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Colorado Prospector - Gem and mineral prospecting and mining forums _ Prospectors and Rockhounding Field Work _ Free Panning/Sluicing Areas

Posted by: ColoradoProspector Jul 26 2007, 11:22 AM

Hello everyone,

Many folks inquire about free places to pan or sluice, so we thought we would post some free areas around Colorado that anyone can go to anytime they wish.
These are places where you are either "allowed", or given permission to pan/sluice on private (patented) land or it's public land withdrawn from mineral entry (unclaimable) which we can all still prospect with our pans and sluices.
All 3 are historically known as gold bearing areas and chances are very good you WILL FIND GOLD at all of them. cool.gif

*Added March 2014-These areas DO NOT INCLUDE ANY CITY PARKS EAST OF TUNNEL #1 ON CLEAR CREEK OR ANY CITY PARKS ON THE SOUTH PLATTE RIVER.

CLEAR CREEK - WEST OF GOLDEN
JEFFERSON COUNTY OPEN SPACE

First we will talk about the Clear Creek/Hwy 6 area just west of Golden begining just above tunnel #1.
This area is all private land which has been donated or traded to Jefferson County open space and they "allow" panning and sluicing on the open space......they do not want motors on open space.
The only place not included in the open space is a private claim on BLM land the extends 1 mile upstream from Elk creek on Clear creek.......Steer clear of this private claim unless you have permission to be there.
WARNING-This area is all very steep and parking is limited. Traffic can also be very heavy at times, use extreme caution when in this area!!

FAIRPLAY'S TOWN BEACH - PARK COUNTY - $10.00 FEE
Second is a wonderful spot up a bit higher in elevation but the scenery is just awesome on the ride.........The Fairplay Beach.
http://fairplayco.us/ Click on "forms and permits".
You will need to aquire the $5 permit from the town office on front street or use the online printable form and send it in prior to your adventure. Once you have this permit you must have it with you while you pan/sluice at the beach.
Again this is privately owned by the town of Fairplay and they "allow" panning and sluicing here. Follow their rules and you will not have any problems. Gold here historically was just amazing and the beach is very close to what the old timers used to call the "GOLD SLIDE".


ARKANSAS RIVER RECREATIONAL AREA-CHAFFEE COUNTYiNCLUDING CACHE CREEK AND POINT BAR
Third we will be heading further south and across the divide to the arkansas river area.
There is alot of public land here that is withdrawn from mineral entry. This area is also a "recreational area" which has addtional rules for some activities. Panning or sluicing fortunately is not one of those....no permits needed here.
Even though this area has been withdrawn there are still a few claims to watch out for as well as many private parcels.
To know where these many private parcels are and claims in this area, you will need to have some info/maps to help you out on the sites to assure yourself of being on the open areas you are looking for. A good map to start with would be the BLM series of "Surface/Mineral Management Status-Gunnison map" from there you can then progress to more detailed maps and pinpointing.
There are many areas intertwined along the river heading upstream (northerly) from Hwy 24 along the next 10 miles of river or so.
Then further on down south on hwy 285 from the Hwy 24 intersection, at Helca Junction (11 miles or so), there is a large stretch of public land on the river extending approximately 1.5 miles downstream from the campground and approximately 4.5 miles upstream. Again use the above mentioned map to get started and pinpoint with more detailed info from there.

If you are interested in finding out how those "details" are obtained........You may wish to check over the CP club memberships at http://www.coloradoprospector.com and click "membership" to the left in green.
Our main goal is to learn as a collective so we all know as much as we can......We would love to have your families participation too. biggrin.gif
Thank you to all CP club members as their participation has brought you these free panning and sluicing areas to explore!! cool.gif

Enjoy your adventures!
The CP club
smile.gif

Posted by: jmann Jul 27 2007, 06:14 PM

Thank you Dan and Denise for providing us with this fine club. Colorado Prospector is a very different kind of a club to belong to. They have claims that are owned by other members that let us mine on them. But the really BIG difference is all the areas that they have researched and are OPEN to mine on. So whats so BIG about that? Well that means that a heck of alot work has already been done for you. All that is left is for you to make a discovery and file your own claim. Thats right FILE YOUR OWN CLAIM. And yes it very much encouraged by Dan and Denise. So if you like diggn in beautiful Colorado this is the club to join. Joe

Posted by: ColoradoProspector Aug 20 2007, 08:57 AM

Thank you Joe, excellent post.
Many folks are going to be able to pan and sluice with this information over the years to come, and that is thanks to folks like Joe <------COOL DUDE! cool.gif
biggrin.gif
CP members are the coolest group!! cool.gif
OOOOOHHHHRAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!

Posted by: ColoradoProspector Feb 15 2009, 03:28 PM

For those who are planning to get a free town permit for the Fairplay beach this year.........you will need to cross out the year and write in 2009 prior to sending in. Just got our permit for this year in case we wish to pan/sluice there or give any free lessons......got permit #1 for 2009 biggrin.gif Print your's off today and don't forget to change the year. Also don't forget to mention family members and friends on the permit who might be with your party.

CP

Posted by: RichDColorado May 3 2009, 07:57 PM

Hi - I have a question about the Clear Creek open space. I've panned in a couple places along the creek with very little luck - of course, that's all relative depending on what one expects. But I don't think I've found more than half a dozen small, tiny, itty-bitty grain of sand sized specks after going through 5 5 gallon buckets concentrated through a 1/10" screen. This is a new hobby to me, but I think I'm doing a pretty good job of concentrating down, sluicing and panning through the diggings with a loupe. I'm getting some black sand, but almost no color. My father-in-law has a gold panning machine - has a rotating blue wheel, flushes water over, like an Archimede's screw - I'm sure you folks know they kind I mean (maybe a Desert Fox?), and still nothing shows. Do you know if that area has been worked to death or are there some decent spots to try? Also, what about the places above the traffic light on the way to Blackhawk? Is that still open area and any good places to try along that part of the stream? I don't mind getting out and digging - in fact, I really like being on the water as it's very relaxing, but I'd sure like to have something to show for the effort.

Thanks - Rich

Posted by: Chet May 16 2009, 11:05 PM

QUOTE (RichDColorado @ May 3 2009, 09:57 PM) *
Hi - I have a question about the Clear Creek open space. Also, what about the places above the traffic light on the way to Blackhawk? Is that still open area and any good places to try along that part of the stream?


I, too, am curious what anyone knows abut the area past the intersection. That's right where you go from Jefferson to Gilpin County. I know you can dig below the intersection, but... I have a terrible time figuring out where else is a go/no-go section. Any help would be MUCH appreciated! worthy.gif

Posted by: sharry Aug 21 2009, 01:22 PM

QUOTE (ColoradoProspector @ Jul 26 2007, 01:22 PM) *
Hello everyone,

Many folks inquire about free places to pan or sluice, so we thought we would post some free areas around Colorado that anyone can go to anytime they wish.
These are places where you are either "allowed", or given permission to pan/sluice on private (patented) land or it's public land withdrawn from mineral entry (unclaimable) which we can all still prospect with our pans and sluices.
All 3 are historically known as gold bearing areas and chances are very good you WILL FIND GOLD at all of them. cool.gif

CLEAR CREEK - WEST OF GOLDEN
JEFFERSON COUNTY OPEN SPACE

First we will talk about the Clear Creek/Hwy 6 area just west of Golden begining just above tunnel #1.
This area is all private land which has been donated or traded to Jefferson County open space and they "allow" panning and sluicing on the open space......they do not want motors on open space.
The only place not included in the open space is a private claim on BLM land the extends 1 mile upstream from Elk creek on Clear creek.......Steer clear of this private claim unless you have permission to be there.
WARNING-This area is all very steep and parking is limited. Traffic can also be very heavy at times, use extreme caution when in this area!!

FAIRPLAY'S TOWN BEACH - PARK COUNTY
Second is a wonderful spot up a bit higher in elevation but the scenery is just awesome on the ride.........The Fairplay Beach.
http://fairplayco.us/ Click on "forms and permits".
You will need to aquire the free permit from the town office on front street or use the online printable form and send it in prior to your adventure. Once you have this permit you must have it with you while you pan/sluice at the beach.
Again this is privately owned by the town of Fairplay and they "allow" panning and sluicing here. Follow their rules and you will not have any problems. Gold here historically was just amazing and the beach is very close to what the old timers used to call the "GOLD SLIDE".


ARKANSAS RIVER AREA-CHAFFEE COUNTY
Third we will be heading further south and across the divide to the arkansas river area.
There is alot of public land here that is withdrawn from mineral entry. This area is also a "recreational area" which has addtional rules for some activities. Panning or sluicing fortunately is not one of those....no permits needed here.
Even though this area has been withdrawn there are still a few claims to watch out for as well as many private parcels.
To know where these many private parcels are and claims in this area, you will need to have some info/maps to help you out on the sites to assure yourself of being on the open areas you are looking for. A good map to start with would be the BLM series of "Surface/Mineral Management Status-Gunnison map" from there you can then progress to more detailed maps and pinpointing.
There are many areas intertwined along the river heading upstream (northerly) from Hwy 24 along the next 10 miles of river or so.
Then further on down south on hwy 285 from the Hwy 24 intersection, at Helca Junction (11 miles or so), there is a large stretch of public land on the river extending approximately 1.5 miles downstream from the campground and approximately 4.5 miles upstream. Again use the above mentioned map to get started and pinpoint with more detailed info from there.

If you are interested in finding out how those "details" are obtained........You may wish to check over the CP club memberships at http://www.coloradoprospector.com and click "membership" to the left in green.
Our main goal is to learn as a collective so we all know as much as we can......We would love to have your families participation too. biggrin.gif
Thank you to all CP club members as their participation has brought you these free panning and sluicing areas to explore!! cool.gif

Enjoy your adventures!
The CP club
smile.gif


Posted by: Coalbunny Sep 21 2009, 03:44 AM

QUOTE (RichDColorado @ May 3 2009, 07:57 PM) *
Hi - I have a question about the Clear Creek open space. I've panned in a couple places along the creek with very little luck - of course, that's all relative depending on what one expects. But I don't think I've found more than half a dozen small, tiny, itty-bitty grain of sand sized specks after going through 5 5 gallon buckets concentrated through a 1/10" screen. This is a new hobby to me, but I think I'm doing a pretty good job of concentrating down, sluicing and panning through the diggings with a loupe. I'm getting some black sand, but almost no color. My father-in-law has a gold panning machine - has a rotating blue wheel, flushes water over, like an Archimede's screw - I'm sure you folks know they kind I mean (maybe a Desert Fox?), and still nothing shows. Do you know if that area has been worked to death or are there some decent spots to try? Also, what about the places above the traffic light on the way to Blackhawk? Is that still open area and any good places to try along that part of the stream? I don't mind getting out and digging - in fact, I really like being on the water as it's very relaxing, but I'd sure like to have something to show for the effort.

Thanks - Rich

Rich, PM me sometime if you want to go hit Clear Creek. I've always found color, though not in every pan, every time I've gone. If the Open Space area is where I think it is, I know a few decent places to hit.

Posted by: Forestwalker Jan 26 2010, 11:15 AM

I hit clear creek once, got loads of fine gold. Gold in every pan where I set up. Ran 6 gallons through the sluice then got cold and left with as much gold as I got in 30 gallons in the ammonosuc mining district in NH. I also found some silvery heavies.

Are there places above the split where i can sluice? I want to test the north fork but don't know where i would be ok going. I know about the claim upstream from elk creek for 1 mile but above that I cant seem to figure out, is it open space or federal or private?

Posted by: ColoradoProspector Jan 27 2010, 08:05 AM

Cool Forestwalker sounds like you had a great day out panning on Clear creek. signs026.gif

Where North Clear creek splits off going upstream is where Gilpin county begins and nearly all of the land from there to Blackhawk is private holdings. You were in the best place being down stream from there as that is in Jefferson county's open space and they do allow panning and sluicing as posted above.
Except for that single claim at Elk creek and going up stream from there for a mile.
That claim is BLM land that somehow through history ended up completely surrounded by private land. It's not patented but it was a valid location claim last time I checked on it.

Just one of those strange instances where public land is surrounded by private or vice versa......it does happen here and there.

Hope this info helps and good luck prospecting.

CP

Posted by: Greg Sellers Feb 10 2010, 02:28 AM

Fairplay beach is now $5 for a permit 2010...dang economy.

http://www.fairplayco.us/forms/GoldPanningPermit2010.pdf

Posted by: russau Feb 10 2010, 05:21 AM

$5. isnt any big deal.

Posted by: Forestwalker Mar 11 2010, 08:53 AM

Being new to the area, I need to ask. When do the rivers here get clear of ice? I'm itching to get out again, mostly clear creek.

Posted by: ColoradoProspector Mar 11 2010, 09:46 AM

Watch those sunny spots as there will be some opening up soon I'm sure. thumbsupsmileyanim.gif Once the ice breaks up and is mostly gone at the lower elevations, then the upper areas melt will be contributing as well and flow levels will be on the rise.
Have fun and good luck out there everyone! Stay safe. happy088.gif



Posted by: Coalbunny Apr 21 2011, 12:21 AM

Updated-

http://www.fairplayco.us/forms/GoldPanningPermit2011.pdf
http://www.fairplayco.us/forms/Fairplay_Beach_Camping_Permit_Application.pdf

Posted by: ColoradoProspector Apr 21 2011, 06:47 AM

Thanks for the update Coalbunny.
happy088.gif

Posted by: Alluminati Aug 14 2011, 07:27 AM

Hello fellow Prospectors

This is my first post, so rather than just ask questions....I am a 50plus year old guy from Orlando. I got into treasure hunting and gold panning oh about 6 years ago. My treasure hunting has been primarily a Florida affair and does include some diving and underwater detecting, but mostly beach detecting (its about the only legal place left in the state to pursue this hobby). My gold panning has been limited to Georgia and North Carolina.

My best MD finds: A copper ingot from the Power Plant Wreck, Ft Pierce, The brass door knob & lockset from the Cape San Blas Lighthouse destroyed in the 1800s by a hurricane, 3 gold rings w gems, and a 1939 silver Washington.

On the panning front, after about a dozen trips Ive accumulated less than a half viel of dust & pickers , one nice olive Peridot and two full viels of very small garnets.

Needless to say all totaled I have spent over 1000% more persuing the hobby than what these finds might be worth.

Why keep doing it? Because it takes me to some of the most beautiful mostly secluded places in my travel zone and takes my mind off of witnessing the purposeful destruction of our Nation before my eyes.

Which brings me here.

I have to travel to Denver for bussiness periodically and always just fly in go to a hotel, then meetings, then fly back without ever seeing what Colorado has to offer. This month will be different. I plan on arriving early for my bussiness meeting and spending two solid weekend days at the end of August doing some prospecting.

This website has lead me to believe that Clear Creek would be my most convienient best bet to spend my two days exploring some panning sites. While I will probably pack my pans, classifier, tweezers, snuffer, magnet, loop etc., I will stop by lowes or HD for a couple of buckets, shovel & pick before getting to my hotel on that Friday evening, so if anyone here wants to meet up with me that weekend, I will have those things you can take home with you after that weekend. Woopie....right?

Now a couple of questions.

In Googleing Route 6, I see there are what appear to be some widened areas without guardrails along the road.
Is it permissible to park your car at these locations?
If so, do all or some of these have trails down to the Creek?
I will have my waders with me, In late August are there areas near the parking pull offs where the creek might be reasonalbly traversable with high waders on?
Is there more color upstream toward the 119 intersection or lower toward tunnel 1?
I see notes on the site about a claim around Elk creek, I have not found this creek intersection on Google, the BLM map site keeps saying maps are curently unavailable for the past week or so. The Jefferson county open space map does not identify this claim site either. Could someone locate it relative to the tunnels for me. Is it marked in some way?

I am only panning (shovel, pick & pan), maybe this opens up more location opportunities, It does in the National Parks in GA & NC,so if anyone has a location suggestion better than this for me or has any other suggestions or tidbits they can share, please do so by post or PM. I will be staying in the Central City Area.

Thanks
Dave from Orlando

Posted by: ColoradoProspector Aug 14 2011, 11:14 AM

Hi Dave,

Welcome to the ColoradoProspector forums, make yourself right at home browsing around.

QUOTE
In Googleing Route 6, I see there are what appear to be some widened areas without guardrails along the road.
Is it permissible to park your car at these locations?
If so, do all or some of these have trails down to the Creek?
I will have my waders with me, In late August are there areas near the parking pull offs where the creek might be reasonalbly traversable with high waders on?
Is there more color upstream toward the 119 intersection or lower toward tunnel 1?
I see notes on the site about a claim around Elk creek, I have not found this creek intersection on Google, the BLM map site keeps saying maps are curently unavailable for the past week or so. The Jefferson county open space map does not identify this claim site either. Could someone locate it relative to the tunnels for me. Is it marked in some way?


Yep you should be able to park your car on the side as long as it's wide enough to safely be off the roadway, hwy 6 is an extremely busy road because of casino traffic. Be cautious at all times entering or exiting that road.

Trails to the creek probably won't be but in a few spots but it's not all that far in most places of the canyon from road to creek level. You will be traversing over larger boulders along the creek and road side usually.
A few spots (especially a bit further up) have some slow spots where you might be able to traverse the creek but the main current will be very strong anytime of year.

Blackhawk and Central City are known as the "richest square mile on earth" from historical production days as well as Idaho springs rich gold hisory. Both of these areas and all their drainages contribute to Clear creek, that's literally hundreds of old mines that did very very well included in the drainage.
Gold upstream will be better normally but the entire drainage system below those old mines still has good flood gold distrubution especially closer to those towns.
Jefferson county open spaces ends at the county line though (traffic light in the canyon) where the hwyways split. Above that point upstream on either Clear creek or North Clear creek both go to private lands immediately.

Elk creek dumps into Clear creek just above tunnel 3 about 1/4 mile or so, that claim then goes upstream on Clear creek from there. Last time I was through there the claim was marked but that was a few years ago.

Have a great time on your visit and good luck on all your prospecting. We'll all be looking forward to your future participation as well.

CP-Dan

Posted by: Alluminati Aug 14 2011, 03:06 PM

QUOTE (ColoradoProspector @ Aug 14 2011, 01:14 PM) *
Hi Dave,

Welcome to the ColoradoProspector forums, make yourself right at home browsing around.


Yep you should be able to park your car on the side as long as it's wide enough to safely be off the roadway, hwy 6 is an extremely busy road because of casino traffic. Be cautious at all times entering or exiting that road.

Trails to the creek probably won't be but in a few spots but it's not all that far in most places of the canyon from road to creek level. You will be traversing over larger boulders along the creek and road side usually.
A few spots (especially a bit further up) have some slow spots where you might be able to traverse the creek but the main current will be very strong anytime of year.

Blackhawk and Central City are known as the "richest square mile on earth" from historical production days as well as Idaho springs rich gold hisory. Both of these areas and all their drainages contribute to Clear creek, that's literally hundreds of old mines that did very very well included in the drainage.
Gold upstream will be better normally but the entire drainage system below those old mines still has good flood gold distrubution especially closer to those towns.
Jefferson county open spaces ends at the county line though (traffic light in the canyon) where the hwyways split. Above that point upstream on either Clear creek or North Clear creek both go to private lands immediately.

Elk creek dumps into Clear creek just above tunnel 3 about 1/4 mile or so, that claim then goes upstream on Clear creek from there. Last time I was through there the claim was marked but that was a few years ago.

Have a great time on your visit and good luck on all your prospecting. We'll all be looking forward to your future participation as well.

CP-Dan

Thanks for the reply Dan.

I see now on google where Elk creek must be, there doesnt appear to be any water flow at the time of the google shot, but I can see the over pass over it. So the no go zone there is upstream from that overpass.

It looks like there are plenty of spots to pick for just a two day adventure. I am guessing at my speed I could possibly hit 4 spots in the two days and hopefully find some color "in them thar hills" as they say in Georgia.

I will post my trip results.

Dave from Orlando

Posted by: Alluminati Sep 2 2011, 06:28 PM

QUOTE (Alluminati @ Aug 14 2011, 05:06 PM) *
Thanks for the reply Dan.

I see now on google where Elk creek must be, there doesnt appear to be any water flow at the time of the google shot, but I can see the over pass over it. So the no go zone there is upstream from that overpass.

It looks like there are plenty of spots to pick for just a two day adventure. I am guessing at my speed I could possibly hit 4 spots in the two days and hopefully find some color "in them thar hills" as they say in Georgia.

I will post my trip results.

Dave from Orlando


Well, I am back from Denver and I must say I enjoyed my trip with Don and Ryan. I had my first sluicing experience and you sure can process more material with them. I think what really is the differnce is working as a team digging, classifying and feeding the sluice. I still got one of the larger "pickers" from direct panning however.

We hit 3 different spots on Clear Creek and acctually found more color down stream. Thats not to say that elevation makes the difference, It may be an issue of access and what has been worked already since last flood stage. The scenery at the higher elevation makes up for the harder prospecting in my opinion and is at least worth a try. I am told the chance of a nugget is higher up in em hills. The fines were pretty consistant down low though. Probably did nearly a gram in two days.

In any case, I had a hell of a better time prospecting than I did on the business meeting side of things. I am sure blessed that finding gold for the money wasnt my motivation, it makes the work fun and is a bunch healthier than my regular job.

Best thing is I met some great folks and hopefully some new freinds out Colorado way!

I can see how TPTB have really made it hard to access the resource there in CO dispite thousands of acres of rocky untenible land. You all stay united out there and fight them gummit varmits who think we like being subjugated by our employees. They forget who pays their salaries.

Never the less I hope to be prospecting out there again soon before the cold gets beyond this Floridians tolerance level. Oh and one last thing, I may just have to lug a bottle of oxegen along. Going from sea level to 7000 feet in one day is rough on the hemoglobin................. thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

Posted by: placer Jan 15 2012, 05:19 AM

The more I read, the more I think I am going to try clear creek around the Golden area, and I may wander over to Blawkhawk and try at Vics. I really would like to find a spot that I could file my own claim, on a creek or river, then I would consider relocating. Gold is gonna do nothing but go up in price and at 1600.00 oz you could support or at least help support yourself.

Posted by: sunspirit Mar 5 2012, 10:48 AM

This might not be the right thread for this question, but here goes: What is the status of areas along highways that are in the right of way? I know that you can't claim these areas, but can you work them on a very small scale on a sporatic basis? I'm thinking about maybe a sand bar that has formed under a bridge or an overpass. Or perhaps a gravel bar just downstream from a railroad piling. Some of these areas might be good gold collectors that could be worked after the runoff and then left until next year. Any thoughts?

Posted by: Kevin In Centennial Mar 5 2012, 09:08 PM

Great question...also what about in culverts under roads or in the bed of a ditch running along in the right of way next to a road?

Posted by: traddoerr Mar 5 2012, 09:53 PM

my guess would be to contact the highway department/county/city to see what is allowed, if it's NF make sure it hasn't been withdrawn from mineral claim, some of the USFS area managers have closed these areas to any type of propecting/panning.

Posted by: Woody Mar 6 2012, 12:51 PM

Caution, Red Flag, Warning!

Any digging or disturbing the soil around roads, bridges, pylons, trusses, culverts or roadways is frowned upon by a whole host of people. Corps of Engineers, DOT, BLM, NFS, and Privet land owners is just a few. I understand where they are coming from. Many structures have been damaged due to uncontrolled erosion and the cost to repair these things is enormous. Sometimes the officials will completely shut down an area because someone dug too close to a standing structure. I'm sure that what is being discussed here on this thread is just small scale, but to the officials any material being disturbed is a no-no. There is a bylaw distance a person must be from any structure. If I was going to be close to one I would definitely take the time to make sure I was legal. This has been a big problem in some areas. I'm even going to suggest that the officials would like to make an "example" out of someone for violating this. And they would have a lot of support from many different agencies.

Sorry to sound so negative but in the end a little research before you go will give you a piece of mind and make your outing a lot more enjoyable. Good luck, Woody.

Posted by: ColoradoProspector Mar 6 2012, 01:01 PM

Very good point Woody and I agree that can be a problem in many ways.
Another very important thing to note.....a road "right of way" is an "easement" not ownership. While DOT may have authority over the roadway, bridges etc.....ownership is still that of the original owner concerned with private land.
While many folks think a road right of way means it's open.....in fact it's very much the opposite. Road easemenst are granted by the land owner for the road. Ownership is not given away with that easement.

Good luck out there everyone, and as said above, check and verify the research to make sure your adventure is both fun and successful!

CP

Posted by: Kevin In Centennial Mar 7 2012, 11:29 PM

Lots of good cautions here, thanks!

One correction I think: withdrawn from mineral claim means you cannot file a federal mining claim but recreational prospecting ( no intent to claim) is still ok in most cases...right?

Cache Creek is a good example of this!

Posted by: ColoradoProspector Mar 21 2012, 09:46 AM

Right Kevin, generally speaking that's the case on minerally withdrawn land unless (like Cached creek) there are additional rules imposed on a specific area restricting certain activities via the special designation of the area to impose those special rules. In some places (national parks/monuments) all digging is prohibited for the specific area, not even sample collecting off the surface is allowed.


Posted by: blue_heron May 11 2012, 04:24 PM

When poking around looking for areas, I found this on the County Clerk's website:

http://map.co.clear-creek.co.us/imf/sites/ClearMap/jsp/launch.jsp?popup_blocked=true

I like it...I like it a lot.
Chris

Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place. - John Bender

Posted by: Kevin In Centennial May 14 2012, 06:13 PM

Totally cool. I suggest also posting in a forum area related to prospecting and finding land to claim as this will help a lot there!

Posted by: leonard May 15 2012, 06:48 AM

QUOTE (blue_heron @ May 11 2012, 05:24 PM) *
When poking around looking for areas, I found this on the County Clerk's website:

http://map.co.clear-creek.co.us/imf/sites/ClearMap/jsp/launch.jsp?popup_blocked=true

I like it...I like it a lot.
Chris

Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place. - John Bender



Zoom in around Idaho Springs. What a mess! How you figure out anything is beyond me. It looks like about every square foot was claimed.

Leonard

Posted by: swizz May 16 2012, 12:02 PM

QUOTE (blue_heron @ May 11 2012, 05:24 PM) *
When poking around looking for areas, I found this on the County Clerk's website:

http://map.co.clear-creek.co.us/imf/sites/ClearMap/jsp/launch.jsp?popup_blocked=true


Hi blue_heron,
Thanks for posting the map info!
Upon review it is a fair map.... but only in a very general sense. No truly accurate land status information can be derived from it for prospecting purposes.... a visit to the County Recorder or BLM Lakewood Public Records is still required to obtain accurate information such as legal claim border descriptions and actual claim boundary mapping (which is physically paper-filed and kept within public records per each claim). Your linked map gives a good idea for which claim files to request from the County or BLM HQ if researching land status... and that's not such a bad thing. I do not know what your intended personal use for this map is, but just so others here know: you cannot not use this map SOLELY to determine an area open to prospecting, maybe a starting point for further research... but that's about it. Much like geocom (burn in hell rest in peace), it cannot be used as a legal claim boundary reference or land status tool due to the (clearly stated) inaccuracies and other factors as defined below (red) in this Official Warning from their site (not just a 'disclaimer', but actual "warning"):
... and folks, this is the primary reason (as stated by BLM) that geocom was an epic fail in the mining realm

WARNING ABOUT ACCURACY

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Posted by: ColoradoProspector May 17 2012, 06:50 AM

Yep that disclaimer says it all and is what I was going to point out too.
Well put Swizz.

Posted by: sunspirit May 31 2012, 01:28 PM

It looks like the best thing about that map is that it points out the areas to avoid. Some of those areas look like claim stacked on top of claim. Sheesh, who could sort it out?
Change of subject: While working Clear Creek this winter (to keep my hand in) I found some very interesting rocks. Being a rockhound, I always keep an eye out for cuttable stone in the classifing screens. Some that I have found seem to have small veins or wires of gold in them. At first I thought these to be an anomally, but after I realized what to look for, they seem to be pretty common. Has anyone found anything like this? (I will try to post a picture, if I can get one, but I am a computer moron so no promises)
The stone is brown to beige (aren't they all) fine textured and seem to be more dense than most. Some also have included crystals of a lighter color. Porphry (sp?) maybe? My geologist brother said if I could get a pickup load of the stuff it might be worth going for extraction.
Can anyone shed some light? (or should I just keep picking 'em out until I have that pickup load)

Posted by: Kev2008 Jun 18 2012, 01:43 PM

Good Info !!!! Thanks a million !!! thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

Posted by: Arbo Jun 22 2012, 06:11 AM

On my way back from Denver for work, I managed to finally stop by Cache Creek. Interesting area. Did a bit of sampling and found a spot with color so filled a few buckets with dirt to run at home. But I have a question about the place. I noticed in some spots you get down to layers of basically a white/grey dirt. Is there gold in that layer? Or below it? Not familiar with that area so I figured I'd ask those that have been there before.

Posted by: Butch B May 1 2013, 08:16 PM

QUOTE (Coalbunny @ Sep 21 2009, 04:44 AM) *
Rich, PM me sometime if you want to go hit Clear Creek. I've always found color, though not in every pan, every time I've gone. If the Open Space area is where I think it is, I know a few decent places to hit.



If you guys are still going to Clear Creek I would like to go with yall some time.

Posted by: Coalbunny Jun 23 2013, 12:48 AM

QUOTE (Butch B @ May 1 2013, 09:16 PM) *
If you guys are still going to Clear Creek I would like to go with yall some time.

Sorry I'm a few months late on a reply....
...the likelihood I'll be in that area in the next few months isn't pretty. Maybe in the next 12-18 months as I'm now in Utah.

But I'm more than happy to help, be it via phone, internet or in person.

Posted by: placer Sep 2 2013, 11:31 AM

i have been looking for somewhere around the twin lakes area to sluice/pan. I have been looking in the forums and I have not found anything in this area. Does anybody know of an area around the twin lakes area to run a sluice? I would figure the higher the elevation of the creek, stream the better it would be for color

Posted by: OklaPony Sep 4 2013, 05:17 AM

QUOTE (placer @ Sep 2 2013, 02:31 PM) *
i have been looking for somewhere around the twin lakes area to sluice/pan. I have been looking in the forums and I have not found anything in this area. Does anybody know of an area around the twin lakes area to run a sluice? I would figure the higher the elevation of the creek, stream the better it would be for color

While not free there's a fellow with a pay to dig site right at the intersection of 24 and the road to Twin Lakes / Independence Pass. I've never worked there but have seen people there on several occasions and have also seen positive trip reports from there over the years.

Posted by: ColoradoProspector Mar 8 2014, 10:25 AM

An update concerning the "Free Panning and Sluicing Areas".........
We do not include any city parks or open space east (downstream) of Jefferson county's open space for the "Free Panning and Sluicing areas" intentionally. That's from Golden's western city limit and on downstream.
I know alot of folks like to use the city parks along Clear creek as well as the South Platte but those are not what we view here as the typical areas we should list for folks to go prospect. Those metro area parks have absolutely nothing to do with anyones "right to prospect" in the field which is what we educate about here.

Jefferson county's open space is listed even though it's a privately held "park", it is a much larger expanse with allowed free activities anyways.......more ground, better gold and not far from any of the metro. Nothing east (downstream) of tunnel #1 on Clear creek was included

This thread also does not/should not include any pay to dig sites for the general publics references to find "free panning and sluicing".

As far as those city parks go along Clear creek or the South Platte river, there is also a warning that folks should see as well.....
http://www.coloradoprospector.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=3827

Have fun out there folks, know where you stand and you'll be successful!! emoticon-misc-004.gif

Posted by: Rockyrat Oct 7 2014, 09:03 PM

I know that this thread is a little out of date so I will add something to it.

In late June of 2013 I stayed at the Hand Hotel in Fairplay. It is directly above the river/pond area where you go panning. When I was there they were about to close off the beach area for a major remodel of the parking area. I have not been able to find any pictures of how it looks today, but I believe that the images you can see on Google/Google Earth are before it was remodeled. I remember that there was talk of doing some dredging in the pond so it's possible that they have dug up and redeposited some of the previously submerged tailings from the 1800's.

There were people there that were working on the old tailings piles. In fact there were some large holes in the piles. That tells me that either someone was trying to make a grave, or they were finding gold in that spot.

Maybe someone else has some more current information on that area.

The permit was still only $5.

Posted by: Coalbunny Oct 19 2014, 01:08 AM

Actually, that has changed yet again.

Fairplay is now $5 per week or $35 per year. The fee schedule can be found at http://www.fairplayco.us/docsforms/FeeSchedule08042014.pdf

Application can be found at http://www.fairplayco.us/docsforms/GoldPanningPermit2014.pdf

Word of mouth has it this will again change in 2015.

Man, all these changes in the permits, it's almost like they think there's gold in them gravels.... laurel_and_hardy.gif

Posted by: Woody Oct 19 2014, 09:27 AM


I used to go there quite often about 15/20 years ago. Found some good stuff. If it is as good as it was back then, I'd highly recommend it, especially for a
beginner.

Just a little ways up the creek from that spot, there used to be a Gravel-pit mining operation. They had a process set-up that would capture the gold as they
washed the gravel. At the time it was ran by a feller named George. I talked with George from time to time. He used to let me pan down by the creek. I gave
him an Arrowhead I made from obsidian as a token of thanks. Last time I talked with him ol' George he was doing pretty rough. I heard his sister took over the
operation and things went sour between them. George was a tuff 'ol boot. A reminder of prospectors from days gone by.
Thanks George, wherever you may be, Woody.

Posted by: Coalbunny Oct 20 2014, 03:58 AM

QUOTE (placer @ Sep 2 2013, 12:31 PM) *
i have been looking for somewhere around the twin lakes area to sluice/pan. I have been looking in the forums and I have not found anything in this area. Does anybody know of an area around the twin lakes area to run a sluice? I would figure the higher the elevation of the creek, stream the better it would be for color

I have panned there, and I forget the fellas name. Fairly nice guy, has some sweet gravels you can work.
Last I recall it's about $5 per day, but that was a few years back, and only for panning. Anything else costs more and has different restrictions.
But watch out for the mosquitoes. You'll need a German 88mm for those.

Posted by: Crusty Nov 5 2015, 04:23 PM

Josh and I spent time time this week at Clear Creek, in the Jeff Co Open Space area... had a great time and found some golden goodness! Will definitely be hitting it again soon!

THis dredge sucks! smiley-laughing021.gif



Josh packing it in to head home




Hauling some of my gear across




Didn't get anything bigger than 30 mesh (and with all the smaller stuff, obviously my classifying skills need work lol)




50 mesh



Posted by: Crusty Nov 5 2015, 04:30 PM

100



100-




the whole shebang thumbsupsmileyanim.gif




And of course, they always popular, "magnified through the vial" view!



Posted by: swizz Nov 5 2015, 07:32 PM

You guys rock! sweet.gif

Posted by: Crusty Nov 6 2015, 11:58 AM



Anyone worked any other areas of Clear Creek in the Jeff Co Open Space other than the west side near the parking area? The big bend near tunnel 3 looks interesting. Though with what we got in the spot we were in, it'd be hard to walk away from a sure thing!

Posted by: Auger Nov 6 2015, 06:13 PM

Exciting! I'm so itchy for minerals. Bleh!

Posted by: Crusty Nov 7 2015, 07:51 AM

Josh and I are headed back up Sun/Mon if anyone wants to hook up!

Posted by: swizz Nov 7 2015, 10:45 AM

I loaded up the Jeepy and will try to be there around mid morning tomorrow. I'm just gonna run the mini long tom.

Posted by: Crusty Nov 7 2015, 11:38 AM

QUOTE (swizz @ Nov 7 2015, 10:45 AM) *
I loaded up the Jeepy and will try to be there around mid morning tomorrow. I'm just gonna run the mini long tom.



AWESOME!! thumbsupsmileyanim.gif
(I'll bring the knife too)

Posted by: swizz Nov 7 2015, 11:51 AM

Great! Believe it or not I still have not fully shaken this crud I've had for the last 3 1/2 weeks but I think I'm better than 90%.
and, and, and...... it'll be awesome to see you guys again! laugh.gif

Posted by: swizz Nov 7 2015, 02:13 PM

You guys gonna kidnap Jessie for the day?

Posted by: JJJ Nov 22 2015, 05:42 PM

Hi y'all, just joined. Glad to be here!

My brother and I are just getting into prospecting. If anyone would like some labor and be willing to deal w/ us noobs, we'd be happy to apprentice. We're available on Sundays. Cheers!

Posted by: Crusty Nov 23 2015, 06:32 AM

QUOTE (JJJ @ Nov 22 2015, 05:42 PM) *
Hi y'all, just joined. Glad to be here!

My brother and I are just getting into prospecting. If anyone would like some labor and be willing to deal w/ us noobs, we'd be happy to apprentice. We're available on Sundays. Cheers!



You're definitely welcome to join us next time we head up there. Will definitely be opportunities this winter, if you don't mind the cold. You'll need at least hip waders to get across the creek. Look forward to meeting y'all.

Posted by: Crusty Jan 13 2017, 01:52 PM

QUOTE (ColoradoProspector @ Jul 26 2007, 11:22 AM) *
Hello everyone,


CLEAR CREEK - WEST OF GOLDEN
JEFFERSON COUNTY OPEN SPACE

First we will talk about the Clear Creek/Hwy 6 area just west of Golden begining just above tunnel #1.
This area is all private land which has been donated or traded to Jefferson County open space and they "allow" panning and sluicing on the open space......they do not want motors on open space.
The only place not included in the open space is a private claim on BLM land the extends 1 mile upstream from Elk creek on Clear creek.......Steer clear of this private claim unless you have permission to be there.
WARNING-This area is all very steep and parking is limited. Traffic can also be very heavy at times, use extreme caution when in this area!!


Here are the rules for the Clear Creek Canyon Jeff Co open Space area. Motors are allowed; up to 4" dredge

http://jeffco.us/open-space/activities/gold-prospecting/

Posted by: Rita Jul 2 2017, 02:08 PM

QUOTE (ColoradoProspector @ Jul 26 2007, 01:22 PM) *
Hello everyone,

Many folks inquire about free places to pan or sluice, so we thought we would post some free areas around Colorado that anyone can go to anytime they wish.
These are places where you are either "allowed", or given permission to pan/sluice on private (patented) land or it's public land withdrawn from mineral entry (unclaimable) which we can all still prospect with our pans and sluices.
All 3 are historically known as gold bearing areas and chances are very good you WILL FIND GOLD at all of them. cool.gif

*Added March 2014-These areas DO NOT INCLUDE ANY CITY PARKS EAST OF TUNNEL #1 ON CLEAR CREEK OR ANY CITY PARKS ON THE SOUTH PLATTE RIVER.

CLEAR CREEK - WEST OF GOLDEN
JEFFERSON COUNTY OPEN SPACE

First we will talk about the Clear Creek/Hwy 6 area just west of Golden begining just above tunnel #1.
This area is all private land which has been donated or traded to Jefferson County open space and they "allow" panning and sluicing on the open space......they do not want motors on open space.
The only place not included in the open space is a private claim on BLM land the extends 1 mile upstream from Elk creek on Clear creek.......Steer clear of this private claim unless you have permission to be there.
WARNING-This area is all very steep and parking is limited. Traffic can also be very heavy at times, use extreme caution when in this area!!

FAIRPLAY'S TOWN BEACH - PARK COUNTY - $5 FEE
Second is a wonderful spot up a bit higher in elevation but the scenery is just awesome on the ride.........The Fairplay Beach.
http://fairplayco.us/ Click on "forms and permits".
You will need to aquire the $5 permit from the town office on front street or use the online printable form and send it in prior to your adventure. Once you have this permit you must have it with you while you pan/sluice at the beach.
Again this is privately owned by the town of Fairplay and they "allow" panning and sluicing here. Follow their rules and you will not have any problems. Gold here historically was just amazing and the beach is very close to what the old timers used to call the "GOLD SLIDE".


ARKANSAS RIVER RECREATIONAL AREA-CHAFFEE COUNTYiNCLUDING CACHE CREEK AND POINT BAR
Third we will be heading further south and across the divide to the arkansas river area.
There is alot of public land here that is withdrawn from mineral entry. This area is also a "recreational area" which has addtional rules for some activities. Panning or sluicing fortunately is not one of those....no permits needed here.
Even though this area has been withdrawn there are still a few claims to watch out for as well as many private parcels.
To know where these many private parcels are and claims in this area, you will need to have some info/maps to help you out on the sites to assure yourself of being on the open areas you are looking for. A good map to start with would be the BLM series of "Surface/Mineral Management Status-Gunnison map" from there you can then progress to more detailed maps and pinpointing.
There are many areas intertwined along the river heading upstream (northerly) from Hwy 24 along the next 10 miles of river or so.
Then further on down south on hwy 285 from the Hwy 24 intersection, at Helca Junction (11 miles or so), there is a large stretch of public land on the river extending approximately 1.5 miles downstream from the campground and approximately 4.5 miles upstream. Again use the above mentioned map to get started and pinpoint with more detailed info from there.

If you are interested in finding out how those "details" are obtained........You may wish to check over the CP club memberships at http://www.coloradoprospector.com and click "membership" to the left in green.
Our main goal is to learn as a collective so we all know as much as we can......We would love to have your families participation too. biggrin.gif
Thank you to all CP club members as their participation has brought you these free panning and sluicing areas to explore!! cool.gif

Enjoy your adventures!
The CP club
smile.gif



Fairplay Beach is now $10/day/person



Posted by: CP Jul 6 2017, 06:43 AM

Hi Rita, thanks for the update on the Fairplay town beach panning price. I've edited the beginning post to show that increase as well. smiley-cool14.gif

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