Hints for prospecting Goldstrike Park

Goldstrike Park is an Arvada City park at the confluence of Ralston Creek and Clear Creek…both of which are gold bearing and open to non-motorized prospecting. 

On Ralston Creek, you can find fine gold just about anywhere in the stream bed. A large cobble bar has developed under the 56th St bridge with decent flood gold in it. You will easily find a spot to set up your sluice here too. Working in the shade of the bridge also has its advantages on a warm day.

I’ve been told that the first discovery of gold on Ralston Creek was actually about 1.5 miles upstream of this site. Prospecting upstream is a great idea as long as you stay in city open space parks (NOT private property or manicured park areas). As you can see in the following pics, there are lots of spots to prospect Ralston Creek!

Ya gotta love metro Denver gold and we haven’t even talked about this stretch of Clear Creek yet.

Clear Creek through this area is quite pretty from a creekside pov which is surprising considering how close to I-70 we are here. To get a sense of the place, walk out on the bridge over Clear Creek; here how it looks as you approach:

Looking downstream from a vantage point on the bridge, you can see the confluence and a couple modest gravel bars:

You can see a fellow miner running an electric highbanker on the little bar just beyond the confluence. He reported good material a foot or two down. Sometimes digging deep pays off!

And here’s the view looking upstream:

I sampled that upstream bar in several locations from head to center to tail and found gold in every spot. You can easily get to this bar by following a dirt trail along the creek bank for a little way along the chain link fence. The easiest place to set up my big Bazooka Goldtrap Prospector was at the downstream end of the bar. Material dug from underwater paid nicely. I only took the first layer of paydirt, 0-6 inches deep as that often pays better than digging deeper on these sort of bars. However I’d love to have someone show me I missed the richer, deeper deposits!

What’s the gold like: in both Ralston Creek and Clear Creek I found decent amounts of fine gold (all -50 mesh).

How to get there: the park is on 56th Ave, just west of the intersection of Ralston Road and Sheridan. It’s just a little north of the Sheridan exit off of I-70. There is plentiful parking and a bathroom on site. This is just about the easiest access you can find for gold prospecting!

There are a couple of signs highlighting the history of Ralston Creek at the park as well. Here are some highlights:

As always good luck, have fun and leave it better than you find it (minus the gold of course!).

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