Allen Mershon is the club's Vice President, a long-time active member, and a professional expert of local gold placer mining. He is very knowledgeable about local prospecting locales in his long association with a gold recovery company. However, we must include the important proviso that no guarantee can be given of the legality of ANY prospecting technique or of the legality of prospecting, or even entering on ANY site mentioned. It is up to each individual to identify and contact the appropriate jurisdiction for each site.
Allen begins with the warning that because of the excessive snowfall this winter, there will be dangerously fast run-off this spring and summer. Even shallow water can sweep you away. A good emergency flotation device to throw to someone is a Styrofoam cooler. Be careful - always!
Some of the better published sources for gold placer prospecting in Colorado are:
Good on-line sources are:
- Gold Panning and Placering in Colorado by, Ben H. Parker, Jr., Pub. Colo. Geological Survey, 1992
- Gold Prospector's Handbook by Jack Black, 1983
- Gold Placer Map of Colorado by Western Prospector and Miner, Pub. K.B. Slocum Books, 1987
- Maps of Proven Gold Placer Deposits in Colorado, H & H Pub-lishing, Manitou Spgs, CO, 1982
- Encyclopedia of Placer Mining by Reed A. Hatkoff, Pub. Inter Re-sources Publications, Lakewood, CO, 1983
- Gold Mines and Pros-pects of Clear Creek County. CD-ROM. Summit Data Services, Golden, CO, 1999
Those should help you if you are new to gold prospecting or an Old Timer. Here are some good sites to try (remember to contact appropriate authorities first):
- Prospector-Coalliance.org (search "placer")
Placer prospecting is a "can't lose" activity because you will always get fresh air, exercise, and scenic beauty. Many would argue that your life and how you spend it is worth more than any gold!
- Clear Creek. Below the water treatment plant in the canyon.
- In Golden downstream of any of the three bridges behind the supports.
- Ralston Creek at the 58th Avenue bridge and above the dam.
- Idaho Springs. Near the high school football field.
- Breckenridge. Along the Blue River and around the old spoils piles.
- Leadville. Old mine dumps.
- Cripple Creek. Below the mines.
- Arkansas River. Bridge trestle supports and mossy places.