Where Can You Go Gold Panning in the U.S.?


Quick Answer

There are numerous places in the United States to pan for gold, such as the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas, the Libby Creek Recreational Gold Panning Area near Libby, Montana, the Alta Ranch in Montana, Consolidated Gold Mine in northern Georgia or along the Arkansas River corridor in Colorado. Other popular gold panning areas in the United States include Jamestown Gold Panning near Jamestown, California, Crow Creek Gold Mine in southwestern Alaska and California's Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park.

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Full Answer

Gold prospecting is also allowed on certain lands that are under the jurisdiction of either the Bureau of Land Management or the Forest Service. The majority of these areas are located in 20 states, including California, Louisiana, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Arizona. If an individual discovers a valuable, locatable mineral deposit in these areas, they are entitled to stake a mining claim on the federal land where the deposit was discovered.

Although many people believe it is possible to make money by panning gold in the various streams in the western United States, especially near former placer mining locations, most of these areas have been extensively reworked at least twice. The first panning was done by Chinese laborers that arrived soon after the initial gold booms and then again by other miners during the 1930's.

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