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Old 08-03-2013, 10:10 AM   #1
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California gold panning

I've been thinking about taking my son on a gold panning adventure somewhere in Calif. Anyone have any experiences, positive or negative, with a place that offers lessons/equipment for gold panning? Nearby camping would be a plus.


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Old 08-03-2013, 11:25 AM   #2
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Re: California gold panning

Checkout the town (State Historic Park) of Columbia.
Its set up for the tourist trade but the first time there you guys will have a blast.
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=552
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:38 PM   #3
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Re: California gold panning

Herb Iíve seen some places that claim to teach or let you pan. Here is a good link for a few spots. Sorry donít have any knowledge of whether or not any of the pay to pan spots are a rip off.

http://www.goldfeverprospecting.com/cagolopapr.html

Some locals that teach:
http://jamestowngoldpanning.vpweb.com/?prefix=www
http://www.goldprospecting.com/

Once you learn youíll just have to be careful not to pan or take from a claim. Iíve seen many people panning in spots I camp at.

Might think of this too.
http://www.mymotherlode.com/community/r ... nding.html
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:31 PM   #4
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Re: California gold panning

Thanks for the responses guys.

Dave, a couple of those outfits seem promising. One reason I want to go with a company rather than just winging it on my own is so my son has the best chance for success (a 7 year old only has so much patience if he's not successful at something), and so I don't have to navigate the muddy waters of private claims versus public access.


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Old 08-03-2013, 08:02 PM   #5
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Re: California gold panning

Yeah I agree and more of a reason not to just look for gold. If gold was easy to find everybody would be doing it. Gem and crystal hunting add a bit to the adventure. A buddy of mine who was good at finding and panning for gold just used a screw driver as a pry, an old narrow spoon for scooping out cracks, and a pick hammer as his main tools besides the pan. He also would dig dry dirt and bring it home. A set of home made screens helped to get to the smaller stuff. A little bottle was used to such up flakes out of the pan. I'm sure somebody makes newbie kits.

You also might think about a metal detector one of these days. Gold machines are mainly for gold and you kind of got to know how to use them but a relic detector is fun to use. Even when you hit on an old aluminum pull tab, there is a bit of excitement until it's dug up. Coins are everywhere people are but like looking for gold, finding the correct area is key to good relic digs.

Hope one of those businesses help you out.
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:20 PM   #6
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Re: California gold panning

My son has a kids sized metal detector, and while its not bad, it's closer to a toy than a tool.

Unfortunately, a few months back, my son had a birthday party to go to. Normally not a bad thing, but it was the same day MineLab (a high end metal detector company) was sponsoring MineLab day up in Santa Barbara. They were having the two guys from Meteorite Men as guests, along with the two guys from Diggers, a show about finding relics with metal detectors. My son really wanted to go (and so did I) but the birthday party won out.


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Old 08-04-2013, 12:32 AM   #7
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Re: California gold panning

I would have like to go to that (the convention) myself...well I'm sure the birthday party was fun too I have a Minelab explorer II that has served me well but sure would like to have a dedicated gold detector. Makes more sense in this area. One of the main engineers for Fisher lives down the road and eyeballed my van claiming it looked like a gold finding machine. When I told him I had a relic detector he laughed and asked what the hell do you have that thing for, this is gold country.
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:53 AM   #8
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Re: California gold panning

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
... my van claiming it looked like a gold finding machine....


I always thought of my SMB as a gold spending machine.


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Old 08-04-2013, 09:02 AM   #9
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Re: California gold panning

BTW, did you hear about the guy in Australia who uncovered an 11 lb gold nugget with a MineLab detector? His wife was giving him a hard time for spending $5K - $6K for a detector, and then he uncovered that monster. If only I had an 'I told you so' moment like that with my wife.


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Old 08-05-2013, 01:35 PM   #10
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Re: California gold panning

Herb,
Give a shout when you go, I have a couple sluices which look like they need to get wet. I normally go to Azuza canyon, and also a 9yr old that needs to be pried away from his ipad.
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