arizona gold mining history

where to find gold in arizona western mining history

where to find gold in arizona western mining history

WMH Gold Maps for Google Earth Pro are designed to locate areas with high potential for finding placer gold. A core feature of these maps is the highlighting of townships that contain both active placer mining claims and historical gold mines.

The screenshot below is from the Arizona Gold Map and shows gold-bearing PLSS townships roughly trending from the northwest to the southeast part of the state, with the highest concentration being at the center of the map in Yavapai County.

Townships that contain both active placer claims and historical gold mine records will be shaded in one of the following colors based on how many active placer claims are in the township: 1 10 claims: blue; 10 50 claims: yellow; 50 100 claims: orange; More than 100 claims: red

Additional images in this article will contain more data points. Yellow circles are gold mines, hexagonal markers are PLSS sections that contain active placer mining claims, and blue markers with pick axes are district locations.

While the methods used here allow for a quick overview of all potential gold areas in the state, they are not perfect. Desert areas often have claims associated with large industrial surface mining operations for evaporites or other commodities. Occasionaly some historical gold mines will be located at the edge of these operations, and the the correlation between active placer claims and the adjacent historical gold mines are coincidental only and do not indicate an area with strong gold potential.

A surprising result that the Arizona Gold Map data provided was that some of the most active placer gold townships in the state, including the top township in this list, are not in Yavapai County, but rather in La Paz and Yuma Counties around the town of Quartzsite. The area around Quartzsite has three of the states top-ten gold townships.

The Plomosa district was mined as early as the 1860s and while production from this period is unknown, it is considered to be significant. Around 1910 large-scale drywash mining occurred in but records indicate it was not a commercial success.

Despite limited success of these later mining endeavors, the area has remained a popular with placer miners. Township 14 0030N 0180W is the location of of the ghost town of Plomosa and has the highest density of gold-related placer claims in the state with 233 active claims.

Similar to the Plomosa district, these districts were first worked in the 1860s and had various periods of activity into the 1900s. The La Cholla district was worked extensively during the Great Depression years.

Township 14 0090N 0050W ranks third in the state with 179 placer claims. Township 14 0090N 0040W ranks fifth with 127 placer claims, 14 0100N 0050W ranks eleventh with 93 placer claims, and 14 0100N 0040W ranks 24th with 39 placer claims.

Rich Hill was first mined in the 1860s, and by 1883 around a million dollars in gold had been produced. The following excerpt from the USGS publication Placer Gold Deposits of Arizona gives some clues as to where gold may be found today in this area:

At the top of Rich Hill, gold was found under boulders and in crevices in the granite bedrock, where it was quickly gathered by prospectors during the early years after the discovery of the placers. Below Rich Hill, in Antelope and Weaver Creeks, the gold was found in reconcentrated stream gravels, a few feet thick to more than 50 feet thick, that contained numerous large holders.

Much of the active placer gold mining in Arizona is around the town of Wickenburg. Areas of high gold potential are located north of Wickenburg in Yavapai county, and south-southwest in Maricopa county.

Southwest of Wickenburg is the San Domingo placer mining district. Township 14 0070N 0030W ranks 7th in the state for placer claim density with 120 claims and township 14 0070N 0040W ranks 13th with 84 claims.

The San Domingo district has the largest recorded placer gold production in Maricopa County and produced continuously (although on a small scale) from 1905 to 1951. During the early 1960s gold was recovered as a byproduct of gravel operations and by large-scale operations of a mobile dryland dredge.

South of Wickenburg is the Vulture district, site of the famous Vulture lode gold mine. This district was first worked for placer gold starting in the 1860s. Placer production in the area was overshadowed by the production of the Vulture mine and little is known about early placer yield.

The Vulture placer mining area is described as 3 miles square in Red Top Basin. The center of activity in this district now is township 14 0060N 0060W which ranks 9th in Arizona for placer claim density with 88 claims. Adjacent townships 14 0060N 0050W and 14 0050N 0060W also rank well at spots 31 and 36, respectively.

The area north of Wickenburg is the location of the Black Rock district. This area is known for lode mining, but it still has one of the highest concentrations of placer mining claims in the state. Township 14 0080N 0050W ranks 8th in the state with 118 claims and 14 0080N 0040W ranks 20th with 47 claims.

To the south and west of Spring Valley, Arizona are the Black Canyon and Turkey Creek Drainage Areas. Although production histories of this area do not contain much detail, the high density of placer claims indicate good gold potential.

In the Black Canyon area south of Spring Valley, township 14 0100N 0020E ranks 10th in Arizona for placer claim density with 94 claims. To the west of Spring Valley in the Turkey Creek area, township 14 0110N 0010E ranks 14th with 83 placer claims and township 14 0120N 0010W ranks 17th with 53 claims.

As seen in the image above, this area has many townships that contain significant numbers of placer claims so the area of gold potential certainly extends beyond the few townships mentioned. This area is contiguous with other top gold districts to the north which will be described later in this article.

The Lost Basin and Gold Basin placers are located in a very rugged and remote part of northwest Arizona. Likely due to the remoteness of the area, no significant placer production was recorded until the 1930s.

North and south of Black Canyon City are the Squaw Creek and Aqua Fria districts in townships 14 0090N 0020E and 14 0080N 0020E. The historical records of these districts describes them as minor placer areas with little recorded production. However, with 53 and 44 active placer claims these townships land at 17th (tie) and 22nd among Arizona placer gold townships.

The Humbug Creek drainage area is a large area that includes the Humbug, Tip Top, Tiger, Silver Mountain, Castle Creek, and White Picacho districts. Numerous tributary creeks and gulches have been placer mined in this area starting in the 1800s.

The 1975 publication Placer Gold Deposits of Arizona by the USGS summarizes these areas by grouping the numerous smaller districts into three larger geographic areas Hassayampa River, Lynx Creek, and Big Bug Creek drainage areas

The Hassayampa River and Lynx Creek drainage areas were some of the only districts in Arizona where hydraulic mining and even dredging was attempted. Historical placer gold production for these areas is estimated to be in the millions.

Today this remains an active placer gold mining region. Townships 14 0122N 0020W and 14 0122N 0010W rank 32nd and 33rd in the state for placer claim density. Note that these two townships are irregular in shape, and how they are numbered or displayed on maps could vary.

While the individual townships here may not have the high placer claim density seen on other parts of the state, this is a large area that historically was one of the states most productive gold producers.

Using the Arizona Gold Map, areas with high gold potential can be quickly identified and used as the basis for additional research. Prospectors can focus on the most active placer gold areas and attempt to discover their own claim, or they can look at those areas on the map that have many historical gold mines and few claims in an attempt to stake a claim in an area with less competition.

Note that the township rankings in this article are useful as a relative measure of where placer activity is highest in the state, but not every ranked township has high gold potential. Occasionally a township will have a lot of placer claims for some other commodity like gypsum or other evaporites, and a few gold mines are also located in that township, resulting in a false positive by the methodology used with this data.

An example of this is township 14 0180N 0020W in Yavapai County which ranks 4th for placer claim density. This appears to be an area with a high concentration of claims related to industrial surface mining of evaporites and contains just one historical gold mine record. This is unlikely to be an area with high gold discovery potential.

arizona mining towns western mining history

arizona mining towns western mining history

Arizona was a remote and rugged territory at the time of the California Gold Rush. Starting in 1849 as many as 50,000 people traveled through Arizona on the way to the California gold fields. Few stayed and prospected however as the Arizona territory was harsh and the Apache Indians were extremely hostile to outsiders.

Although sporadic prospecting was carried out during the 1850's and 1860's, the difficulty of terrain, lack of supplies, and Apache raids thwarted most significant discoveries and mine development. Despite these challenges, some mining districts were opened during the 1860s. The most famous of the camps from that time is Vulture City.

Arizona had it's share of famous silver mines, and the state ranks 7th out of the 13 Western states for gold production. Arizona's real claim to fame is in its significant and widespread copper deposits. Arizona is the leading US producer of copper and the copper industry in the state has been an economic powerhouse for well over 100 years.

By the 1890s, Arizona's burgeoning copper towns took center stage. Camps like Bisbee, Morenci, and Jerome evolved into some of the West's most important industrial centers. Ultimately Arizona would go on to be the nation's top copper producing states.

18 photos of arizonas early mining history

18 photos of arizonas early mining history

Its no secret that mining has played an important role in Arizonas history. It led to commerce boom and bust, brought in thousands upon thousands of American settlers, and has been the catalyst of some controversial history and legislature over the decades.

If you want to get a better sense of what life in the mines was like, especially in the 1800s and early 1900s, you might want to check out a mining history museum, like the Mine Museum in Jerome or the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum.

Since saloons were a ridiculously popular establishment to frequent during leisure time, you might be interested to see some that still exist today! Check out our article, A Visit To These 13 Saloons In Arizona Will Make You Feel Like Youve Traveled Back In Time.

the best gold mining in arizona: a county-by-county breakdown

the best gold mining in arizona: a county-by-county breakdown

From the 1800s up through 1959, there was 2,723,000 ounces of gold recovered in Cochise County. The vast majority can be attributed to Bisbee and the surrounding mines. The gold found here was primarily derived from the copper ores.

An estimate of 240,000 troy ounces of gold has been attributed to this county, nearly all from copper lodes mined in the Globe and Miami area. Only limited placer gold occurrences have been found here.

Overall the production has been very low in Graham County. The best gold is found as very fine gold in the Gila River. There are a few scattered mining districts where gold ores have been mined but overall production has been very low.

Maricopa County is also popular for prospecting because much of the gold here is found in sizable pieces that can be found with metal detectors and drywashers. Some of Arizonas largest gold nuggets have come from this part of the state. Of particular interest are the San Domingo wash and the Hassayampa River.

This is the 2nd largest gold producing county in Arizona, with 2,461,000 of total production. Most of this has come from the various lode mines in the Black Mountains and from the mining town of Oatman.

Gold Basin is another good area for gold prospecting. Gold is scattered over a very large area. Drywashing is productive if you can locate a rich place to dig. This is a very popular area for gold mining in Arizona.

For the average prospector, the best area to search is Greaterville. This is primarily a placer mining district and some nice gold nuggets and crystalline gold specimens have been found here. There are several areas in the Santa Rita Mountains near Greaterville where scattered gold deposits can be found.

There are countless areas in Yavapai County that are worth exploring for gold mining in Arizona. A few worth noting are at Hassayampa River and the many tributaries that feed into it. Lynx Creek is another very rich and popular area which also has a special area set aside for gold prospecting. Rich Hill is yet another place with a very rich history and some of the biggest gold nuggets ever found in Arizona.

Nice specimen! Gold is often found mixed with quartz. In the old days the miners would simply crush them up and remove the quartz from the nugget, but now collectors will pay a nice premium for beautiful rare specimens like this.

Gold deposits are widely scattered throughout Yuma County, with roughly 771,000 ounces of total production. Some special areas of note include the Dome district in the Gila Mountains and the La Paz district about 10 miles west of Quartzsite. This area is very popular for metal detecting during the winter.

The reason for this is quite simple really the old-timers never bothered to report the amount of gold that they found. Only the major mines recorded their gold production, but the average prospector mining for gold in Arizona would likely never report their findings.

Arizona has some of the most widespread gold deposits of any state in the US. Although it only ranks as 10th overall in production, it is still one of the best places for small-scale gold prospecting due to the amount of open and available land for prospecting as well as the number of scattered deposits that are still out there to find.

arizona gold corp. tsx:azg arizona gold corp. is a north american gold development and exploration company based in toronto, canada

arizona gold corp. tsx:azg arizona gold corp. is a north american gold development and exploration company based in toronto, canada

Arizona Gold Corp. (formerly Kerr Mines Inc.) is an emerging American gold producer advancing the restart of production at its 100% owned, fully permitted, past-producing Copperstone gold project, located in mining-friendly Arizona. The Copperstone project demonstrates significant exploration upside that has yet to be drilled within a 50 square-kilometer (12,258 acres) land package that includes past production of over 500,000 ounces of gold by way of an open-pit operation and includes existing infrastructure which will reduce capital requirements and shorten the timeline to production.

The companys current focus is on maximizing Copperstones potential by defining and expanding current resources and further optimizing the mines economics for purposes of the restart of gold production in Q4-2021 as a result of the recent project funding transaction entered into with Star Royalties Ltd.

Arizona Gold Corp. (formerly Kerr Mines Inc.) is an emerging American gold producer advancing the restart of production at its 100% owned, fully permitted, past-producing Copperstone gold mine, located in mining-friendly Arizona

arizona mines western mining history

arizona mines western mining history

All mine locations were obtained from the USGS Mineral Resources Data System. The locations and other information in this database have not been verified for accuracy. It should be assumed that all mines are on private property.

arizona's mining history: danger and riches

arizona's mining history: danger and riches

Many prospectors who arrivedin the mid-1800s with dreams of striking it rich withgold quickly adapted to the more abundantcopper and silver. There were times during mining's boom period whenthose metals were more valuable than gold.

Charles Poston,sometimes called the father of Arizona (he played a significant role in securing Arizonas territorial status), opened mines near Tubac in 1854 that employed nearly 1,000 miners. Four years later he was literally printing money. He owned the states first printing press.

However, in 1886a fire destroyed the pump house in the mining camp and in 1893the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act caused a severe drop in silver prices.Those factors, among others, proved to be too much tor overcome for Tombstone to remain a bustling city.

Prescott also has roots in mining. That city, which at one time served as the territorial capital, was a hot spot for gold exploration in the late 1800s as rich deposits were discovered in the Bradshaw Mountains.

According to Herbert Young's book, "Ghosts of Cleopatra Hill,"Jerome went from a tent city in 1876 to bustling mining camp to ghost town in the span of about 50 years. The city survived threedevastating fires but began a sharp decline in the late 1930s when the Little Daisy Mineshut down. By 1953 Jerome was out of the mining business.

Life in a mining camp wasnt easy. In addition to the hard work, miners had to deal with the threats of raids from Native Americans as well as bands of robbers looking to steal their hard-earned wealth.

Disease, floods, fires and injuriesalso were constant threats. In a 23-year period starting in 1885, Bisbee had to rebuildfrom three devastating fires. The 1908 blaze wiped out three-quarters of the town.

Copper Queen Mining Companyexecutives visiting Bisbee from New York were appalled to seea thief who had beenhanged the night before in a case of frontier justice still swinging from a tree. The executives were said to have thought such a barbaric act was the result of unenlightened minds.

Jennie Hiltonwas described as the only active miner of her sex in the United States in a March 13, 1896, article on the sale of her share in a southwestern Arizona mine inthe Santa Fe Daily New Mexican.

According to her biography on the Alaska Mining Hall of Fame website,Cashman was knowledgeable about geography and made accurate predictions about ore deposits. She made her fortune selling supplies and equipment to miners.

In 1863,a group led by Paulino Weaver,A.H. Peeblesand Jack Swilling(who would also play a major role in the development of Phoenix)led a group of prospectors up the Hassayampa River,according to the Arizona Mining Associations A History of Mining in AZ.

They discovered such a significant deposit on top of Antelope Hill thatthey renamed it Rich Hill.The thing is, they werent searching for gold when they made their discovery. They were searching for a lost burro.

When Schieffelin set out to seekhis fortune, soldiers at nearby Fort Huachucatold him the only thing he would find prospecting in Apache land would be his tombstone. Schieffelin found silver and decided to name the town that sprang up nearby Tombstone.

Arizonas most infamous mining character is probablyJacob Waltz,who, despite being German,became known as the Lost Dutchman. Waltz was prospecting in the Superstition Mountains in 1864and was believed to have discovered a mother lode of gold. Waltz died in 1891,having led a modest life, but tall tales of his gold discovery have persisted.

oatman arizona western mining history

oatman arizona western mining history

Prospectors explored the Black Mountains area of Arizona as early as the 1860s. One of the early claims located during those years was named the Oatman, after Olive Oatman, the famous woman that was captured by Indians in the Arizona Territory following what was called the Oatman massacre. Olive Oatman spent five years as a captive of the Mohave tribe before being returned to American society. She was famous for the facial tattoos she received while in captivity.

Mining in the area occurred sporadically over the latter half of the 1800s, and it seems that a miner's camp was established and named after the Oatman claim. In what years this settlement was active, or what year the community became permanent is difficult to ascertain. What is known is that a post office was established in 1906 and that the town was "official" from that point on. Oddly, the Oatman Hotel, which still stands today, was built in 1902, but almost nothing is written about the town from that period.

Oatman got a boost with a major gold discovery in 1908, but it wasn't until 1915 when two rich gold mines went into production that one of the West's last gold rushes occurred. The year 1915 saw thousands of gold seekers flood into Oatman and newspapers around the country hailed the rush to the "new camp of Oatman" - it seems that the town was not very noteworthy prior to that year. An October, 1915 newspaper article described the rush:

Wm. F. Gray and V. J. Bergeron, who left here some two weeks ago to explore the new gold camp in northwestern Arizona, have returned and report that it exceeds their expectations. The town of Oatman has a population of 2,000 people, and from 50 to 100 per day are being added. A Stock Exchange is now being built, and will be in active operation in 30 days.

By summer of 1916 over two hundred mines were operating in the Oatman district. Citing "in the course of the camp's rapid growth the soaring by leaps and bounds of the cost of living"... the Western Federation of Miners demanded an increase in miner's wages. With enormous riches just waiting to be dug out of the mines, the mine owners quickly capitulated to the miners demands in what was one of the West's shortest and least eventful strikes.

At the conclusion of World War I many ex-soldiers flooded into the Oatman area both in search of employment at the mines and reportedly to take advantage of Arizona's dry climate to rehabilitate from "being gassed" in the war. The full article contains interesting details related to this period and is included below.

Oatman was more fortunate than other former mining towns as it was located on U.S. Route 66, known as "The Main Street of America", a popular and important road for travelers. Clark Gable and Carole Lombard stopped at the town during their 1939 honeymoon. Gable fell in love with the town and returned frequently to play cards with the locals. The Oatman Hotel still features the "Gable Lombard" Honeymoon Suite.

When Interstate 40 bypassed Oatman in the 1950s the town lost the bulk of the tourism industry that kept it alive during the post-mining era. Within a decade Oatman was mostly abandoned. As travelers became more interested in historic western towns, tourism came back to Oatman and today the town remains a popular destination with over 100 full-time residents.

One of Oatman's attractions are the ubiquitous wild Burros that call the town home. They first came to Oatman with early day prospectors. The animals were also used inside the mines for hauling rock and ore. Outside the mines, burros were used for hauling water and supplied. As the mines closed and people moved away, the burros were released into the surrounding hills.

A June 22, edition of the Leadville, Colorado Herald Democrat contains an article about World War I soldiers flocking to Oatman seeking employment and the health benefits of the Arizona climate. The following text is from that article.

Oatman, Ariz., Is Much Like a Temporary War Town.... Take to Diamond Drilling With as Much Facility as They Did to Pumping a Machine Gun in France - Many of the Veterans Are Prospecting on Their Own Plan, When They Make Their Pile, to Reclaim Land in Boulder Dam Country.

Every generation has its gold rush. In 40 they came to Sacramento. In the 80s and 90s to Leadville and Cripple Creek. In 1896 to 1900 fortune hunters swarmed to the Klondike. In 1905-6-7 mining activity in Goldfield, Tonopah and other nearby mining centers was at its height.

Hundreds of ex-soldiers, who have found it necessary to come to a dry climate as a result of having been gassed in the war, are flocking Into Oatman, where the American Legion is caring for them and doing what It can to secure them employment at work suited to their capacities. Plans are going forward here to build a big hospital for disabled soldiers high up in the gold-bearing mountains. The location of this hospital already has been taken up with Governor Thomas E. Campbell of Arizona, who will soon visit Oatman to discuss the hospital project.

Just now Oatman has a familiar aspect to these ex-soldiers, for it resembles a town on the western front. Dynamite detonations keep the ground In a constant tremble and the all-night-long booming and blasting below ground sound familiar In an old soldiers ears.

The town itself resembles a temporary war town. Ypres now has its makeshift wooden hotels, its shacks made of gasoline tins and stray field stones, its tents. And so has Oatman. Over there they are still blowing up piles of stray shells, while here, below ground, they are dynamiting down gold ore with which to aid the work of reconstruction in Europe.

Uncle Sam made a special request that the gold mines of Oatman be kept going during the war - and Oatman went over the top In 100 per cent fashion. It mined gold when labor costs and taxes made it a losing game. But now the soldiers have returned and in the big after-war hegira of Young America westward the Oatman gold fields are getting their share of lads who served overseas.

These ex-soldiers take to diamond drilling with as much facility as they did to pumping a machine gun up around Montfaucon. And they bundle the dangerous detonating caps used in firing the powder-filled holes with as much freedom as they touched off hand-made grenades in the trenches.

Many of the veterans are prospecting on their own. They come to Oatman in flivvers, remove their engines and attach them to diamond drills which they have either rented or purchased, and with a rat-a-tat-tat not unlike the rattle of a machine gun, they sink their diamond studded drills into the earth in the search for a gold bearing quartz vein. Several of the lads have hit it rich, some are on their uppers," but all are having a good time.

Many of them plan to make their pile in Oatman and then go up to the country below the gigantic national dam which is to he built by the government in Boulder Canyon. One colony of ex soldiers plans to lay out thousands of acres which Is now the abiding place of cactus, rattlesnakes and barren soil, but which, when the Boulder Canyon dam is opened, will be one of the richest districts in the Southwest. This land already is rising in value in anticipation of its increased worth when irrigation ditches will be running through it.

gold in arizona: 20 best arizona locations and rivers! (gold panning & metal detecting) prospectingplanet

gold in arizona: 20 best arizona locations and rivers! (gold panning & metal detecting) prospectingplanet

As one of the best states for gold prospecting in the US, Arizona has attracted people from all over the country ever since it was accepted into the union in 1848. Its mild climate makes it the perfect location to prospect for gold during the winters, when many of the other gold-bearing states cannot be worked comfortably.

There sure is gold in Arizona. Gold has been found across the whole state, and there is a long history of gold recovery at least going back to the 16th century. And although many places have yielded massive amounts in the past, there is a lot left to be found today! Especially considering that the advancement in technology and materials makes it possible to recover gold that the old-timers simply didnt have tools to retrieve effectively.

However, Arizona has a rather arid climate which significantly limits the use of sluicing or other water-intensive equipment. Dry-washing and metal detecting are therefore the most common methods used by prospectors in the state.

Yes, Arizona is one of the best states for gold prospecting in general and that includes gold nuggets. Many places around the state are known to have produced gold nuggets in the past, and prospectors regularly report new finds.

However, its important to make an informed decision about the location you choose for your prospecting ventures. Luckily, this extensive guide will provide you with countless locations to look into, and perhaps explore for yourself!

However, the history of gold in the area goes back even further than that. Already in the 16th century, Spanish Conquistadors roamed the area, looking for the precious metal. While they didnt seem to find much, some 200 years later, Franciscan priests started processing placers in Southern Arizona. Its believed that they managed to mine significant amounts, but of that no records have survived to prove it.

As you probably know, in 1848 Arizona became U.S Territory, and with that Americans began their quest for gold in the area. Many of the first venture seekers were former so-called 49ers who hadnt had that much success in the Californian gold rush.

In 1863, Captain Pauline Weaver and his men were led by a wandering burro up to the top of a small mesa. In just one day, Weaver and his men managed to find over 200 ounces of gold nuggets. The find site has therefore quite understandably been nicknamed Rich Hill.

So, lets have a look at some of the best gold mining locations in Arizona. Most of these areas lack rivers or creeks, at least in the vicinity of the gold-bearing grounds. Therefore they are mostly recommended for metal detecting or dry panning.

The surrounding mountains are rugged and quite inaccessible, and as a result, they have been worked very little and could hide some nice surprises. There are quite some examples of nugget hunters who have made some really nice finds in the area!

Rich hill is located in Yavapai County, and is one of the most famous gold locations in the state. Its not only known for the large-sized nuggets that have been found and still are found in the area, but also for the 200 ounces of gold that Weaver and his men allegedly found when they discovered the site.

The first mining operations focused on lode gold started back in the 1870s. It would take another 60 years before large scale placer mines began operation in 1931. Attempts to recover the placer gold had been made already in 1909, but the remoteness of the area meant that the operation wasnt deemed viable at the time.

The gold is generally quite widespread and isnt limited to one location only. The gold-bearing gravels in the area rest on cemented gravels and are normally found around 1-3 feet deep. Gold of all sizes has been found; from fine gold to bigger nuggets. However, according to the reports, its distributed quite erratically in the form of thin pay streaks.

Chloride is a bit different from the rest of the mining towns in this list, in that it didnt come about as a result of a gold rush. The town was founded in 1863 as a response to the silver findings during the 1840s at a site called Silver Hill.

The Superstition Mountain range is the biggest mountain range in the Phoenix Area and is mostly made up of true desert.Gold has been found in various places, as most of the mountain range is gold-bearing.

The San Domingo Placers are located 3 miles northeast of Morristown, and about an hours drive from Prescott. Although many claims are already taken, the gold can be found over a large area, and plenty of good-sized nuggets have been found there over the years!

The Little San Domingo Placer is part of a larger area where gold has been plentiful. To the northeast, we have a range of low hills, including the San Domingo Peak, which is the drainage of the Hassayampa River.

Oatman is located on the west flank of the Black mountain range, and became center for the mining operations that started over 100 years ago. The city began just as a mining camp in 1915 when gold worth $10 million was found in the area. As you might guess, the city virtually exploded and quickly reached a population of 3,500.

Due to the dry and arid climate, Arizona gold prospectors mostly have to resort to dry panning and metal detecting. However, Arizona is a big state, and there are still many gold-bearing rivers out there, although quite some of them are dry for long periods.

Lynx Creek has produced a lot of gold over the years. More than 100,000 ounces have been mined since the 1880s, and gold is still plentiful! If that wasnt enough, there have been documented findings of gold nuggets weighing up to several ounces!

While large parts of the creek are open for recreational prospectors, keep in mind that its surrounded by private property as well as private mines. Be careful not to end up illegally working somebody elses land!

The Hassayampa River flows just south of Prescott, towards Wickenburg. The river has been worked for a long time, and a lot of mines have been active along the course of the river. The first documented discovery of gold was in 1750 when allegedly a man found 1750 ounces of gold in one single year!

While there is gold in Colorado River, most gold panning is limited to public property or places where you have got explicit permission from the owner of the property. Also, keep in mind that many of the old placer mines you may find on a map now could be incorporated in reservoirs.

Gold in Gila River was found in 1858, when Col. Jacob Snively and his men struck gold outside Gila City. A four-year-long boom soon followed, and today Gila River is one of the more famous gold panning locations in the state.

Not that much information other than production records is to be found about cave creek. It is believed that the placer gold is located in Cave Creek near the Phoenix and Maricopa gold mines. Moreover, according to some writings from the year of 1911, most of the gold was found between 1 to 16 feet deep, situated between a layer of cement and bedrock.

Gold in San Francisco River was discovered in the 1870s, and a lot of gold was extracted during the 1880s. A lot of investments went into building water supplies and infrastructure to be able to mine the rich placers located above the current riverbed. The operations werent a financial success, but enough gold was still found to cover the expenses.

Even since 1892, a total of nearly 10,000 people are estimated to have ventured out in the wilderness in search of the mine, but to no avail. The mine lies hidden to this date but is still regularly looked for.

Arizona indeed is one of the best states for gold prospecting, despite lacking a lot of active waterways. Gold nuggets are found regularly, and if you know where to go, its very probable that your efforts will pay off!

Glad to have you here! I'm William, and a couple of years ago I picked up gold prospecting to see if it was something for me. As you might have guessed, I've been hooked since! On prospectingplanet I share all the things I've learned the last couple of years. If I can help make your journey just a little easier, then that's mission accomplished! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to We also participate in other affiliate programs which compensate us for referring traffic.

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