You've heard the financial experts advocate buying gold. Why not make an adventure of it and Search for Arizona Gold! Though there are those from more Eastern regions who still harbor the vision of the Phoenix area as a real Western town - cowboys and sheriffs having gun battles on horseback - that's much more a City Slickers Hollywood throwback than reality. However, there are still many interesting authentic Western things to do in the area ... like pan for your own gold. Seriously!
From 1860 through 1965, the state of Arizona produced a total of about 13,321,000 ounces of gold and ranked eighth among gold-producing states in 1965. The pastime is still incredibly popular.
Arizona prospectors even have their own association! Arizona Association of Gold Prospectors meets the second Tuesday of every month from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Denny's Restaurant on the northwest corner of the intersection of I-17 and Dunlap Ave. Meetings are open to members and prospective new members; include discussions on a variety of gold prospecting topics, from equipment, techniques, geology, and hot spots for finding gold to local gold prospecting events and governmental mining and prospecting laws. It's always a friendly forum for those who are serious about gold prospecting. Please be sure to call first to make sure the meeting is still scheduled and to make your reservations. For further information, contact the AAGP at (623) 934-6882.
According to GoldFeverProspecting.com some of the better places to pan for gold in Maricopa County include:
Cave Creek District. Located about 40 miles north of Phoenix, this area is home to the Mormon Girl Mine and the Copper Top Mine. At the Cave Creek and New River turnoff, which is 4 miles southwest of Cave Creek, you will find panning gold on both sides of the road. Head west 2.4 miles toward Cave Creek and follow a north trending road about 1.5 miles to the old Go John Mine, which also has gold panning. Continue north a few miles, on the east slope of the main watercourse, to the Phoenix and Maricopa mines which produced 17,000 ounces of gold between 1890 and 1959. Go north another 13 milesand follow a dirt road to the west, where you will find the Rackensack Mine. Other area mines include the Mex Hill, Lucky Gus, A.B. Bell, Dallas-Ft. Worth, and Gold Reef, all of which formerly produced lode gold.
Salt River Mountains. Nine miles south of Phoenix gold can be found at the Max Delta Mine.
Winifred District. Head 18 miles into the north foothills of the Phoenix Mountains to the White Mine, which produced lode gold. From there, head 45 miles northwest to the San Domingo Wash. Continue 6 to 7 miles to find the San Domingo placers. A south tributary along Old Woman Gulch is home to a large gold placers operation with large, coarse gold nuggets. Watch carefully, for gold can still be found throughout the area's arroyos, gulches, and in black sand deposits.
Wickenburg Area. The entire Wickenburg region shows scores of old mine dumps, which occasionally yield large gold nuggets due to the carelessness of early miners. Seven miles southeast from Wickenburg, you can find abundant placers in the sands and gravels along the entire length of the Hassayampa River. The Hassayampa placers were very productive from 1934 to 1949. The Vulture Mountains, 14 miles southwest from Hassayampa, are home to the Vulture Mine, which was the largest gold producer in the county (366,000 ounces) from 1863 to 1959. 18 miles further west and 2.5 miles south of U.S. 60, you will find the Sunrise Mine.
Search for Arizona Gold!
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
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