Arizona Gold Dredging

Here I am setting up the dredge in Arizona in the 1990s. Next stop is to get swim trunks on. Arizona Gold Dredging.
Here I am setting up the dredge in Arizona in the 1990s. Next stop is to get swim trunks on. Arizona Gold Dredging.

Arizona Gold Dredging. Gold dredging in Arizona is certainly not the most popular method of gold recovery in this dry state but many gold prospectors still use their dredges regularly. Often dredges are used the “quiet” moments in the Arizona monsoon season. Quiet meaning the storms have stopped for a few days. I have not owned a dredge or high banker in almost 10 years (mostly detect and drywash for gold) but still use them with friends from time to time. The pictures you see here are of me dredging for gold between 1999 – 2005. One of the main reasons that dredging in Arizona is not popular is a large majority of the gold bearing washes are dry almost all year, as noted above. As the population in Arizona has grown the water tables have dropped from many higher mountain areas like the gold rich Prescott, AZ. Don’t worry though, Arizona has plenty of water.

In the last few years with my gold detecting travels I’ve seen a gold dredges in many areas, including but not limited to Sycamore Creek south of Payson, Arizona, Tonto Creek, Poland and Turkey Creek, Black Canyon, Prescott, Yuma and around Tucson. Often prospectors will dam a wash with vinyl tarps to ensure the have a pool of water to operate their dredge in when a gold dredging opportunity arises.

Arizona Gold Dredging vs Other States

Arizona gold dredging on a seasonal creek.
Arizona gold dredging on a seasonal creek.

I’ve never went underwater with a Hookah rig to dredge for gold in Arizona as you might in other states but am planning on doing that in Alaska and Idaho soon. Gold dredging in Arizona for me was always an in the water gold prospecting adventure (not underwater). Arizona can have much muddier water that any of the states and areas with substantial water flow. Don’t even get me started on California, our gold prospecting brothers and sisters there have been plowed by government insanity. There are places along the Black Canyon in Arizona where prospectors often snorkel when the water levels allow.

So if you are planning on buying a gold dredge to recovery gold in Arizona you will certainly have plenty of opportunity but may not get as much opportunity as drywashing for gold presents. I actually gave my dredge to a buddy from Arkansas when he was visiting years ago because he had much more use for it that I did. And on that same note I have recovered some very nice gold dredging in Arizona.

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