Some time ago, I was at the annual Christmas party for the Gold Prospectors of the Rockies and had a great time. This got me thinking it might be helpful to do a review of the prospecting clubs in Colorado.
Clubs have an important role in the gold prospecting community. However different clubs are good for different reasons and, heck, some of them aren’t even clubs…no matter what they call themselves, they are businesses. That’s ok too, let’s just be clear about what’s happening in each case.
Here are the currently active clubs I’ve had exposure to through the years:
Gold Prospectors of Colorado (GPOC)- based in Colorado Springs, has several claims, inexpensive to join, has meetings and outings. Best deal going for cheap access to claims coming from the front range. I’ve never actually been to a meeting but having spent time with their officers, I can say they are good folks 🙂 They host a forum but it’s for club members only. http://gpoc.club/
Gold Prospectors of the Rockies (GPOR) – based in west metro Denver, no claims, inexpensive to join, has meetings and lots of outings. Publishes a monthly newsletter, available for free on their website. No online forum. I’ve been a member for a number of years so I can say they have interesting meetings and interesting outings including digging trips and tours of various sorts. http://goldprospectorsoftherockies.com/index.html
World Wide Association of Treasure Seekers – www.wwats.org serves a worldwide audience of 8,000 members with the president right here in southwest Colorado! A one year membership is free(!), multiyear memberships cost a little bit but provide more benefits and also support the educational and advocacy role of this non-profit operation. Club consists of about 1/2 detectorists and 1/2 prospectors and holds events for both. Has several claims available across the state for member use. Has an online forum.
Rocky Mountain Prospectors and Treasure Hunters Club – http://rmpth.com – based in Fort Collins. Meets in Loveland on the first Wednesday of the month. No claims, inexpensive to join, active group with many gold prospectors.
Grand Junction Gem and Mineral Club – http://www.grandjunctionrockclub.org – based in Grand Junction (duh). The gold mining group (aka The Grand Valley Gold Prospectors) meets on the second Tuesdays of the month. They have several claims along the Delores River near Gateway and good knowledge of the area such as the Gunnison River and the Book Cliffs. A real bargain with good claims access for those near Grand Junction and a very helpful, welcoming approach. Also has a Facebook page.
Uncompahgre Treasure Club- http://www.uncompahgretreasureclub.com based in Montrose, meets at 7pm the second Monday of each month at the Lions Park Club House at 602 North Nevada. The group covers interests in gold prospecting, metal detecting and general treasure hunting. Club membership includes access to a claim on the San Miguel river below Placerville.
Denver Mining Club- www.denverminingclub.org This group has been active since 1891 making it easily the longest running group on the list! Meets every Monday for lunch in southwest Denver. Speakers every week on a WIDE range of mining related topics. You can sign up to get their monthly email listing scheduled speaker via the website contact info. Membership is free, meetings cost $1 to attend. Charitable efforts support museums and education about mining. No claims, no forum.
Foothills Prospectors – based in west metro Denver, no claims but affiliated with the GPAA national org. Like most (all?) GPAA affiliates, you don’t pay anything to be a member of this club and you don’t actually have to join the GPAA! Has meetings and outings. Despite their down-home image, the GPAA itself is a for-profit business. Sadly their claims in Colorado are generally considered fairly poor so I would only join if I was planning to travel to other states where there are better claims to access. However, Foothills Prospectors has recently reorganized and is now doing quite a bit as far as both interesting meetings and outings. They have welcoming, energized leadership too 🙂 http://www.rockygems.com/foothills-prospectors.html
Western Colorado Chapter of GPAA – Based in Olathe, affiliated with the GPAA national organization. They meet on the third Thursday each month. The group stays up to date on access and regulations in the western part of the state. This group also provides their members with access to private claims on the San Miguel River that are not part of the GPAA general access. http://www.wcgpaa.org/ This group also has a Facebook page.
Colorado Springs Chapter of GPAA – http://www.cosgpaa.org
For profit businesses which operate clubs:
Colorado Prospector – what you get for your fee is information on places to prospect with an eye to filing your own claim. Has occasional telephone/virtual meetings and meet ups organized by members. This group is focused on gems (but also talks about gold, silver, etc). Few people realize there is more profit to be made for the casual prospector in gems than in gold. Has an online forum with a rather odd vibe on it. Some good info but many questions lead to being encouraged to join the club or being scolded to be careful (somewhat justified I agree). http://www.coloradoprospector.com/
Colorado Gold Camp (CGC)- doesn’t hold meetings but has what are often said to be the best “club claims” in the state. Expensive but worth it from what I can tell. Has a somewhat active online forum with some very knowledgeable people participating intermittently. http://coloradogoldcamp.com/
All of these clubs have websites of some sort as you can see. Many do not post info on their organized outings as that is only provided to members. Contact them directly for more info. Also: If the link provided doesn’t work, just google them by name…and let me know I need to update this page 🙂
Do you have other clubs you’d like to see mentioned? Have further questions about these clubs? …post a comment!
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