Lode gold and placer gold can be found in almost every state in the United States, and to find that gold, try panning. Panning for gold requires the miner’s pan which is shallow and has sloping sides and a flat bottom and a shovel. The pan is used to wash possible gold bearing gravel or sediments and panning is the simplest and most economical method for mining gold. It is somewhat tedious, however but you can become proficient with practice.
To find the best gold panning locations it is a great idea to look up geological reports and maps.
1. Turnagain Arm district is a seaway area just south of Anchorage where there are many Alaska gold mines and placer operations. Panning for gold around the Crow, Palmer, and Sixmile creeks can be highly profitable with amateur prospectors finding small amounts of gold in almost every panning.
2. Gold panning locations in California include state park and recreation areas. Private claims cannot be panned and permission needs to be obtained from the California Department of Natural Resources to pan for gold on public lands.
3. Cochise County Arizona gold panning is found in the placer deposits of upper Gold Gulch. The copper mines of Copper Queen, Calumet, and Denn have by-products of gold and nuggets have been found in panning claims downstream.
4. Montana gold panning locations are located in southwestern Montana. Alder Gulch near Virginia City as well as gold mining investments in the Butte area has yielded high deposits of the gold. You can pan in Colombia River tributaries near Butte and gold yields have been recently recorded in this area.
5. Idaho has several current placer mining operations and “flour” gold has been panned in the dredging areas of the Boise Basin. The Salmon and Clearwater River areas are also good places try your hand at a gold sluice.
6. Pan for gold in southeast Oregon where steams drain from the Blue and Wallowa Mountains. Gold mines in the Sumpter Region on the upper Powder River as well as the Burnt River have recently yielded gold.
7. South Dakota allows panning on French Creek near Custer and on the Columbia and Snake River tributaries.
8. Eastern panning locations include those states that have streams draining from the eastern slopes the Appalachian Mountains.
9. In Beaver Utah you can see gold mining claims throughout the area. Non-claimed gold panning sites in the Fishlake area abound and are available for panning.
10. Jarbridge, Nevada has dozens of non-claimed gold panning locations and these are marked by the US Geological Services. There have been some substantial pannings in this area.