Looking for free places to pan for gold
The book I have is Kevin Singel’s Finding Gold in Colorado. It is supremely helpful in finding places to hunt for gold for free in Colorado. Great hints, very specific. I have gone to several spots and the directions and descriptions are right on.
You can also pan in National Forests and BLM.
Rules for National Forests
I found that most National Forests allow panning. Pan and shovel seems to be tools that are permitted in the most areas. (Some people have lots of machinery: metal detectors, sluicers, dredges, high bankers, trommels and machinery to run them. Depends on the individual area within the NF as to what is allowed. ) Most wilderness areas do not permit panning or detecting.
Rules for BLM
“There is no requirement for notifying the BLM of casual use activities. Casual use activities are those that cause only negligible disturbance of public lands and resources. For example, activities that do not involve the use of earthmoving equipment or explosives may be considered casual use.”
- fill in any holes you make
- no digging on the banks of the waterways
- pick up all trash
- pay attention to land boundaries
- utmost respect for private property
There are mining claims and private property on both BLM and NFS lands. These boundaries are often hard to discern. Often there are no boundary markers. GPS is good to 15 feet, so even that is not exact. I use mylandmatters and/or thediggings to see if there is an active claim anywhere near. And use Google Earth. NFS MVU (motor vehicle use ) maps show private land, but finding the exact boundary is sometimes problematic. You can get 3 free Avenza maps on your phone/ipad/computer. Those are better than the folding/paper MVU maps.
Panning for gold/ metal detecting for gold is free, rewarding and entertaining. You will learn lots about government rules, mining claims, and geology. And maybe get gold!