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        A few years ago a friend of mine told me that he had just learned how to pan for gold and I thought he was nuts. I thought that gold panning went out with the pioneers, but just because I thought he was nuts didn't mean that I wasn't intrigued. He invited me to his home to show me what he had learned, and the next weekend, I had a gold pan and was in the woods trying it out. Since that day, mining for gold has been my favorite hobby. If you would like to know how it is done, check out my Introduction to Gold Panning page.

        The rewards of gold mining are much greater than just the flakes and nuggets you take home at the end of the day. It is a total learning experience: geology, hydrology, biology, history, cartography, and the experience of enjoying some of the most beautiful and serene places that nature has to offer. It can be as easy, or as difficult; as cheap, or as expensive as you choose it to be. You can do it by yourself, with a friend or two, or as part of a large group. The more you learn about it and practice, the more fun it is.

        Once you have aquired the basic skill of using a gold pan, you need to find out where to use it. There are a number of ways to find gold bearing areas near you:


Before you dig, find out if there are any special regulations in the area you are planning to prospect. Permits MAY be required depending on the type of mining you are planning on doing, and who has jurisdiction over the land you are using. National and State Parks generally do not allow mining of any kind. National and State Forests generally do allow mining, but may contain areas where mining is forbidden. The BLM has areas set aside specifcally for mining. Mining on private land ALWAYS requires the permission of the land owner. And last but not least, never never never mine on someone elses claim without permission....besides the fact that you can be prosecuted, you are just as likely to be shot as you are to be arrested.

        If I still have your attention, now would be a great time to go to Introduction to Gold Panning. Have fun, and maybe I'll see you on the creek!