Tools, Techniques and Recommended Products

As a affiliate marketer I get fees if you buy certain products through my website. I ONLY recommend things I’ve used extensively and love. If you like the info here, please do buy through the links here, it’s the only thing that covers the costs of running the site and it won’t cost you extra.

Gold Pans: For use in the field I like the Proline Professional pan or the Garrett Supersluice pan. The dark green, wide smooth bottom of that big Garrett 15″ pan does an impressive job letting you see the smallest gold, even out in the field. You can buy the Garrett by clicking on the image:





For finish panning, I prefer something much smaller.  I use several at once so I found a good deal on a multi-pack. Again, click the image to order yours:



In-stream Sluices: I’m a big fan of the Grizzly Goldtrap line of products. It’s almost the only sluice I use anymore. The fluid bed design eliminates classifying, is quick to set up, isn’t finicky about sluicing angles, quick to clean out and catches the gold down to somewhere smaller than 100 mesh. Go to to check them out.

I also recommend a decent drop riffle sluice. My favorite is the Le Trap or something from the Angus Mackirk line. They are light weight and work in ultra shallow/low water conditions. I still carry a drop riffle sluice for times when there isn’t enough water flow for my Goldtrap sluices. Both brands are available at local prospecting shops. Click the Le Trap image to see current pricing on the Le Trap.



In-Stream Sluice Stand: I like the new Snake River Products “Versa-Stand”. They’ve made a stand that is easy to bungee almost any sluice to and with the forward canted legs it grabs the riverbed better than other stands. The powder coating means it’ll look great for many years too.


Highbankers: There’s really only one standout in the crowd – the Gold Cube. Add the trommel topper to it and you have the easiest operating, most efficient one-person mining operation around. Set up right on the gold in the stream, use only 1200-1500 gallons per hour (trust me, that ain’t much so your battery lasts a long time) and catch really fine gold. They say “cube it or lose it” for a reason. Use this link to get one: or read more about the Gold Cube and its various accessories here:

Drywashers: In 2016 I switched from a big Keene 151 (worked fine but far too big for 1-2 people) to the very backpackable Whippet Drywasher. At under 15 pounds (including the battery!) its exceptionally easy to get to the dig site, even if you have a long hike from the road. Being a battery operated, puffer-style machine its quiet and pleasant to work around for hours. With a hopper which holds almost 5 gallons of material, it’ll keep up with you as you dig! Finally, the precision design means it catches much more fine gold (-50 mesh, even -100 mesh) than the big Keene I used to run. Expensive, precision made, light weight, worth it! (seems the website is down at the moment) One caution, the owner recently (in 11/2016) let me know that they have several months of orders backlogged…so if you order, be patient!

Finish Processing Gear: Take a look at this post on what to use and how to do your finish processing of your concentrates without fancy equipment.

PLEASE HELP ME MAKE THIS SITE BETTER: If you find a dead web link, please, please drop me a line about it or just post a comment. I WILL FIX IT!!

Also consider joining the Facebook group ‘Finding Gold in Colorado’ to join the community of Colorado oriented gold prospectors and adventurers. Get your questions answered, advice found and prospecting buddies arranged too!

This site costs money to keep up. The only way it pays for itself is shopping referrals. If you appreciate the info here, please click thru one of my Amazon ads the next time you want to shop online. It won’t cost you anything extra and it keeps the site going:

How to locate your own placer mining claim in Colorado

At some point, many casual prospectors get the itch to own their own claim. Then the discussion comes up about buying one vs. locating their own. Buying seems simpler to many but is rife with risks that lead to needing to do many of the same things as locating your own new claim requires. In […]

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Getting your gold refined – Prospectors Gold & Gems

Prospectors Gold and Gems (PG&G) is an important asset in the commercial gold mining infrastructure of Colorado…available to prospectors all over. It is also more than that, it’s a one stop shop for a whole range of post-digging services small scale miners and active prospectors may desire. Back in the late 90’s you may recall […]

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Welcome to the Mountains…Now Behave!

Some of my readers here are planning a visit to the Rocky Mountains as part of a family vacation, prospecting adventure or other sojourn. If you are inexperienced with real mountains, you may have some anxieties about coming. Worried about extreme weather, fast moving rivers, dangerous animals, road conditions or screwy locals? Good. You should […]

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Don’t Stop Now! (prospecting year-round)

Your author doing some off season digging in Colorado. The trees are brown but the gold is still yellow!

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Where to look for gold & How to catch it

    I get asked to provide my advice on where to look for gold in a creek and how to pan.  I think there are already experts out there on YouTube so here are a few of the best…           First, here’s a great video for beginner prospectors on where […]

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Bargain Alert! – bucket classifiers 1/2 off!

I found a great deal on bucket classifiers on Amazon and had to share it with you! I’ve used classifiers from this manufacturer, Sonya Enterprises, since 2011 and they’ve held up very well. My 4 mesh from them is in my backpack all the time! When I bought mine, you had to buy a kit […]

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Is it gold? …Free Mineral Sample Identification

I think most of us have climbed around on old tailings piles, or walked a creekbed, while picking up interesting stones. As gold prospectors we are attracted to rocks that aren’t just pretty, they provide intriguing clues pointing us toward gold. Of course you need to know what mineral you’ve found to learn whether it […]

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Using a Gold Cube in Colorado

The Gold Cube is absolutely a standout product for us small scale gold prospectors in Colorado. Our beautiful state is known for having fine gold that prospectors back in the gold rush found frustrating. This makes the Cube an ideal tool for the serious prospectors who want to move up from pans and stream sluices. […]

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A good reminder – bring your heavies home!

That little scatter of gold above Ike’s forehead is a good reminder to bring your concentrates home no matter what! Why you ask? Well this gold comes from an outing to the BLM lands just north of Joshua Tree National Park in early December 2016. It’s dry land so I was dry washing with some […]

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Prospecting Stores across Colorado

There are quite a few places around here to buy prospecting supplies. When you need gear, please shop via my links or support your local shop. There’s nothing like looking at your choices in person to get what you need and getting expert advice as part of the bargain.       I doubt my […]

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Finding spots to dig in town (metro Denver)

Digging in the city means participating in recreational gold prospecting as a guest of a local government, parks & rec district or similar organization. While the tools of prospecting are the same (shovel, pan and sluice, maybe an electric highbanker like the Gold Cube), the process of finding a spot to dig is vastly different. […]

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So where did all this gold come from anyway?

The gold in metro Denver is in almost every waterway big enough to have a name. In the early days of the gold rush this was confusing and frustrating for the first American prospectors. They found gold way out southeast in Elbert County, due south of what’s now Denver in Douglas County and Arapahoe County…and […]

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How Colorado was started with a gold rush

I think many of us know to look for gold where it’s been found before. This can naturally lead to an interest in history and old maps. That has certainly been true for me. So it’s no surprise that my wife turned me on to this talk and I just have to share it with […]

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Finish processing your concentrates after a day of digging

How to steps for processing your placer concentrates without any fancy equipment.

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Gold Prospecting Clubs in Colorado

A quick summary of prospecting clubs in Colorado with some perspectives on each.

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Prospecting 101 (How To Read A River)

Prospector Jack does a great job showing where to prospect…much better than just “telling” right? You have located a prospect. So now what. This is what I look for. I look for what I call the gold line, and that is the path that gold will most often travel. There are exceptions to this rule, […]

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