shaft that leads to 12,000 feet of workings spread out over several levels. The Cactus Queen Mine was discovered in 1934 and only operated for approximately seven years until it was shut down by the War Production Board in 1942. Both gold and silver were mined at the Cactus Queen Mine. Interesting artifacts we found on this exploration include a vintage 1940s hammer and an intact ore cart on the tracks at the top of the inclined shaft. We also discovered a large, burned-out area on the 300-level. The headframe that sits above the inclined shaft entrance is in great condition and is interestingly made of metal.
Yellow Dog Mine Exploration
Located near Santa Clarita, GPS Coordinates: 35 0’28 N 118 10’55″W
The Elephant Eagle Mine: Exploring an Abandoned Mine
State: California County: Kern Elevation: 3,005 feet Latitude: 34.9894168 Longitude: -118.2017429
Revisiting the Lucky Golden Nugget Mine
(Dale Mining District Pinto Mts) We were unable to get back in to that lower tunnel where that door was. We found out that the current owners had gone in there within the last week or so and had refitted the door with a new lock and locking device. They even patched up and sealed the hole in the timbers that were to the right of the entrance. Glad I got to see that main haulage tunnel a few weeks ago when I had the chance! I’ve said it before: get to these mines asap because they’re disappearing fast or becoming inacessible!
The Bobtail Mines: Exploring and Documenting Desert Mining History
Location: N 34.98636 and W -118.20035. USGS Soledad Mountain quad. The nearest major town is Fremont Valley, CA.
Revisiting the Abandoned Bobtail Mines: Going Deeper Into the Mines
Seems that most of the mines clustered on this mountain shut down in the 1940s or 1950s. There are other mines nearby that we already explored (Lucky Golden Nugget Mine, etc.) which were also massive. The entire mountain is now private property and heavily signed as such. A mining company in Canada bought the claims and will be turning it into an open pit operation soon. These old mines will be unfortunately obliterated when they start blasting the pit.
Mohawk Mine – Lower Tunnel – 1 of 2
Exploring the Mohawk Mine in CA. We find many extensive stoped out areas, ore chutes, false floors and winzes. Also many stuck drill bits, which were potentially dangerous to the drill operator as they would make the pneumatic drill spin out of control. An operator could loose his grip on the air control valve and get wrapped to the drill with the air hose.
Gold Mining On The Yuba River
Gold Mining On The Yuba River The Ancient American River, Ancient Yuba River, Ancient Calaveras River, Ancient Mokelumne River, Ancient Tuolumne River, Ancient Magalia Channel, Ancient Intervolcanic Cateract Channel, Ancient Intervolcanic American River and the Ancient Jura River (from the Jurassic Period), are plotted in detail on Big Tens California Gold Map 5. The present-day rivers bearing the same names as their ancient rivers are also shown.
The Ancient Rivers of Gold in northern California are from the Tertiary Period. The Tertiary rivers existed millions of years ago and many of them had large quantities of gold within their gravels. Because of that, they are known as the “Ancient Rivers of Gold.” Each ancient river is discussed below.
Information on this page is based on the classic work of Waldemar Lindgren of the United States Geological Survey and by study of Big Tens California Gold Map 5, which shows the relationship of the ancient rivers to landmarks, such as roads, creeks and towns in the region.
These now-dry Tertiary rivers are thought to be a prime source of the gold found in many of the rivers and streams of the Mother Lode region of northern California. The ancient rivers are discontinuous and sometimes follow tortuous routes. They have been altered by volcanic activity, erosion, and in some instances portions of the rivers have been covered by lava. Much of the region underwent extreme volcanic eruptions. Volcanic flows have been found up to 4,000 feet deep. Volcanic flows were up to 60 miles in length. Portions of an ancient river may be found at ground level or near the top of a mountain, or on the side of a mountain, or buried.
Early prospectors found portions of the ancient rivers and worked them for their rich gold content. Later, mining companies used hydraulic mining or drift mining techniques to recover the gold. In hydraulic mining, water under pressure is directed to, for example, the side of a ravine to dislodge the gravels and send the material to the sluices where the gold is recovered. The equipment that was used (called a “monitor” or “giant”) was similar to a very large hose nozzle.
Geologic reports speak of gravel deposits up to 250 feet deep with gold deposits interspersed at various levels within the gravels. Some of the gravels of the ancient rivers of gold have been cemented together over time. Smaller materials between the larger gravels have bound the larger gravels together. Drift mining is used in those instances to follow the channel underneath the volcanic covering. In drift mining, tunnels are driven in bedrock underneath the channels and when the channels are reached, the richest stratum, resting immediately on the bedrock, is extracted by underground mining methods and then washed at the mouth of the tunnel.
Geologic reports speak of gravel deposits up to 250 feet deep with gold deposits interspersed at various levels within the gravels. Some of the gravels of the ancient rivers of gold have been cemented together over time. Smaller materials between the larger gravels have bound the larger gravels together. Drift mining is used in those instances to follow the channel underneath the volcanic covering. In drift mining, tunnels are driven in bedrock underneath the channels and when the channels are reached, the richest stratum, resting immediately on the bedrock, is extracted by underground mining methods and then washed at the mouth of the tunnel.
Many miles of the ancient rivers are still un-worked and may be very rich in gold.
Exploring the Gold Bar Portal and Its Abandoned Processing Plant
The Gold Bar Portal is located near Ivanpah, CA. The mine seems to have been abandoned in the late 1990s. The Gold Bar Portal was an inclined shaft.
Whiteside Mine Revisited
Whiteside Mine near Lone Pine, CA in order to investigate whether several adits located in adjacent canyons had any kind of a connection with the main Whiteside Mine tunnel
Gold occurs throughout Imperial County in its arid mountain ranges. Here is where the classic pick, pan, shovel and burro prospector of the nineteenth century crisscrossed the desert between water holes. A minimum estimate of 235,000 ounces of lode and placer gold have come from this county.
Cargo Muchacho District
Northwest of Yuma, Arizona, in the southeast part of the county you will find Ogilby site of the Cargo Muchacho district, it had many old mines worked since Mexican times with a total production about 193,000 ounces. Gold can be found in all regional arroyo bottoms, benches, terraces. This is dry wash placers with abundant gold. There are many abandoned area lode mines that produced gold. Most of the gold is fine, grain, wire, nuggets, often with copper.
On the Colorado River due north of Yuma, Arizona you will find Picacho Camp in the extreme southeast corner of the county. The Chocolate Mountains area placer and lode claims produce considerable gold. In the southwest you will find the Picacho Mountains that had many gold bearing veins in gneisses and schist’s overlain by lava’s, tufts, and conglomerates. The Paymaster district, minor lode gold production to the South by 5 miles the Picacho Mine, Bluejacket Mine, and others produced some lode gold. A ghost town named Tumco was also a good producer from several area mines.
Picacho was Glamis’s first gold mine, operating for over 20 years and bringing millions of dollars of capital investment to the state of California. All gold reserves were exhausted. 30 km NW of YUMA
Additional Mines in area: Picacho Mine (Goshen; Helen May; Tierra Rica; Mina Rica; St. George; California Gold King; Picacho Basin; Picacho Gold; Golden Rule; Venus; Jayne; Golden Casket; Dulciana; Mars)Benta Mine,Hernandez Mine,Bonanza Mine,Red Cloud Mine,Mars Extension Mine; Eastern California Mine; Apache Mine
Latitude: 32.9622634 Longitude: -114.6443993 The mine was sometime known as Picachos and Los Picachos. It become known as the Ramirez Mine for a while after 1902 when it was operated by Ramirez Consolidated. It was called the Hernandez Mine after 1913 when it was operated by the Hernandez Quicksilver Mining Company. The last know work occurred in 1939.
Imperial County, California Mines
SOUTHEASTERN CHOCOLATE MOUNTAINS AREA
Located 8 miles northeast of the Cargo Muchacho District, the Southeastern Chocolate Mountains area was primarily a gold district, although silver, lead, and copper were also found and mined here. Placer gold deposits had been worked here in this area long before the United States acquired the territory.
The Chocolate Mountains hold gold and silver values in narrow quartz veins with some high grade pockets. Placer gold deposits occur along the mountain’s western and southern flanks. The loose gold would concentrate itself into bedrock depressions giving part of this geographic area the nickname “Potholes.” The area is located in the north half of section 25, Township 15 South, Range 23 East, San Bernardino Meridian, of the Bard 7 1/2 – minute quadrangle. This area is where the Spanish settlers mined gold for the first time in recorded California history, and lies one-quarter mile west of present day Laguna Dam and adjacent to and underlying the All American Canal.
The Potholes district had a reported total production of $2,000,000, taken out over a period of many years by a multitude of men (upwards of 400) working independently. The miners usually operated in one or two man groups. They moved from gully to gully like nomads as old areas would cease to pan out and new ones were sought. The district, at gold prices of less than $35 an ounce, became uneconomical by 1900. Large-scale hydraulic operations were attempted in this area and in the Picacho Basin, using the Colorado River as a water supply, during the 1890s without success. In 1942, evidence of old Mexican workings and arrastres were abundant in the area.
American Girl Mine
Elevation: 781 feetLatitude: 32.8553221Longitude: -114.7869039
Elevation: -102 feetLatitude: 33.3822543Longitude: -115.7605492
Black Eagle Mine
Elevation: 1,483 feetLatitude: 33.1722586Longitude: -115.0933054
Elevation: 686 feetLatitude: 32.8342115Longitude: -114.7796812 Elevation: 3,980 feetLatitude: 32.6233964Longitude: -116.0808482
Easy Pickins Mine
Elevation: 1,165 feetLatitude: 32.6758952Longitude: -116.0150138
Elliot MineElevation: 3,980 feetLatitude: 32.6233964Longitude: -116.0808482
Golden Dream Mine
Elevation: 266 feetLatitude: 33.0322616Longitude: -114.5607853
Elevation: 850 feetLatitude: 32.8555998Longitude: -114.7641251
Elevation: 705 feetLatitude: 32.8961537Longitude: -114.5513399
Imperial Buttes Mine
Elevation: 784 feetLatitude: 33.3686423Longitude: -115.4544292
La Colorado Mine
Elevation: 778 feetLatitude: 32.9130987Longitude: -114.8316286
Mary Lode Mine
Elevation: 1,283 feetLatitude: 33.1300378Longitude: -115.0599709
Elevation: 741 feetLatitude: 33.0603178Longitude: -114.9944131
Elevation: 1,276 feetLatitude: 32.8467112Longitude: -114.7763478
Old Channel Mine Shaft
Elevation: 1,076 feetLatitude: 33.1108715Longitude: -114.8871869
Old Senator MineElevation: 371 feetLatitude: 32.8900426Longitude: -114.4813374
Padre Madre Mine
Elevation: 597 feetLatitude: 32.8411557Longitude: -114.7905150
Elevation: 919 feetLatitude: 32.8536554Longitude: -114.7744033
Productive as early as 1867, the Paymaster District, located 16 miles northwest of the Picacho District, includes the area between Quartz Peak and Midway Well. The district is best known for it’s silver and manganese production. Some copper at the Volunteer Group Mine was produced on a small scale throughout the 1920s. Chrysocolla, malachite, and azurite are found here. The Jet Black or Hodges Mine produced over 5,000 tons of manganese ore during World War I and II. 31
The Paymaster Mine, located in the central Chocolate Mountains, has been and continues to be the most productive silver and lead mine in the county. After its discovery in 1867, supplies and a fifteen-stamp mill were shipped from San Francisco by boat around Baja California and up the Colorado River to a point near the mouth of Arroyo Seco, 13 miles northeast of the mine. Production continued until 1880, when at the 400 foot level the richer ore ran out. Shortly thereafter, the mill was dismantled and moved to the Cargo Muchacho Mine.
In more modern times the Paymaster was reopened when the remaining ore was discovered to have 6.2 ounces of silver per ton. It was operated from 1919 to 1921. The tailings were cyanided in 1922 and 1923, and in 1938-1939 the Paymaster again saw a brief period of operation. Total production from the Paymaster Mine was about 170,000 ounces of silver recovered from 25,000 tons of ore.
Northeast of Glamis in the Paymaster District are a dozen or more gold lode and placer mines, all of shallow depth with little development. The oldest mine, the Mesquite Placers, date back to the 1880s, when 150 men were dry washing the area. This area most likely will become increasingly popular with the weekend prospector and the rockhound.
Paymaster MineElevation: 1,086 feetLatitude: 33.1942026Longitude: -114.9057985
Pegleg MineElevation: 1,404 feetLatitude: 33.2572557Longitude: -115.2327552
Picacho MineElevation: 725 feetLatitude: 32.9622634Longitude: -114.6443993
Sequence Latitude(DEC) Longitude(DEC) Latitude(DMS) Longitude(DMS) Map
1 32.9622634 -114.6443993 325744N 1143840W Picacho Peak
Perhaps the most famous mine in this area, and in all of Imperial County, is the Picacho Mine (also known as the Dewitt C. Jayne Mine). Dr. Jayne was a New York drug manufacturer and one of the first to invest in this mine. His investment may have been profitable, but the Picacho Mine was beset with problems and bad luck every decade of its active existence.
David Neahr began construction for the mine of a fifteen stamp mill overlooking the Colorado River in 1879. In 1882, 8,000 tons of ore were mined, yielding an average of $21 per ton. Although the mill was profitable, Neahr was forced into bankruptcy when a dishonest employee stole $7,000. At approximately the same time, Neahr was seriously injured by a runaway horse and died in 1898.23
The California Gold King Mining Company, with former Colorado Senator Stephen A. Dorsey as president, consolidated the Picacho mines and operated them until 1906, when the Picacho Basin Mining Company took over. In 1902, a huge 450 ton mill was in operation, and by 1904 it had 700 employees with a monthly payroll of $40,000. A narrow gauge train brought ore from the Picacho Mine to this mill, which was boasted as the largest cyanide plant in America. At this time the town of Picacho, which grew up and around the mill, consisted of some 2,500 souls. 24
In July, 1904, a belt in the mill broke loose due to overloading, and the flywheel disintegrated, showering pieces through the roof and up to one-fourth of a mile down slope. Although workers repaired this damage quickly, construction of the Laguna Dam on the Colorado curtailed the hauling of ore concentrates by steamer to Yuma, and this, plus diminishing ore values, contributed to the final shutdown of the mill in September, 1910.25
In 1939, the Nipissing Mining Company of Canada hauled in a 200-ton mill from Tonopah, Nevada, in efforts to re-establish mining operations at Picacho, but World War II prevented the company from staging a comeback. Ruins of the mill, the machine shop of the 450-ton mill, and the boiler and tank are among the objects and buildings still standing. The total production estimate for the Picacho Mine is approximately $2,000,000.26
The townsite of Picacho is now partially covered by the Colorado River and is part of the Picacho State Recreation Area. To the east of the Picacho townsite lies White Gold Basin, named after the presence in that area of a gold with an abnormal amount of silver, causing it to appear white. Two mines, the Gilden Dream and the Mayflower, were both active in this area in the late l890s and early 1900s.27
South of the Picacho townsite but north of the Picacho Mine were two placer mines, the Georgia Placer and Crescent Placer mines. Both are in Little Picacho Wash and were located in 1891. Source of the placer gold is presumed to be from the Picacho Mine area. Copper was discovered in the early 1 900s in this same area. The Picacho Copper Mine is in a 100 by 1,600 foot mineralized zone. Although no recorded production is known to have taken place, the area is popular with rockhounders as malachite, azurite, black agate, chalcedony, and galena are found here and near Picacho Peak.
California Picacho Mine California Picacho Mine
Placer deposits in Little Picacho Wash, first worked in the late 1780′s were ignored for more than a century until the completion of the Southern Pacific Railroad to Yuma became a stimulus that led to a revival of interest in the area. In the 1890s the California Picacho Company consolidated title to these deposits, which were about 5 miles from the Picacho Mine referred to earlier. In 1893, a pumping plant was erected on the Colorado River and 5 miles of flumes were built by an English company, the Picacho Gold Mining Company. This group spent $240,000 before admitting the project was a failure in May, 1894.29
The stock promotion for this ill-fated venture was handled by Baron Grant, who had promoted the Emma Mine in Utah. A Liverpool soap manufacturer, R. W. Hudson, purchased most of the stock. The venture was labeled by a newspaper of the day as one of the most absurd engineering feats ever undertaken in the West”. The flumes leaked, and the pumps could not generate enough pressure to supply more than a trickle at the other end. By 1896, individual miners and prospectors were successfully mining the area by dry washing or hauling the gravel to the Colorado River by mule and were accomplishing through primitive methods what British technology could not.
Pioneer MineElevation: 1,125 feetLatitude: 33.2083333Longitude: -114.7944444
Rainbow MineElevation: 837 feetLatitude: 33.0600399Longitude: -114.9594118
Three C MineElevation: 279 feetLatitude: 32.8461547Longitude: -114.5057825
Duncan, Trio and Senator mines
The Three C’s or Duncan Mine, probably the source of the Potholes District gold, was one of the many mines in the Southeastern Chocolate Mountains area to be located close to the Colorado River. Owned by a R. J. Duncan of Yuma, the mine in the late 1800s consisted of a 150-foot shaft. Today it has 300 feet of horizontal workings and a 300-foot shaft with 5 levels. 21
Located right next door, the Trio Mine operated during 1933 through 1935 by the Trio Mining Company. The All American canal flooded the mine workings in 1936. The Senator Mine, 1 mile northwest of the Imperial Reservoir, was located in June, 1877. It’s peak period of production occurred from 1896 to 1900. Totaling the production from those years with it’s production for 1935 shows 1,100 ounces of gold were recovered from its 3 to 8 foot wide quartz vein.
Tumco MineElevation: 794 feetLatitude: 32.8808771Longitude: -114.8155165
The History of New Idria
The discovery of the mine in 1854 sparked the development of the town of New Idria, and other nearby communities, such as Cantua, Panoche, Picacho and Hernandez. Even though the area was then a remote and difficult part of California, the region’s population continued to grow. By 1880, more than 3,000 people lived in and around New Idria. This population included miners, shopkeepers, families, a church, a school, a post office, and a doctor. The countryside surrounding the town and mining operation was, for the most part, ranching land with several smaller, independently owned mines operating as well.
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY
Atolia mine – 4.5 miles SE of Randsburg, Atolia district. ankerite, cinnabar, dolomite, pyrite, quartz, scheelite, siderite, stibnite.
Bar & Grill claim – ridge east of Caruthers Canyon, New York Mountains. beryl, lepidolite, microcline (amazonite), muscovite (fuchsite), quartz, topaz.
Black Butte mine [also known as Big Reef mine] – 12 miles WNW of Ludlow. calcite, psilomelane, pyrolusite.
Blue Bell mine [also known as Hard Luck claims, Atkinson claim] – 6.5 miles west of Baker, Soda Mountains. bromargyrite, caledonite, chlorargyrite, corundum, dioptase, fluorite, jarosite, kettnerite, linarite, mimetite, murdochite, perite, pyromorphite, tsumebite, vauquelinite, wulfenite.
Bristol Dry Lake – SE of Amboy. antarcticite, celestite, gypsum, halite.
Calico district [includes Silver King mine, Oriental mine, Waterloo mine, Langtry mine, Burcham mine (also known as Total Wreck mine), & others] – north & NW of Calico. anglesite, barite, bromargyrite, cerussite, chlorargyrite, galena, gold, pyrite, quartz (amethyst), silver, sphalerite, stromeyerite.
Cascade Canyon lapis locality – Cascade Canyon, 2 miles south of Camp Baldy, San Gabriel Mountains. corundum (ruby), forsterite, lazurite, muscovite (fuchsite), pyrite.
Copper World mine – 2.5 miles SW of Clark Mountain, Clark Mountain district. azurite, brochantite, chrysocolla, dioptase, hemimorphite, linarite, malachite, opal, serpentine, smithsonite, tenorite, turquoise.
Coupon mine [also known as Coupon Ledge] – 1 mile NW of Ord Mountain, 12 SSE of Daggett, Ord Mountains district. azurite, creedite, cyanotrichite, gold, malachite, spangolite.
Danby Dry Lake. gypsum (selenite).
Evening Star mine – Foothills west of Ivanpah Mountains, 8 miles north of Cima. andradite, azurite, bornite, cassiterite, chalcocite, chalcopyrite, covellite, cummingtonite, gold, malachite, scheelite, tenorite.
Gem Faujasite locality – NW of Cima Road & I-15. faujasite, phillipsite.
Imperial Lode, [and Tip Top mine] – NW of Sunshine Peak, Lava Beds district, 10 miles SSE of Hector. anglesite, cerussite, chlorargyrite, fornacite, hemimorphite, mimetite, willemite, wulfenite.
Kingston Peak amethyst deposits [includes Amethyst Queen claim, Mile-Hi claim] – north of Kingston Peak, Kingston Range, 13 miles ESE of Tecopa. quartz (amethyst).
Lead Mountain deposit [includes Lead Mountain mine, Barite claim] – 4 miles east of Barstow. alunite, barite, bayldonite, calcite, chlorargyrite, fibroferrite, hemimorphite, malachite, murdochite(?), plattnerite, rosasite, sulfur(?).
Leiser Ray mine [also known as Vanadium mine, California Comstock mine, Louisiana-California Co. mine] – NW of Signal Hill, Camp Signal district, 8 miles north of Goffs. cerussite, chlorargyrite, descloisite, ferberite, heubnerite, mimetite, mottramite, triplite, vanadinite, wulfenite.
Mohawk mine – Mohawk Ridge, Clark Mountain district, south edge of Clark Mountains. adamite, aragonite, arsenbrackebuschite, arseniosiderite, arsenopyrite, austinite, azurite, beudantite, carminite, cerussite, chalcophanite, conichalcite, duftite, fraipontite, hemimorphite, hetaerolite, hidalgoite, hydrozincite, jarosite, malachite, massicot, mimetite, mixite, pyrolusite.
New Method mine [also known as Hope mine, Benson mine] – SE edge of Bristol Mountains, 6 miles ENE of Amboy. boltwoodite, fluoborite, fluorite, sepiolite.
Pacific Coast Borax Co. mine [also known as Borate mines] – Borate Camp, Mule Canyon, Calico Mountains. bakerite, celestite, colemanite, gypsum, howlite, strontianite, tincalconite, ulexite.
Randsburg district [includes Kelly mine (also known as California Rand mine, Rand mine), Coyote mine, Santa Fe mine] – SW of Red Mountain. cervantite, chlorargyrite, gold, miargyrite, proustite, pyrargyrite, pyrostilpnite, pyrostilpnite, silver, stibnite, freibergite.
Searles Lake deposit [also known as Trona deposit] [includes West End Chemical mine, McGee mine] – Searles Lake near Trona. aphthitalite, borax, burkeite, galeite, gaylussite, halite, hanksite, mirabilite, nahcolite, northupite, pirssonite, schairerite, searlesite, sulphohalite, teepleite, thenardite, tincalconite, trona, tychite.
Sulfide Queen mine [also known as Mountain Pass mine, Rare Earth mine, Birthday claim] – Mountain Pass, Clark Mountain district, south edge of Clark Mountains. allanite, bastnaesite, cerite, monazite, parisite, sahamalite, vanadinite, wulfenite.
Sulfur Hole [also known as Sulfateria] – near Borate Camp, Mule Canyon, Calico Mountains. copiapite, coquimbite, halotrichite, krausite, quenstedite, roemerite, voltaite.
Turquoise Mountains deposits [includes East Camp, Middle Camp, Himalaya, Toltec] – near Halloran Summit, Turquoise Mountains. turquoise (a. apatite, orthoclase, pyrite).
Wrightwood actinolite locality – Lone Pine Canyon, San Gabriel Mountains. actinolite, dravite, rhodonite.
SAN BENITO COUNTY
Alpine mine, [and Aurora mine, Molina No. 1 mine, San Carlos mine] – 2 miles south & SE of Idria, New Idria district. cinnabar, mercury, montroydite(Alpine), quartz (amethyst(SC) & chrysoprase(Aurora)).
Artinite locality, [and Old talc prospect] – 1 mile NE of Picacho Peak, New Idria district. artinite, calcite, desautelsite, dypingite, hydromagnesite.
Benitoite Gem mine [also known as Dallas Gem mine, Gem mine] – 1 mile south of Santa Rita Peak, New Idria district. albite, baotite, bario-orthojoaquinite, benitoite, digenite, djurleite, fresnoite, joaquinite, jonesite, natrolite, neptunite, serandite.
Clear Creek deposits – on Clear Creek, New Idria district. analcime, apatite, coalingite, copper, datolite, dolomite, epsomite, hydromagnesite, jadeite, magnesiochromite, natrolite, reevesite, uvarovite.
Garnet prospect – ridge 1 to 1.3 miles west of Aurora mine, New Idria district. andradite (melanite & topazolite), clinochlore, diopside, vesuvianite.
Green Fire mine – north of Sawmill Creek, New Idria district. andradite (demantoid).
Junilla mine – 0.5 miles SE of Benitoite Gem mine, New Idria district. andradite (demantoid, melanite, & topazolite).
Juniper mine – 3 miles south of Panoche, Panoche district. aluminite, alunogen, cinnabar, metacinnabar, millerite.
KCAC mine [also known as Union Carbide Asbestos mine] – 0.5 miles west of Benitoite Gem mine, New Idria district. aragonite, brucite, coalingite, ilmenite, magnetite, talc.
Llanada copper mine – 4 miles NNE of Llanada, Panoche Valley. chrysocolla, glaucophane, libethenite, nissonite, turquoise, volborthite.
Mina Numero Uno – near San Benito Mountain, New Idria district. albite, benitoite, joaquinite, neptunite, strontiojoaquinite.
New Idria mine – south of Idria, New Idria district. cinnabar, diadochite, idrialite, koninckite, mercury, metacinnabar, millerite, onofrite, schuettite, tiemannite, voltaite.
Perovskite Peak [also known as Schist Knob, Chlorite Knob] – 1.5 miles south of Santa Rita Peak, New Idria district. agardite-La, andradite (melanite), baddeleyite, beidellite, clinochlore, diopside, fluorapatite, ilmenite, perovskite, pseudomalachite, rutile, vesuvianite (cerian).
Picacho mine [also known as Fourth of July mine] – 3 miles WSW of San Benito Mountain, New Idria district. cinnabar, karpatite.
Stayton district [includes Ambrose mine, Lone Tree mine, Quien Sabe mine] – 10 miles ENE of Hollister. stibiconite, stibnite.
Victor mine – 2.5 miles west of San Benito Mountain, New Idria district. benitoite, fresnoite, pectolite, titantaramellite.
Windy Mountain claim – 1 mile SSE of Santa Rita Peak, New Idria district. apatite, perovskite, spinel, titanite.
Fort Point – south end of Golden Gate Bridge. apophyllite, aragonite, barite, coalingite, datolite, desautelsite, gyrolite, hydromagnesite, nesquehonite, pectolite, pyroaurite, sjogrenite, wollastonite.
Adelaida district [includes Oceanic mine, Cambria mines, Klau mines, Buena Vista mine, LaLibertad mine (also known as Thompson mine)] – west of Paso Robles, Santa Lucia Range. bieberite(K), cinnabar, linnaeite(K), marcasite(K), mercury(O), metacinnabar(K), millerite(K,L), morenosite(K), schuettite(O), siegenite(K).
Morro Bay aragonite locality [also known as Sweetwater mine] – 7 miles by road NE of Morro Bay, CA 41 roadcut. aragonite.
Soda Lake – Carrizo Plain, 9 miles SE of California Valley. bloedite, mirabilite, thenardite.
SAN MATEO COUNTY
Challenge deposit – 0.5 miles SE of Upper Emerald Lake, south of Redwood City. calomel, cinnabar, eglestonite, mercury, metacinnabar, montroydite.
San Bruno Mountain – north of South San Francisco. quartz (amethyst).
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
Point Sal zeolite locality – south end of Point Sal State Beach, 1.8 miles ESE of Point Sal. analcime, natrolite, thomsonite.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY
Alum Rock Park – 7 miles NE of San Jose. alabandite, alleghanyite, barite, ganophylite, hausmannite, kempite, pyrochroite, tephroite.
Mount Hamilton deposit – 4 miles ENE of Mount Hamilton in roadcut. melanophlogite.
New Almaden district [includes New Almaden mine, Guadalupe mine] – 9 miles south of San Jose. apophyllite(NA), cinnabar, gyrolite(NA), mercury, metacinnabar, millerite(NA), pyrite, stibnite(NA), zaratite(NA).
Pacheco Pass lawsonite locality – 2.5 miles west of Pacheco Pass. albite, cymrite, glaucophane, jadeite, lawsonite, pumpellyite, stilpnomelane.
Paradise Valley jasper locality [also known as Morgan Hill jasper locality] – near Morgan Hill. quartz (orbicular jasper).
Pennsylvania mine – SW side of San Antonio Valley, 4 miles ENE of Mount Hamilton. alumohyrocalcite, barite, braunite, cristobalite, franciscanite, harmotome, howieite, kutnohorite, rhodonite, santaclaraite.
Westvaco mine [also known as Western mines, Sherlock mine] – Red Mountain district. magnesite, siderite.
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
Kalkar quarry [also known as Pacific Limestone Products quarry] – north of Santa Cruz. annabergite, arsenopyrite, bismuth, cerussite, frankeite, gersdorffite, kermesite, loellingite, meneghinite, pabstite, rosenite, stannite.
Alleghany district [includes 16-to-1 mine, Oriental mine, & others] – near Alleghany. arsenopyrite, beidellite, gold, muscovite, palygorskite, uvarovite.
Quartz Knob [also known as Crystal Peak] – 7 miles NW of Verdi, NV. cuprotungstite, muscovite, quartz, scheelite.
Cougar Butte cristobalite locality – east of Cougar Butte. cristobalite, fayalite.
Happy Camp deposit [also known as Indian Creek deposit, Chan claim] – 7 miles NNW Happy Camp, along South Fork of Indian Creek. rhodonite, vesuvianite (californite).
Yreka axinite locality – 7 miles NNE of Yreka, roadcut near CA 263 crossing of Klamath River. axinite.
Camp Meeker lawsonite locality – 2 miles north of Occidental. glaucophane, lawsonite, pumpellyite.
Cazadero quarry – 0.5 miles north of Cazadero. albite, antigorite, apatite, chlorite, clinozoisite, diopside, glaucophane, hornblende, lawsonite, muscovite, pumpellyite, rutile, talc, titanite, tremolite, zoisite.
Porter Creek lawsonite locality – 6 miles south of Healdsburg. glaucophane, lawsonite, pumpellyite.
Skaggs Spring mine – west of Skaggs Springs, 10 miles NW of Healdsburg. cinnabar, idrialite, metacinnabar, opal, orpiment, realgar.
Sonoma mine [also known as Great Western mine & Mount Jackson mine] – 4 miles NE of Guerneville, Guerneville district. bravoite, cinnabar, mercury, metacinnabar, vaesite.
The Geysers – 12 miles east of Cloverdale, Western Mayacmas district. alunogen, boussingaultite, cinnabar, letovicite, mascagnite, pentahydrite, pickeringite, stellerite, sulfur, tschermigite, voltaite, wairakite.
Valley Ford lawsonite locality – 2 miles north of Valley Ford. glaucophane, lawsonite.
Western Mayacmas district [includes Culver-Baer mine, Socrates mine (also known as Pioneer mine), Rattlesnake mine, Cloverdale mine] – 8 to 14 miles west of Cloverdale. barite, cinnabar, mercury, metacinnabar, montroydite.
Del Puerto Canyon calcite locality – Del Puerto Canyon. calcite, quartz.
Del Puerto Canyon hydromagnesite locality – Del Puerto Canyon, 0.3 miles NE of Adobe Canyon. aragonite, hydromagnesite.
Colorado is known as the Silver State, but it also ranks second among the gold producing states. Over 40 million ounces of gold have been produced in Colorado. Most of the gold mines are in the mountainous western half of the state. The most important sources of gold are from Telluride type ores.
GOLD LOCATIONS IN COLORADO
The Gravel and bench deposits along Clear Creek, just north of Denver contains placer gold. All bars, and benches along Clear Creek, which is a tributary of the South Platte River, had extensive placer operations which produced 16,800 ounces of gold between 1922 and 1959.
Alamosa County Colorado
West Blanca, elevation 12,000 feet has many area mines with dumps that has gold on them.
Arapahoe County Colorado
Along the South Platte River all gravel bars contain placer gold. Also along Cherry Creek, Dry Creek and Cottonwood Creek in T5S R66W and R67W had many productive placer workings. All regional tributary gravels contain placer gold.
Southwest of Denver in the Holy Cross Mountains, there are many small mines that produced lode gold. Some placer workings as well.
Southwest of Springfield 45 miles, at Carizzo or Estelene Creeks, in exposures of white sandstone, you can find gold with copper minerals.
Boulder County Colorado
Boulder County ranks 9th among Colorado’s gold producing counties. Boulder County has produced more than 1,000,000 ounces of gold. Most of that production came from lode mines.
Northwest of Boulder 3-8 miles is the Gold Hill Sugarloaf district. This district is about 12 square miles and had a total production of 412,000 ounces 1859-1959. In the area creek beds, terraces, benches, etc. you can find placer gold over 3,000 ounces have been produced. Gold Hill Mine, largest producer, including several adjoining mines produced lode gold and silver. The old camps of Sugarloaf, Rowena, Salina, and Sunshine are great places to explore. There are many area mines that produced lode gold and silver. Southwest of Boulder 4 miles to Magnolia, reached by steep grades, numerous high-grade mines that produced lode gold in tellurides. The total production of 130,000 ounces was recorded. West of Boulder 17 miles and 4 miles Northwest of Nederland, is the Grand Island-Caribou district in southwest part of county. The Grand Island- Caribou district had a total production between 1932-59, of 10,006 ounces. There are numerous area lead-silver mines that produced a by-product of gold. The Cardinal and Eldora mines are in the area and produced lode gold.
Jamestown is in the Central district. Nine miles northwest of Boulder there were many area mines. Lefthand Creek, north of Gold Hill, Bummers Gulch, Coon Trail, North Beaver and South Boulder Creeks, southeast of Caribou contain placer gold. James Creek above Jamestown contains placer gold. Central Gulch, west of Jamestown contains placer gold. Upper Fourmile Creek, northwest of Sugarloaf contains placer gold. It had a total production of 207,000 gold ounces. There are many area mines that produced gold in pyrite and telluride minerals. The Jamestown, Gold Hill and Ward area mines all produced lode gold.
North of Nederland on Route 160 toward Ward, turn east onto the Sugarloaf – Sunset road for 7 miles to the Oregon Mine. This mine produced gold in sulfide ores.
The Ward district is 9-13 miles northwest of Boulder. It covered 12 square miles in headwaters of Lefthand and Fourmile Creeks. The old camps of Sunset and Copper Rock, more than 50 lode mines in area, had a total production of 172,000 ounces of lode gold. The Niwot and Columbia mines were the largest producers of lode gold. In east part of district, many mines produced gold in tellurides.
Chaffee County Colorado
Chaffee County Borders the Continental Divide near central Colorado. Chaffee County produced 370,000 gold ounces, largely from lode mines, but with small amounts from placers and base metal mines. The main area of interest is in the gravel bars and benches all along the Arkansas River from Buena Vista southeast 25 miles to the Fremont County line and near Granite, which is close to the county line 15 miles northwest of Salida. There are many placers. In Lost Canyon Gulch, Chalk Creek, Cottonwood Creek, Pine Creek, Bertscheys Gulch, Cold Run Gulch, Gilson Gulch, Oregon Gulch, and Ritchey’s Patch, you will find rich history and all had abundant placer workings. There are many small mines scattered throughout County that produced lode and by-product gold.
Southeast 5 miles of Buena Vista, at Free Gold on Trout Creek, the area mines produced lode gold. East, to Riverside, 6 miles off U.S. 24, last 2 miles are difficult, altitude, 12,000-13,000 feet, area copper-lead-silver mines produced a by-product of gold. Northeast 13 miles, just South of Trout Creek Pass, area mines produced lode gold. West 14 miles, near headwaters of Cottonwood Creek, small mines produced lode gold. The Chalk Creek district is in the west part of county near headwaters of Chalk Creek, 16 miles northwest of Nathrop. It had a total production, 250,000 ounces of by-product gold. Some 20 area mines in T15S R80 and 81E, but chiefly the Mary Murphy Mine was the largest producer, with 220,400 ounces of by product gold. The area creek gravel’s have minor placer deposits.
The Monarch district is near Garfield at an elevation of 10,000-10,500 feet. The total production was between 15,000-20,000 ounces of by-product gold. The area mines in T49 and 50N, R6E, on old dumps there are gold showings. The Madonna Mine was a major producer of lode gold.
South of Granite 3 miles along Clear Creek, the area mines produced lode gold. 4 to 10 miles farther southwest there were numerous placers. West of Granite 15 miles, on Clear Creek, at Winfield (La Plata), elevation 9,750-12,000 feet, is a mineralized area 1-3 miles west and southwest of Winfield. Many small mines produced lode gold. In T11 and 12S R79E, with part of district in Lake Co, The area Creek gravel’s contain placer gold. The area mines produced lode gold. The area in north part of county, extending north into Lake County, along Cache and Clear Creeks, there are many placer workings. Years ago I found some real nice gold on a claim on Cache leased by the Colorado Prospectors Association. This is how I got the idea for the name Tom Ashworth’s Prospectors Cache.
South of Nathrop 2-3 miles, along Browns Creek, in Browns Canyon near U.S. 285, are some decent placers.
West of Salida at Monarch Pass, the area mines and dumps have gold showings. South of Salida 4 miles is the Cleora Mine that produced copper, near U.S. 50, with a by-product of gold. North of Salida 4 miles, In the Trout Creek Hills via Route 291, is the abandoned Sedalia Copper Mine ore dumps contain a by-product gold showings. West of Salida 8 miles, on east side of the Arkansas River Valley, at Sedalia, area mine dumps contain gold in abundant sphalerite. North 11 miles, along Turret Creek, area mines produced a by-product gold. North by Northeast 16 miles, to Calumet (Whitehorn) in Fremont County, elevation 9,500-10,000 feet, the area mine dumps have gold showings.
The Red Mountain area, from Twin Lakes west to the Continental Divide elevation 11,000-12,000 feet, difficult to reach, many area old mines above valley produced lode and by-product gold.
Clear Creek County Colorado
Located in the northcentral part of Colorado on the Front Range west of Denver. Clear Creek County ranks seventh among Colorado’s gold producing counties, with a total of 2,400,000 ounces coming mainly from lode mines from 1859-1959, with primary production from 1859 to 1864 coming from placer deposits. The main area of interest is in the northcentral part of county 7 miles west by northwest from Central City in Gilpin County. The Alice district extends into Gilpin County and had a total prod production of 23,000 gold ounces from 1883-1959. The Alice Mine was first worked as a placer producer of 2,903 gold ounces then as a lode mine. The North Star-Mann Mine was a producer of 5,610 ounces through 1916 of lode gold.
Daily is near headwaters of West Fork of Clear Creek and Butler Gulch, 2 miles east and southeast of Jones Pass. There are many area mines that produced lode gold.
Georgetown / Silver Plume is on U.S. 6 and 40-42 miles west of Denver. The steep grades in this area are treacherous. Georgetown / Silver Plume is in west part of county. This district consisted of 25 square miles and had a total production of around 145,000 gold ounces. Area mines produced a by-product of gold. Southwest of Georgetown / Silver Plume 6 miles is the Argentine or west Argentine district. Just east of the Continental Divide, this district had a total production of 25,400 gold ounces. Along Leavenworth Creek, and on the southeast side of Leavenworth Mountain on the southeast slopes of McClellan Mountain, at head of Leavenworth Creek, 6 mi. farther southwest, many area mines produced lode and by-product gold. On Kelso Mountain, area mines produced lode gold. The Belmont Silver Lode and the Baker Mine were the largest district producers of lode gold.
Idaho Springs district embraces an unbroken succession of gold deposits extending from the town to Central City and Blackhawk in Gilpin County. It had a total production in this district of about 1,805,000 gold ounces. The mines at Cascade, Coral, Jackson Bar, Paynes Bar, Spanish Bar, and Virginia Canyon all produced lode gold. In Chicago Creek, Nevada and Illinois gulches, and Missouri Flats, there were extensive placers operations. The Gregory, Russell, Bates, Bobtail, and Mammoth mines all produced lode gold. Northwest of Idaho Springs, 2.5 miles, at Trail, Freeland and Lamartine there were numerous mines. Along Trail Creek and the Lamartine Mine, 2 miles southwest on the divide between Trail Creek, and Ute Creek, 2 to 4 miles off U.S. 6 and U.S. 40. There are many lode gold mines. West of Idaho Springs 6 miles, along Silver Creek, placer workings from old can still be observed. Northwest of Idaho Springs 10 miles (2 miles on U.S. 40 and 8 miles on Route 285), to Alice (Lincoln, Yankee Hill, elevation 10,000-11,000 feet), numerous area mines produced lode gold. The camps of Montana (Lawson, Dumont, and Downieville), the west extension of district on U.S. 6 and U.S. 40, many area mines produced lode gold.
Conejos County Colorado
West on route 15 from La Jara, is the Axel, Gilmore, Lake Fork, Ute and Stunner districts. There were many old mines that produced lode gold as a by product.
Costilla County Colorado
North of Russell you can find placer gold on Spanish, Giant and Grayback Gulches. Also in Placer Creek there is gold.
Northeast of San Luis by 7 miles to Plomo (Rito Seco), on Rito Seco Creek there are many area mines that produced lode gold in pyrite and quartz.
Custer County Colorado
Custer County ranks seventh among Colorado’s gold producing counties. It produced 107,300 ounces between 1872 and 1959, mostly as a by product of silver mining.
Northeast of Silver Cliff to the old camps of Ilse and Spaulding, on Route 143 about 16 miles southwest of Florence in Fremont County, there were several old mines that produced lode gold as a by product of silver mining.
Southeast of Westcliffe 7 miles is the Rosita Hills district in the low west foothills of the Wet Mountains. It had a total production of 84,660 ounces of gold between 1870 and 1959. Most of the area mines and dumps still have gold showings. The Bassick Mine was the Major producer in this district.
Dolores County Colorado
Practically all of the 104,500 ounces of gold produced in Delores County came as a by product from lead, silver and zinc mines, so it is not an important county for the recreational prospector. Although one may be able to find some placer in the headwaters of the Dolores River, south of Rico.
The Ophir District is in the San Juan Mountains, which encompasses a triangle between Ouray (in Ouray County) to Silverton (in San Juan County) to Ophir. There are very many mines in this district, but it is in steep, rugged access and roads are bad. Make local inquiries before travel.
The Rico (or Pioneer as it sometimes called) district, is near the southwest end of the Colorado Mineral Belt near the headwaters of the Dolores River. There are many mines along route 145, 36 miles northeast of Dolores and 27 miles south of Telluride. All of these mine produced a by product of gold. Northwest of Delores, by 16 miles, at Lone Cone (Dunton), on the West Dolores River, on Route 331, there were many area mines that produced a by product of gold.
Douglas County Colorado
Probably the best places to start looking for gold in Douglas County are: Russellville Gulch and Upper Cherry Creek southeast of Franktown, Cherry Creek and its tributaries, Newlin Gulch, Happy Canyon and Lemon Creek, west of Parker.
Along Cherry Creek for several miles north of town you can find placer gold. Northwest 4-5 miles along Lemon Creek you can also find placer gold. South 1 mile in Russellville Gulch, a tributary to Cherry Creek, extending for many miles were some productive placers.
Along Dry Creek, a tributary to the South Platte River, in gravel deposits extending northeast into Arapahoe County you can find placer gold.
Northwest of Parker 1.5 miles on Route 83, in Newlin Gulch and Northwest of Newlin Gulch, in Happy Canyon, all sand and gravel deposits contain placer gold. Most of it is microscopic grains to pinhead sized nuggets.
Eagle County Colorado
There is many small gold and silver mines scattered throughout Eagle County. This county produced a total of 359,900 gold ounces.
West of Eagle 1-mile U.S. 24, and 6 to 8 miles up Brush Creek on road toward Fulford you will find copper mines that had a by-product of gold. South by Southeast of Eagle by 20 miles to Fulford at the head of Brush Creek, the area lead-silver mines produced a by-product of gold.
Gilman is in the Battle Mountain or Red Cliff district, in southeast part of the county. On northeast flank of the Sawatch Range between Gilman and Redcliff, about 20 miles north of Leadville, is the location of Eagle Mine, which was fourth largest zinc mine in America with copper, lead, silver and a by-product of gold. The Battle Mountain area mines operated 1877-78 and most produced a by-product of gold.
West of McCoy along the Colorado River the bar and bench gravel’s contain placer gold.
Southwest of Minturn by 10 miles at head of Cross Creek at Holy Cross or Eagle River you can find some spotty, high-grade ores of lode gold.
Along Homestake Creek several mines produced a by-product of gold. Battle Mountain, Belden, and other area mines are located from Redcliff all way to Gilman. Most produced a by-product gold.
Elbert County Colorado
The best areas to prospect in Elbert County are: Platte River, Gold Run Creek and Ronk Gulch.
All Platte River bars and terrace gravels contain placer gold.
West and Northwest of Elizabeth 1.5 miles, along Gold Run Creek and Ronk Gulch on Route 86, about 40 miles southeast of Denver there are some good gold deposits in the gravels in this area.
El Paso County Colorado
Gold is found gold northwest of Colorado Springs by 6 miles at Blair Athol in the foothills. Most of the area gulches contain some placer gold in the gravel deposits. Also if you go southwest of Colorado Springs, via Gold Camp Road (beautiful drive in autumn) to the St. Peter’s Dome district there were many old mines that produced lode gold and you can usually find placer below them.
Freemont County Colorado
The main area of interest is the gravel bars and terrace gravel’s along the Arkansas River from the Chaffee County line downstream to Florence. There were many placer operations in olden days.
Badger Creek is 8 miles southeast of Salida, in Chaffee County. If you go 4 miles up Badger Creek, in the gravel bars and benches you can find placer gold, with copper minerals.
West of Canon City 13 miles on U.S. 50, Currant Creek the mineralized area extending 8 miles north along creek you can find placer gold. Many area mines produced lode and by-product gold. Don’t forget to visit Royal Gorge.
North of Cotopax 9 miles on U.S. 40 to Red Gulch, 24 miles southeast of Salida, the area copper-silver mines produced a by-product gold.
The Whitehorn district, east of and continuous with the Calumet district of Chaffee County, you will find many area mines that produced lode gold.
Garfield County Colorado
Glenwood Springs and Newcastle Areas
North of Glenwood Springs you can find gold on the dumps of old mines with a metal detector. Along Riffle Creek and Elk Creek you can find placer gold. On the south end of the White River Plateau (hard to get to) you can find several old lode mines that produced lead, silver and zinc with a by product of gold.
Gilpin County Colorado
Gilpin County is about 30 miles west of Denver, on the east slope of the Front Range. Gilpin County ranks second among the gold-producing Counties of Colorado. From 1859 through 1959 a total of 4,207,000 ounces of lode gold and 47,900 ounces of placer gold were produced. The main areas of interest are the northern districts of Perigo, Independence, and PineKingston-Apex, covering half a township 20 to 35 miles southwest of Boulder in Boulder County and 50-60 mi. Northwest of Denver. There are good access roads and very many mines that produced lode and by-product gold. Also the southern districts of Central, Nevada, Gregory, Russel, and Quartz Mountain, 40 to 50 miles west of Denver and southwest of Boulder. There are very many mines, prospect all dumps, for lode and by-product gold.
In Blackhwak there are many rich area mines, mostly base metal and silver, with by-product of gold. The Gregory diggings were rich placers discovered in 1859. At Russel Gulch, area gravel deposits are productive placer deposits. There are many area lode mines, in early day production, $400 per day per man at $35 an ounce
Central City district, along South boundary of county, the North segment of the rich chain of ore deposits between Central City and Idaho Springs in Clear Creek County. This district had a total production of 4,170,000 ounces of lode gold and 30,000 ounces of placer gold. Southwest of Central City by 2.1 miles on Route 279, past ghost town of Russel Gulch, the area old mine dumps have gold showings. If you turn right onto Route 279 (unmarked) go 3.8 miles to the Gloryhole, enormous open pit with dangerous rim, you will find gold showings in a variety of minerals. If you take Road to ghost town of Apex, just North of North Clear Creek in central part of county, you will find the northern Gilpin district, extending North to the Boulder County line, most important mines lie just South of Apex. This district had a total production of 35,000 ounces lode gold. The Gilpin area, second most important mines you can look on dumps and find gold showings. In Gamble Gulch there are rich placers. The Dirt and Perigo mines, active to 1959 for lode gold.
In Rollinsville all area gulches the placers worked since 1897. Along South Boulder Creek dredging from 1937-39 produced 7,724 ounces of placer gold.
GRAND County Colorado
East of Grand Lake 7 miles on route 278, the area lead silver mines had a by product of gold.
Kaufman Creek is one of the five creeks that drains from the top of Gravel Mountain. Gravel Mountain, as its name implies is covered with gravel. Similar to that of Independence Mountain. All five of these creeks contain gold, but I’ve only prospected on Kaufman Creek. The heavy gravels in the bottom of the pan is just like those found on Independence Mountain. Leads one to think that these gravels are the result of glacial activity. There is a false bed rock of conglomerate. With good gold at the contact zone. Have not found any nuggets, over 1/8″, yet. But the area is worth prospecting.
South of Parshall, to the head of Williams Fork, is the La Plata district. It extends a few miles southeast across Jones Pass on the Continental Divide in the headwaters of the West Fork of Clear Creek. The lode gold there is often associated with pyrite.
Gunnison County Colorado
Gunnison County is on the west of the Continental Divide. Gunnison County produced 130,000 gold ounces, mostly from lode mines, but with unrecorded placer gold production between 1861 and 1880. The main area of interest is in North part of county, all area gulches, have placers. Dredging in Washington Gulch is productive. This was also the site of first gold discovery. Many placer workings were not recorded.
Almont is on Route 306 and this is where the Taylor River and Gunnison River meet. There used to be a nice restaurant that had a huge polar bear from Siberia stuffed in the restaurant. Great place that Three Rivers resort. If you go northeast from Almont 7 miles, in Spring Canyon, several lead – silver mines that had a by-product of gold. Don’t forget to bring your fishing pole, best fishing in this area.
Northwest 10 miles and a few miles North of Route 135, the area silver mines had a by-product gold. If you go North 22 miles at Elk Mountain, elevation 9,500 feet, to the ghost town of Gothic, you will find numerous area copper mines that had a by product gold, silver. Don’t forget the tip about Washington Gulch either.
East of Gunnison 13 miles, at Gold Brick, 1-4 miles northeast of Pitkin, on fair roads, elevation 9,000-13,000 feet, numerous relatively rich mines concentrated just East of Gold Creek in an area 4 mile long by 1 mile wide.
Take Route 162 to the Quartz Creek district, also under Pitkin County, area mines produced lode gold. South 3-4 miles, at Cochetopa (Green Mt., Gold Basin), extending from Cochetopa Creek 2-4 miles West area mines produced free-milling gold.
North and Northeast 1-4 miles from Pitkin, in Southeast part of county, to include Box Canyon, the Gold Brick – The Quartz Creek district had a tot. production, 1879-1959, of 80,000 gold ounces, includes Ohio City, founded 1881 (by the way, I found a $5 gold piece here with a detector). Northeast 1-4 miles, near road, to Tincup, in South end of extensively mineralized zone, many old mines, on dumps-gold showings. South 6 miles, near U.S. 50 about 25 miles East of Gunnison, in Box Canyon, the old Independence and Camp Bird mines are located 3-4 mi. North of Waunito Hot Springs Creek via steep roads. The produced free milling gold.
In the Cebolla district, Powderhorn had many mines along Cebolla Creek that produced lode gold. Cebollo Creek contains placer gold.
North of Sargents 10 miles, at Tomichi (Whitepine), a ghost town, area mines produced lode and by-product gold.
Great place to Metal Detect. This is located 15 mi. North of Pitkin in North part of county 25 miles Northeast of Gunnison via Route 162, at head of Willow Creek on extreme southeast flank of Taylor Reservoir Park and on opposite side of 12,000-feet. Cumberland Pass from Pitkin, the Tincup district had a total production of about 16,400 ounces, of gold, mostly prior to 1932. Along Tincup Gulch, many placers can be found. At headwaters of Willow Creek you can find many area mines that was the source of the placer gold. there is a stream that flows into Taylor Reservoir, that If you follow it and go to the headwaters, by hiking, and find some nice nuggets with a sluice box.
Hinsdale County Colorado
Following silver discoveries in 1871, Hinsdale County produced about 71,365 ounces of gold through 1959.
Along Henson Creek above town and extending for 10 miles West many lead – silver – zinc and copper mines that produced a by-product gold in tellurides. South 5 miles, Lake Fork of the Gunnison River, at North end of Lake San Cristobal there are many area mines in a 5 mile stretch along Lake Fork, and the Golden Fleece Mine (noted for its tellurides) that produced lode gold. Southwest 12 miles, between Lake Fork and its tributary Henson Creek in several districts, e.g., Burrows Park (Whitecross), on Route 351 near head of Lake Fork, elevation, 10,500-12,000 feet, many area mines produced lode gold. Southwest 15 miles, at Carson at head of Wagner Gulch, mineralization extending across the divide into head of Lost Trail Creek made for many lead-silver mines that produced a by-product gold.
Huerfano County Colorado
Eleven miles southwest of Walnesburg, via U.S. 160 and 5 miles on Route 111, there are some old lead, silver and copper mines that had a by product of gold.
JACKSON County Colorado
Northwest of Cowdry 18 miles on route 125 to Pearl, there are a few base metal mines that had a by product of gold.
On the northern edge of North Park, is the ridge known as Independence mountain. This mountain has a ‘cap’ of gold bearing gravels, deposited on it through glacial action. There is no lode source of the gold found in this gravel. These placers were found in the 1800′s. And is the site of an Indian raid, where a couple of miners lost their life. There are numerous old diggings, and cabins. One of the cabins I have found, is interesting, in that the fireplace is made of mud and sticks. Certain layers of this gravel is quite rich with gold. Look for the typical rust stained gravels, in areas unworked previously. I have found pea size nuggets in this area, so a metal detector should work, although I have not found any nuggets with mine, lack of experience. To reach Independence mountain, go north from Walden, to Cowdry, west of Cowdry towards the Big Creek drainage. After crossing the North Fork of the Platte, you will see the mountain in the north. BLM signs mark the roads. The best access is about seven miles from Cowdry, at the Lake John’s road intersection. Turn north, and follow the road up the steep grade to the top. One mile from the saddle, is the Mitchel Placer. Most of the mantle in this area contains gold. Numerous test holes, have exposed that the gold bearing layer is quite large. Find the rust stained layer.
Southeast of Rand 9 miles at Teller on Jack Creek, elevations 9,000 to 10,000 feet, is an early day boom camp, that had many copper and silver mines that had a by product of gold.
Jefferson County Colorado
Half mile above town, on Cub Creek, small mines produced lode gold. South 1.5 miles on Route 73 is the Augusta Mine that produced a by-product gold. Southwest .75 miles on Northwest side of Cub Creek, along Route 334, and .25 miles Northwest of Route 74, mine with gold, with fluorite and silver. The Malachite Mine, notable copper producer by-product gold.
West, along Clear Creek, to East, many good placers. Area sand and gravel pits are a source of most gold in recent years.
LAKE County Colorado
Two of Colorado’s most important mining areas are in Lake County, Climax and Leadville. Only Leadville is important in gold production and accounts for most of its nearly 3,000,000 ounces. Since almost all of Leadville’s production was a by product of silver, weekend prospectors have overlooked both Climax and Leadville in favor of the Arkansas River placers.
The entire Arkansas River Valley in southern Lake County has had productive placer locations with some of the better locations being Box and Lake Creeks and California Gulch. Most of the tributaries can be counted on to turn in small amounts of placer gold.The confluence of the Arkansas River and Lake Creek area was the general site of some the most extensive and successful placer mining operations in Colorado. Within a short distance are placer areas from numerous sources. Some 4 miles upstream from Lake Creek the Arkansas River is joined by Box Creek and several smaller outlets which provided source gold from the eastern slopes of Mount Elbert (Colorado’s tallest mountain). This area was extensively worked for a considerable time period and is generally known as the Derry Ranch Placers. Lake Creek was a principal contributor of placer gold now found in the Arkansas River, draining water courses from the southern and southeastern slopes of Mount. Elbert and adjoining peaks. The majority of the gold originally was accumulated in moraine deposits, a short (6 mile) drive west on Hwy. 82 into the Twin Lakes area will quickly demonstrate the glacial valley. These lakes are now used for the production of hydroelectric power and the saving of fresh water. Originally the lakes (actually 1 lake) were created by two separate glacial flows with the end moraines providing the base dam and the upper/lower lake division. Needless to say with man’s “damn” interference, gold no longer is sorted and fed down into Lake Creek from the glacial gravels. Just below the dam for a distance of about 3 miles Lake Creek again flows unimpeded. Dennis O’neil of Balltown, Colo. (a little collection of locals at the junction of Lake Creek and the Arkansas River) owns numerous claims on both Lake Creek and the Arkansas River which are open to daily fee users. Each of the various available claims areas is restricted to different prospecting methods. The most common activities are high-banking and panning. Dredging is allowed, by permit from BLM, on the Arkansas River. I have found that there are some virgin gravels on the Eastside of Lake Creek in the designated high-banking area but it is tough work as these are packed gravels. It should be noted that of the gold that is found, like most Colorado placer gold, it is of the “fine” variety and your prospecting technique requires care to maximize efforts. Occasionally small pickers and some minor flakes are found. Black sands are abundant and are filled with microscopic particles of gold. In this area water must be pumped almost 200′ and considerably uphill. Fortunately you can drive to within 25-50′ of the work area. Other areas are designated “panning only” along Lake Creek banks. On the Arkansas River, just 100-200 yards downstream from Lake Creek are some good high-banking areas. These most of these gravels are actually tailings piles from hydralicking and fluming operations of the late 1800′s. The old miners must have only been interested in the big pieces because there are considerable fines and flakes to be found. Access is also easy by parking by State Hwy. 24 and crossing over railroad tracks to work area. Water access is also easier here although attention must be paid to fluctuating water levels as the hydroelectric operations on Twin Lakes can allow or stop large volumes of water in very short periods. I have discovered no real secret tips for working the tailings area, just make sure you aren’t reworking the tailings of a “modern” prospector. The previously mentioned high-banker area on Lake Creek however does have distinct layers to be worked and better finds can be had for the gambler. As with most of the upper Arkansas River drainage no matter where you work you will find some success as I have never been able to run a single pan between the Pan Ark Lodge (Derry Ranch Placers) all the way down to Salida (50+ miles) without at least finding some color.
Along Box Creek, there was a large dredge operations for placer gold. Along lower Box Creek there was a most productive dredging operation.
Southeast of Climax 1 mile, in the Arkansas River Valley, 10 to 12 miles northeast of Leadville, is the Alicante Mine. It produced lode gold in pyrite ore. Four miles farther south, is the Birdseye Mine on the East side of the valley. It was a base metal mine, with a by product of gold.
Leadville district had a total production of 2,970,000 ounces of gold. In the area there were many great mines. I read that the last mine shut down in Leadville though (Feb. 1999 California Mining Journal). In Iowa and California gulches, there were some very rich placer mines. The old placer camp of Oro City, is now a ghost town. You couldn’t tell that it once has over 10,000 residents. There are many placers that have to be worked using high bankers or trommels in the area.
La Plata County Colorado
In the area along the Animas River, all bars, benches, terraces contain placer gold.
Animas River gravel bars, benches, terraces have many placer operations near towns. North of Durango 25 miles to NeedIeton, then East 6 miles to the Needle Mountains is the Chicago Basin district (Tacoma, Florida River, Vallecito camps), elevation of 11,000-12,000 feet, many area mines produced lode gold.
The La Plata district is in La Plata Mountains. It makes up a 15-mile diameter between the San Juan Mountains on the East and the Colorado Plateau on the West. This district had a total production of about 215,000 ounces. The La Plata River gravel’s had many small placer operations over the years. The area at the head of Junction Creek on East flank of the mountains, separated from town of Eagle Pass at an elevation of 11,700 feet, produced lode gold tellurides in a pyritic gold ore.
Larimer County Colorado
Elkhorn Creek would probably be the best place to start. It is located 2.5 miles north of the Cache la Poudre River.
On U.S. 287 southwest of Bellvue by 3 miles at Howes Gulch the area copper mines had a by product of gold.
West of Fort Collins at Manhattan, on a steep road about 4 miles north off of Route 14 there are some placer gold deposits in the gulches.
Mineral County Colorado
The area near Creede is the location of the Amethyst (Big) Mine, Last Chance, and New York mines. These mines were primarily lead-silver-zinc mines but produced a by-product of gold. They were early major producers of the county’s 149,200 ounces by-product gold. West of Creede 2 miles, at Sunnyside, is where numerous early gold claims that produced lode gold. At Willow Creek area silver mines produced a by-product of gold. North .75 miles from Creede, on Left Fork of West Willow Creek, are the locations of the Commodore Mine that produced a by-product of gold. West of West Willow Creek is the Amethyst Lode that consisted of numerous mines for lode gold. Between the Amethyst Lode and the Commodore, all Creek gravel bars and benches contain placer gold. At end of Route 149 is the King Solomon and Sunnyside mines, at an elevation of 9,000-11,000 feet, both produced by-product gold.
Moffat County Colorado
Southwest of Craig 12 miles, at Round Bottom, on North side of the Yampa River you can find some old placer workings. West 19 miles, at Lay, on U.S. 40, with latest workings 6-10 mi. North along Lay Creek, there were some very productive placers. North 35 miles, at Fourmile Creek, and Timberline Creek, close to Route 13 near Baggs, Wyoming, 5 miles North to area of dry, rolling plains along the West base of the Elk Mountains, an area of about 30 by 40-miles of coverage, are some dry placers. The fine gold can be dry washed or recovered by blower-type machines and is 885-935 fine, with about 600 colors comprising a cent (at $35 a troy ounce).
Montrose County Colorado
The best chances of finding placer are in the Dolores River placers northwest of Uravan, La Sal Creek just northwest of Bedrock and San Miguel River from Uravan to well beyond Naturita.
The area around T46N R15W, along the San Miguel and Uncompahgre Rivers produces placer gold in all sand and gravel bars.
Paradox, on route 90 6 miles out, at La Sal Creek, there are numerous old copper mines that had a by product of gold. All the area watercourse beds, benches and terraces contain placer gold.
Ouray County Colorado
Ouray County produced 1,911,000 ounces of gold between 1873 and 1959, most of that came from the famed Camp Bird Mine as a by-product of copper, lead, and silver refining.
Just North of Ouray on East side of valley a few miles off U.S. 550 by steep grades, to Uncompahgre, an area of about 15 sq. nil. with most mines in canyon walls of the Uncompahgre River, total production of about 200,000 ounces before 1900. The American Nettie Mine, which was a phenomenally rich producer of lode gold is here. the Bachelor Mine produced a by-product gold. Many other area mines produced a by-product gold. South of Ouray by 6 miles is the Treasury Tunnel near U.S. 550 which produced gold, in sulfides. West by Southwest from Ouray 8-12 miles on Route 361, at Sneffels (Imogene Basin) is the Sneffels-Red Mountain district that had a total production of 1,723,000 ounces of by-product gold. Many area lead-silver-zinc mine produced a major amount of gold as a by-product. At the head of Canyon Creek in Imogene Basin to West of Hayden Mountain, at Sneffels (camp), many mines, especially the Camp Bird Mine produced a by-product gold. At head of Red Mt. Creek to East of Hayden Mountain, is the location of the Red Mountain camp, many area mines produced a by-product gold. South 12 miles, at Red Mountain Pass, elevation 11,018 feet, is the Longfellow Mine that produced a by-product gold.
Park County Colorado
Gold is the main metal mined in Park County. It had a total production of 1,364,430 ounces of gold between 1859-1959, mostly for the lode mines along the east slope of the Mosquito Mountain Range in the Northwestern portion of the county.
The Alma district is located east of Leadville and had a total production of 1,320,00 ounces of lode gold and 28,000 ounces of placer gold between 1859-1959. Northeast of Alma about a 1/2 mile, along the east side of the South Platte River, the placers produced great. Coarse gold nuggets to several ounces have been found. All the area tributary creeks and gulches, in gravel deposits contain placer gold. On Mount Lincoln and Mount Bross, rich area lode mines, especially the London Mine (richest producer in the county, closed in 1942) produced most of the gold and silver. Near the head waters of the South Platte River, along the Continental Divide, on North Star Mountain, all area gulches contain placer gold. Northwest of Alma, 2~6 miles, many small mines produced lode gold. North of Alma 5~10 miles is the Consolidated Montgomery Mine. This mine is at an altitude of around 11,000 feet and produced a by product of gold. In Buckskin Gulch, the Sweethome Mine was a good producer. Around Mosquito creek, all streams produce placer gold.
In the area of Beaver Creek, in out wash gravels from the South Platte Glacier you can find placer gold. West of Bailey, 14 miles many area mines produced a byproduct of gold.
Northwest of Como, along the upper reaches of Tarryall Creek and its tributaries, is the Tarryall district. This district produced a minimum of around 67,000 of placer gold and 250 ounces of lode gold. On Tarryall Creek, on the east slope of Silverheels Mountain, extending for several miles southeast of town, you can find extensive placer workings. There are many small mines in this area. In Montgomery and Deadwood Gulches, near the headwaters, lode mines are the probable sources of Tarry Creek Placer gold. I dredge on Tarryall Creek in the Michigan Creek Campground in 1983 and found some real nice gold. This is located just above the Tarryall Reservoir.
The Fairplay district produced 202,000 ounces of placer gold, mostly along the South Platte River in the snowstorm and Fairplay Placers. Along Sacramento and Beaver Creek is excellent placer ground. The area Southeast of town in glacial out wash gravels contains placer gold. At the head of Fourmile Creek is the Horseshoe Mine and it was a good producer. North of Fourmile Creek and south of Mosquito Creek is the Sacramento Mine that produced a by product of gold.
At Geneva Creek on Collier Mountain and at the headwaters of West Geneva Creek you can find placer gold.
East on U.S. 24 from Hartsel to Wilkerson Pass are a few old mines that produced a by product of gold.
Pitkin County Colorado
In the area of Roaring Fork (including town and Richmond Hill, Lenado, principal mines within 1 mile of Aspen, the Mollie Gibson and Smuggler mines, and others produced a by-product gold. North of Aspen 10 miles, at ghost town of Ashcroft on Castle Creek, the area mines produced a by-product gold. Southeast of Aspen 15 miles, at Lincoln Gulch, mineralized area at head of gulch and 10 miles from Route 82 via poor road, on West side of Ruby Mountain, the area base-metal mines and minor gold production. Southeast of Aspen 20 miles, is the Independence Pass district, mines on West Aspen Mountain had a total production of 25,000 ounces.
Rio Grande County Colorado
In the 1880s this county ranked third among Colorado’s gold-producing counties, with a total of 257,600 ounces produced through 1947.
West of Del Norte about 8 miles, along Embargo Creek on both sides of the county line, various mines that produced lode gold.
Southwest of Monte Vista 30 miles, to Jasper (Decatur), area mines and prospects .5 mile Northwest on Alamosa Creek for lode gold.
The Summitville district, in SW corner of the county, high in the San Juan Mountains, had a total production from 1873-1959, of about 257,600 ounces. The Little Annie Group of mines were the principal producers of lode gold. At the head of Whightman Fork (tributary of Alamosa Creek), at an elevation of 11,000-12,000 feet, the area mines produced a by-product gold. On South Mountain, both sides area mines produced lode gold, you can see vein exposures throughout 1.5 miles North to South and 1 mi. East to West of lode gold.
Routt County Colorado
Probably the best place to look for gold would be Deep and Willow Creeks in the northern part of the county.
Around Columbine there are a few old gold mines.
Around Hahns Peak there a few of the streams contain placer gold.
Saguache County Colorado
The best area to check out would be in the extreme southwest part of the county, along Embargo Creek and extending into the Del Norte County. The area watercourse gravel’s, contain placer gold. The area base metal mines produce a by-product gold.
Northeast of Moffat 10 miles, on Cotton Creek at Blake, at head of Creek on West slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Range, many old mines produced a by-product gold. East of Moffat by 15 miles, at Crestone, area 3-6 mi. wide, scattered mines produced a by-product gold.
North of Saguache 12 miles, in the northeast part of the county is the Bonanza (Kerber Creek) district which had a total production of 17,000 gold ounces as by-product of base-metal and silver mines. Near Bonanza camp, there are numerous area mines, especially, the Rawley Mine, which produced a by-product gold. In North part of district, many small mines produced gold telluride’s.
West toward Bonanza along Kerber Creek in the Cochetopa Hills at northwest end of the San Luis Valley, elevation 9,500-10,000 feet, the area copper-zinc mines produced by-product gold.
San Juan County Colorado
A major producer, San Juan County yielded 1,665,000 ounces of lode gold through 1959.
Northeast of Silverton on U.S. 550, at Animas (district), a belt of rich mines several miles wide along the South rim of the Silverton caldera, with mines along both sides of the Animas River produced lode gold (estimated total production is between 874,000 to 1,000,000 ounces. West of Silverton 3 miles, the area copper mines produced a by-product gold. In Arrastre Basin, Silver Lake Basin, and Cunningham Gulch, such major mines as the Shenandoha-Dives, Aspen, Silver Lake-Nevada, and Highland Mary produced lode gold. In the upper part of Cunningham Gulch, major base metal mines produced a by-product gold. Near mouth of gulch, major mines produced lode gold. Northeast of Silverton 4 miles, the Senorita Mine, copper with a by-product gold was produced. North, at Eureka (Cement Creek, Mineral Creek, and Animas Forks), the Eureka district had a total production of at least 500,000 gold ounces through 1959. The area base metal mines produced by-product gold. Beyond Eureka, the Sunnyside and Cold King mines, 8.1 miles northeast of Silverton produced gold in sulfides. East 19 miles, mostly by trail (50 mi. West Of Creede in Mineral County), at Bear Creek, mines produce gold telluride’s.
San Miguel County Colorado
Between 1875 and 1959 San Miguel County produced 3,837,000 gold ounces, to become the third ranking county in Colorado in gold production.
Many regional placer deposits are scattered over the county, 1878-1959, produced 9,700 gold ounces. In southeast part of the county, on West spur of Mount Wilson, the Mount Wilson district, at head of Big Bear Creek, had a total production of 24,800 ounces. The Silver Pick Mine was major producer of lode gold in the area. There are many area small mines that had gold showings.
The Ophir district, in east part of county, including area South of the San Miguel River, West of Bridal Veil Creek, and the Ophir Valley on the South including the Ames (ghost camp), Iron Springs, and South Telluride mining areas all had rich mining camps. South of Ophir 1 mile, at Ames, area old mines extending 6 miles east to Iron Springs, Base the metal ores produced lode gold in quartz. Ophir Valley, many area mines, especially the Alta Mine produced lode gold.
The Telluride district, along East border of county immediately southwest of the Sneffels – Red Mountain district in Ouray County, had a total production through 1959 of 3,000,000 gold ounces. The Liberty Bell Mine, producer of 633,021 ounces, 1898-1921 produced lode gold. The Smuggler – Union Mine, closed in 1928 after 52 years, and the Tomboy Mine, closed in 1927, produced lode gold. East to head of the San Miguel River, the Upper San Miguel district, elevation 11,000-12,000 feet, many area mines produced lode and by-product gold. Northwest 14 miles, the Lower San Miguel district (Placerville, Sawpit, and Newmire) had some very productive placers.
Summit County Colorado
Ranking first in Colorado for placer gold production and tenth for lode gold, Summit County produced an estimated minimum of 739,511 ounces from placer mines and 271,159 ounces from lode mines through 1959.
The area near the northern county line, along Route 9 you will find the Big Four Mine, which is 16 miles south of Kremmling in Grand County, area lead-zinc mines produced a by-product gold.
In the Breckenridge or Blue River district, including the tipper valley of the Blue River between the Front Range on the East and the Tenmile Range on the West had a total production of 1,000,000 gold ounces of which 735,000 ounces came from placer deposits. In all regional stream channels, gulches, benches, etc. you can find placers. East and northeast of town, in area of about 5 square miles, there are many lead-silver mines that produced a by-product gold. In Georgia Gulch, on North side of Farncomb Hill, rich area placers discovered in 1859, area lode mines, discovered in 1880, especially the Wellington Mine, chief producer, it was so rich in native gold that pockets supplied collectors and museums throughout the world with specimens of wire and leaf gold. Along the Swan and Blue rivers, many deep placers worked by dredges after 1900.
Frisco is located 4 miles southwest of Dillon and in the Tenmile district. It includes old camps of Kokomo and Robinson in the Tenmile Valley on the West Side of the Tenmile Range and had a total production from 1861-1959, of 52,000 gold ounces, mostly as by-product of base-metal ores. Area old mine dumps contains gold, with galena and pyrite. Various local small creek placers are around like Kokomo, in McNulty Gulch, rich placers discovered in 1861, and many mines along valley of Tenmile creek for 2-3 miles northeast and 5 miles southwest to Robinson. On East Side of valley, in the Tenmile Range, on West, slopes, many base-metal mines produced lode gold.
Teller County Colorado
Lying west of Colorado Springs in the southern part of the Front Range, Teller County produced 19,100,867 ounces of gold between 1859 and 1959.
The Cripple Creek District, 45 miles southwest of Colorado Springs, near Pikes Peak, leading gold producing district in Colorado and second in the United States, next to the Homestake Mining Company in Lead, South Dakota. There are very many huge mines, such as the Washburn, Independence, Portland, Granite, Strong, Vindicator, Golden Cycle, Victor, Isabella, and Cresson, all of which produced lode gold. The regional pits and prospects produce well from gold telluride’s. On Mt. Pizgah, several early day prospects, low-grade gold showings.
Washington County Colorado
The Akron Placers are located northwest of Akron.
– This mine sits on a pretty steep slope and the mine dump encompasses several hundred feet of the slope making it a little treacherous. That being said, I loved exploring this mine site because of the steep slope. With the slope, the mine dump is not deep like most are which allows the collector more opportunity to find that nice specimen that might other wise be buried on most mine dumps. This mine produced, gold, silver, lead, zinc and copper. Most of the specimens here will be typical metallic mine gangue minerals but this mine does not appear to picked over like most mines I have been too. I found many different mineral specimens that I wanted to keep and at the end of the day, I was forced to pick through my finds to decide which ones to keep. According to www.Mindat.org, there are only 5 minerals reported at this mine but I did find what appears to be copper. I have found copper from abandoned mines in Michigan soI know what it looks like and I am 99% sure that is what this is. The majority of what I collected here are nice cavities or vugs of quartz crystals with pyrite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite and galena. These cavities can be absolutely gorgeous especially when the metallic minerals have crystallized onto the quartz points. Some of the vugs contained quartz points about an inch long. There are also several old mine buildings at this site and the old ore chute still remains. Not surprisingly, I found many nice specimens under the ore chute. The views of the mountains and the valley below are also stunning. The mine is the middle of an aspen grove so along with the views, the aspens, the mine buildings and the smell of sulphur in the air, you get a really good feel for what it must have been like to be a miner back in the day. To get to this mine, travel west on US Hwy 50 from Gunnison to Hwy 149. At Hwy 149, cross Blue Mesa reservoir and go South to Lake City (approx 55 miles). In Lake City look for County road 20. It should be marked as the Engineer pass/Alpine loop road. Follow County road 20 to Capitol City (Approx 9 miles) Capitol City is just a few homes not a town. Here you will see a crossroads, take the one to the right up the hill. This is a 4-wheel drive road.
– This mine was a major gold producer operating from 1870 to 1925 and produced 220,000 ounces of gold. It also produced significant amounts of Lead, Zinc and Silver. On the dumps today you can still find very nice samples of Galena (lead), chalcopyrite, sphalerite (zinc) and some poorer quality rhodochrosite. I have personally collected very nice display specimens of galena and sphalerite with chalcopyrite, pyrite and quartz crystals. On occasion I have found some very light pink rhodochrosite but not very good quality. The better quality stuff may be there, I just haven’t found any. These minerals can be found within cavities of the rocks and boulders on the mine dumps. There is a certain type of mine rock to look for. These are the ore rocks that have the galena, sphalerite, pyrite and chalcopyrite and the ones most likely to contain cavities with nice quartz points. It is hard to describe what to look for other than a dull steel gray looking rock. This steel gray color is the galena that has tarnished as it has been exposed to the elements. Once you break open that rock it will be very shiny! To find these nice pieces you may need to “dig” down into the mine dump a little. Once you find a rock to open, look for small crevices that could contain larger cavities inside the rock. It may require quite a bit of effort but the rewards will be worth it. This mine is unique to the many I have visited in that the old Mill buildings and the Mill itself are all still standing. The stamp mill is no longer there but the old steam boiler and the Mill chutes and ore buckets can all be visited for an up close look. The old miner bunkhouse and coal buildings are also still standing. Overall this mine affords a very experience unlike most others in the state. To get to this mine, From Salida or Poncha Springs go north on US 285 to County road 162 in Nathrop. Follow this road to the Iron City/St Elmo area and look for the Forest Service road 295 to the Mary Murphy Mine. There are signs pointing to the Mary Murphy Mine along the way.
Bobtail Mine – Gilpin County, CO.Center: 39.7975°N 105.4992°W
Elevation at center: 8,527 feet (2,599 meters)
Quad: Denver West
Drg Name: f39105e1
Drg Source Scale: 1:100,000
Exploring the Abandoned Sultan Mine
The abandoned Sultan Mine is located in the Goodsprings Mining District in Nevada.
The Goodsprings Mining District: Exploring Two of Its Abandoned Mines
Spent an afternoon exploring both the Whale Mine and the Kirby Mine located in the Goodsprings Mining District in Nevada.
Exploring the Blue Dick Mine
The mine sits atop a mountain and is accessed by hiking up a steep, old mining road. This entire area had a lot of different mining activity over the years. Many relics are still in place in various spots in the area. This was a really scenic and interesting mine to explore and document.
GOLD!!! Gold Mines of Eldorado Canyon. (Nelson’s Landing, outside Outside of Las Vegas is one of Nevada’s richest Gold Mines. The Legendary Techatticup mine
Van Ness Mine,NV in the high mountains of central Nevada It was a rich cinnabar mine that was mainly worked in the 1920s.
“Clair’s Nevada” Mill
This mine was discovered in the early 1870s, and was worked first by Mexicans. In 1909 the claims were bought by the Clair family and worked for a long time after.
old Stateline Mill on the Utah and Nevada border
The mill is on a hill just above the old ghost town of Stateline, Utah. Only a couple of brick building ruins remain at Stateline. We went on to visit the old cemetery, which is well-marked and just out of town in the juniper and pinyon pine.
Stateline was active in the late 1890s to 1910s.
“Duke’s Camp”,NV The main cabin has been fixed up, which is great, but someone also has cut open the gate on the adit and stolen the custom built ore car. What a stupid thing to do. It doesn’t really have much value away from here. Some other items have been looted from the place.
“Pontiac” Mine,NV This medium sized, multi-level mine had a fairly long period of activity and is a more modern mine than we usually go check out. Recently it has been examined by a mining company to be mined as an open pit. We wanted to get out there before that happened and the whole place is destroyed.
MINES IN VIRGINIA (33 LOCATIONS)
Arch Creek Mine
This property has been sold, alone with equipment. We decided to move to the Klondike region, and give it a go there. Check out the 10 mile video for last years update, and one for this season is in the making now.
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