10 Places Where You Can Still Pan for Gold in Your Family VacationNaturally occurring gold can be found in almost all fifty states. This gold may be still embedded in rock, known as "lode gold", or it may have been deposited in a placer (a natural concentration of gold particles in sand or gravel bars) after weathering from the host rock -- or it may be found in plant tissues, or seawater, or even present in minute quantities in beach sand. (Gold is found in copious amounts on Alaska beaches and even in Oregon.) If your interest in gold is more than academic, the trick is to find locations with enough gold to make it worthwhile to try to recover some of it.
Location is arguably the single most important factor when it comes to determining the success of your gold panning experience. You can have the most expensive equipment and tools in the world, but unless there's actual gold in the water and land, you simply aren't going to come out with any. Thankfully, the U.S. is filled with hotspots from the east to west coast that are perfect for hopeful panners. As long as you're willing to make the trip, you'll find these locations are well worth the extra time it takes to reach them. Here we'll take a look at some of the top gold panning places in the U.S. and reveal some of the unique features that make them so popular.
Crow Creek Gold Mine, Anchorage, AlaskaCrow Creek Gold Mine Crow Creek Mine is a family owned and operated Historical and Recreational Gold Mine. You will find everyone from your first time miner just hoping for a few flecks, up to actual gold miners who have been working these grounds on a very serious level.
Panning & Mining // $20 adult, $10 children (7 & under)
Address: 601 Crow Creek Rd, Girdwood, AK 99587
Gold Prospecting Adventures, Jamestown, CaliforniaGold Prospecting Adventures For over 40 years Gold Prospecting Adventures has offered an exciting variety of gold mining adventures. Located three hours east of San Francisco. Gold Prospecting Adventures is a great introduction for anyone, any age, who wants to find gold and learn something new.
Address: 18170 Main St, Jamestown, CA 95327
What you may Find Gold, Gemstones (Rubies, Emeralds, Sapphires, Amethyst, Garnets). There is no admission fee, and have free parking and handicap facilities.
Address: 75 Gold Nugget Ln, Cleveland, GA 30528, USA
Reed Gold Mine, Cabarrus County, North CarolinaReed Gold Mine is the site of the first documented gold find in the United States. From this discovery, gold mining spread gradually to nearby counties and eventually into other southern states. Reed Mine is a state historic site that belongs to the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Visitors can tour a museum with extensive displays about North Carolina gold mining. In addition, they can explore several hundred feet of restored mine tunnels.
No fee is charged for admission. Gold panning fee is $3 plus tax per pan.
Address: 9621 Reed Mine Rd, Midland, NC 28107, USA
Big Thunder Gold Mine, Keystone, South DakotaBig Thunder Gold Mine was discovered in 1892 by two German immigrant miners. Today, it contains the most types of rocks, structures and minerals indigenous to the area, and it offers mine tours, a mining museum and gold panning. There is also a full-service eatery and a gift shop. Big Thunder Gold Mine is completely handicap accessible and fun for all ages.
Fees: Adults: $10.95, Children 6-12: $7.95, Children younger than 5 no charge
Address: 604 Blair St, Keystone, SD 57751, USA
Alta Ranch, Ravalli County, MontanaThe Alta Ranch is a beautiful place about 4 hours south of Glacier National Park. It is the ultimate place for gold prospecting. Although the town doesn’t officially exist anymore, you can still hunt for gold in the active placer gold mine a few miles upstream of the Alta Ranch.
Address: 9203 W Fork Rd, Darby, MT 59829, USA
Alabama Gold Camp, Randolph County, AlabamaAlabama Gold Camp is the best place for prospecting on the East Coast. Located in the heart of the Alabama Gold Belt, the camp is great for beginners or experinced prospectors. With more than 10 miles of gold bering creeks there's enough for everyone. For a mere $5 per person, you can get admission with panning and sluicing included. Children 11 and under are free with an adult. Camping is also available, for only $5/day for “primitive” camping or $30/day for RV hookups. You may bring your own equipment, with costs varying from $15-$60, depending on the size of your dredge (6-inch maximum).
Address: 1398 Co Road 5, Lineville, AL 36266, USA
Fees: Adult: $85 Per Person, Child: $75 Per Person
Address: 4650 N Mammoth Mine Rd, Apache Junction, AZ 85119, USA
Gold Daughters, North Star Borough, AlaskaWhether you are a first time visitor to Alaska, or you have lived here your whole life, there is an unforgettable experience waiting to be found at Gold Daughters. Thier friendly and knowledgeable staff will guide you through the best gold panning in Alaska, and it all starts with a panning lesson.
Fees: $20/person. 5&U free.
Address: 1671 Steese Hwy, Fairbanks, AK 99712, USA
Eagle & High Point Gold Mine, Julian, CaliforniaThis mine is actually two different mines, High Point Mine and Eagle Mine. The High Point Mine produced more gold then Eagle Mine, but they ended up forming an agreement and working together so that High Point could have access to the Eagle Point Mine’s stamp mill.
Fees: Adults – $10, Kids Age 5–13 – $5, Children Age 4 Younger – $1
Address: 2320 C St, Julian, CA 92036, USA
Part I: Top Spots For Gem Hunting In The US
Part II: Top Spots For Gem Hunting In The US
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