Here’s a quick list of some places you will be welcome to prospect across our beautiful state of Colorado. No need to join a club (although clubs definitely have their place!), just play by the rules of your hosts.
Arapahoe Bar Info, Clear Creek, western metro Denver- http://www.ci.wheatridge.co.us/1184/Gold-Panning
Grant Frontier Park Info, South Platte River, south central Denver- 2300 South Platte Drive https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grant-Frontier_Park and my article: http://findinggoldincolorado.com/grant-frontier-park-prospecting-tips/
Clear Creek Canyon Openspace Park, west of Golden- http://jeffco.us/parks/recreation/gold-prospecting/
Steele Street Openspace Park “Big Bend”, South Platte River, Adams County, just north of Denver-
Town of Fairplay – middle fork of the South Platte in Park County. The town rules are in Article 3 of this doc: http://www.fairplayco.us/municode/CHAPTER%2011%20Streets,%20Sidewalks%20and%20Public%20Property.pdf
As I share in my post about the Fairplay Town Park, you can just buy your pass at one of several sites in town…all mentioned in http://fairplayco.us/docsforms/goldpanpurchase.pdf
Cache Creek Placer Area – south of Leadville, turn west off the highway at Granite- http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/rgfo/minerals/locatable_minerals/cache_creek.html
Point Barr (or Bar), Arkansas River, near Salida, south central mountains- http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/co/field_offices/royal_gorge_field/Minerals/locatable_minerals/images/arkansas_river_dredge_maps.Par.3090.File.dat/2011_map_3-Point_Bar.pdf
Gunnison River, Rattlesnake Gulch, western slope- from Delta, head out highway 50 to Rattlesnake Gulch Road 730, past mile marker 61. Panning and in stream sluices only, dig in water only, National Conservation Area.
(dead BLM link deleted…trying to find another for Rattlesnake Gulch…)
Piñon Bridge Recreational Placer Mining Area, western slope near Montrose –
And more generally- http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/ufo/solids_and_fluids.html#placer
Of course you should confirm the current rules via the relevant websites above and maybe a phone call if anything seems unclear.
One other thing, please remember these are not mining claims. Be a good guest by following the rules, filling your holes and picking up any trash in your prospecting area. Thanks in advance and please enjoy!
I’ll provide longer posts on each of these areas (many of them already in the “where to dig” section of this site), and more, in coming months. If you’re interested in my overall project feel free to comment with topics you’d like to hear about!
Photo note: Selfie of me at Arapahoe Bar with a whole class of school kids, teaching them to pan and just having fun in the water!
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