Hand panning for good stuff is legal on BLM land. I found an informative site about gold panning in the desert here. On that site was this, also:
Where To Find Gold is an iPhone app which allows users to find locations for gold, silver, platinum and gems and to view them on a map. This app draws on a global database with more than 100,000 locations! The app also provides access to additional details for each location. See where people have found gold before and where the mines are located. Also check out the Digger’s Map app for iPhone.
First stop might be the BLM office in Grand Junction. Looking for dispersed camping heading north if it is summer, southwest if it is winter.
Grand Junction Field Office
and McInnis Canyons NCA
2815 H Rd.
Grand Junction, CO 81506
The information I get from this office will be the deciding factors on where to head. Head for gold?