Gold Prospecting and Detecting

Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting in the Southwestern USA.
Gold Prospecting and Gold Detecting in the Southwestern USA.

Firstly, welcome to I’ve been gold prospecting and gold detecting since the 1980s. My prospecting adventures began with a gold pan in a small creek in Yavapai County, Arizona and have since taken me all across the USA. The reason I created this website to is share knowledge about gold panning, gold detecting, placer and lode deposits, claims, forums, clubs, equipment, methods, locations, geology, and more. You can also check out our YouTube channel.

My Journey as a Gold Prospector

My gold prospecting journey has been both as an individual with lode and placer deposits, and as a professional small scale placer miner. I’ve been fortunate to have spent a lot of time prospecting all across our great nation. I’ve prospected in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado. As a result of my travels, I’ve met many great people making some amazing friends along the way.

Gold Prospecting Success Methods

My prospecting method (philosophy) has always been based on four equally important cornerstones. Inasmuch as a recipe requires good ingredients so does successful prospecting. Prepare for success. Your body and your mind are both required.

  • Boots on the ground. Undoubtedly, you need to be out in the field prospecting and exploring to learn. There is no replacement for first hand experience.
  • History. Unquestionably, history teaches us about the past. Once we know the history of the mining activity around us we are better prepared to experience our own success.
  • Education. Obviously, there is always something to learn. Take advantage of the digital age. The internet is full of free resources like maps, forums, and location data. When I began prospecting the internet was not a part of everyday life. Use the opportunities presented to you.
  • Exploration. Its important to realize that travel and exploration broaden your opportunities and knowledge. Explore as much as you can.

Gold Prospecting Equipment

Without doubt, you can invest a lot of money in gear. By the same token, I use equipment really works well. You don’t need the latest detector, you just need a capable one. My current prospecting gear consists of the following:

Notwithstanding, I use the brands that have served me well over the years. I also remain open to new ideas and gold recovery technologies. We can always learn more. In the past I’ve used or owned a wide variety of equipment including:

  • Tesoro Lobo
  • Tesoro Lobo SuperTraq
  • Whites GMT
  • Minelab SD 2100, 2200, GP Extreme, GP 3000, GP 3500, GP 4000, GP 5000, SDC 2300
  • White’s TDI
  • Keene 151 drywasher
  • Keene 2.5 and 3 inch dredges
  • Camel Spiral Panners
  • Blue Bowl
  • Keene RC 1 Rock Crusher

Gold Prospecting Myths

To be sure, I’ve heard some very interesting beliefs said about gold prospecting and gold detecting by people who have never prospected.

  • “All the gold is gone!”
  • “The old timers got it all!”

Nothing could be further from the truth. It must be remembered that the old timers did not have modern equipment or technology and disregarded a lot of gold bearing areas due to a lack of knowledge. They certainly did take their fair share of the gold. Imagine if you could go back in time 200 years with a modern gold detector? That would be a lot of fun and profitable. Sounds like good times to me.

Getting Started Gold Prospecting

Gold Nuggets Found with a Metal Detector.
Gold Nuggets Found with a Metal Detector.

Since reading this article you probably wondering “How can I get started?”. You’ve taken the first step by reading and learning. I have a friend who started prospecting with a pie tin at the Lynx Creek Mineral Withdrawal Area in Prescott, Arizona. It took him over a year, almost two, but he slowly found more and more gold with that old pie tin due to persistence. Consequently, he went from a pie tin to a gold pan. From a gold pan he finally bought a used Minelab SD 2100 gold detector. With the detector he has found a lot of gold. He earned his success as a result of his hard work. Because he was determined he succeeded. For that reason you can succeed too.

Gold Detecting Reality

On the condition that you are willing to learn you can be successful detecting for gold. If you are a successful prospector before you buy a detector you are ahead of many people. Having a detector as your first piece of equipment is double challenging. You will need to learn how to prospect and how to use your detector. Don’t be discouraged. You can do it. By comparison a successful drywasher already knows how and where to find gold. In other words have realistic goals and expectations. The more you keep reading and getting out in the field the faster you will learn.

Get Real

Minelab SDC 2300 Gold Detecting.
Minelab SDC 2300 Gold Detecting.

Most of all, do not count on anyone to give you the all answers or locations. Find locations yourself. Earn success like many of us did. Nothing is as rewarding as the feeling you get as a result of a great accomplishment. There are no shortcuts to becoming a proficient gold prospector or detectorist. Join the online forums likewise, join a gold prospecting club. Read gold prospecting magazines, read as much as you can. Interact, listen, and learn. Most of all, spend as much time in the field as you can. In conclusion, this website is dedicated to all gold prospectors, rookies and veterans alike and all those who seek adventure. Good luck and feel free to drop me a note.