With the recently soaring rate for an ounce of gold and the outdoor adventure awaiting you, it is time to revitalize one of man’s earliest of distractions (and business opportunity) in the Rocky Mountains… Gold Prospecting and Mining!
More than 100 years ago when Wyoming was still a territory, there was a whole lot of attention in gold prospecting. The communities of South Pass City and Atlantic City sprung up along the Oregon Trail literally overnight between Lander and Farson as miners, and gold prospectors migrated into the location trying to find gold. While the cities never appreciated massive prestige, like various other gold rush neighborhoods, they remain two of the most appealing locations in Wyoming for gold prospecting.
Being an extremely short drive, at least in Wyoming’s “if its less than five hours it is close by” philosophy, from anywhere in Wyoming, the historical gold mining sites in the South Pass region ought to absolutely be on any todo list for a visit out here! Although the South Pass area gives a so much more favorable location for gold prospecting, with a number of present mines and cases still in operation, other Wyoming areas have had their own share in gold prospecting past and lore.
Historical Wyoming Gold
When you take a moment to look at the old historic Wyoming newspapers you’ll see several events for the words “gold” and” prospecting” and” mining”. As a matter of fact in 1906, there was major mining progression commencing in the area of Pinedale and several various other Wyoming towns. On November 21, 1906, the Pinedale Roundup published a frontpage write-up pertaining to the Fremont Gold Mining and Milling business. They were building a road to their mine development, no cheap financial investment given the rugged landscapes into the area. While there was no further reference of the utmost effects of the venture, investing capital normally means there was a better compared to 50/50 possibility of it paying off.
CARE: DO NOT ENTER OLD MINE WORKINGS OR TUNNELS THEY ARE NOT SAFE !!
Even over on the Wyoming Range side on the severe western edge of the state, there are many discusses of gold placer mines in the Beaver and Cottonwood Creek drainages. Shift to the north end of the region, not quite to Yellowstone, the Fish and Jack Creek locations presented a great deal of great gold operations, with some paydirt paying +$20 per yard. In Kendall Valley, there were numerous mines and prospect areas reviewed from the 1900s until the 1920s. It looks as though many ranchers in the region spent a great deal of their summer time downtime while standing by waiting on the hay crop to come up and hit the creek bottoms and hillsides prospecting for gold. Up on the Snake River near the Hoback River junction, there were even major dredging procedures specified in the historical document.
While most of these cases appear to taper off around 1930, gold prospecting stays the fantastic outdoor activity for residents and site visitors to Wyoming.
Exactly how to go gold prospecting in Wyoming.
All you have to do to gold prospect in Wyoming is spend some time when our creeks begin flowing is find where bedrock is exposed, dig the accumulated dirt down to hard pan, then gold pan the recovered dirt from the cracks. Ideally you will find some yellow flakes in the bottom when you are done. Offering its simplicity of entry, low price of supplies required, and varying tasks for folks of all ages, gold prospecting is a great pastime that is enjoyable for the entire family.
All you truly need is a small shovel, probably a stone hammer, and an inexpensive gold pan which I believe is readily available in your local hardware store, or just get one from Amazon for a few bucks. If you locate some gold and it is on national forestland or BLM sections, you could quickly submit a claim on that paydirt, pay the annual charges and do the required development to sustain them.
HOWEVER, given our abundance of wilderness acreage in Wyoming, you should recognize that you may only
‘prospect for the function of gathering information pertaining to mineral or additional resources if your task is appropriate with the security of the wild’ (wilderness law review, 36 CFR 293).
You may not stake a claim on any wilderness acreage.
However, if you want to game up and actually dive headlong into prospecting as well as gold mining, South Pass City and the surrounding area have probably the most wonderful possibilities for finding gold in the region. Its closeness to most of Wyoming makes it an exceptional day-trip or full-swing production destination. Whether you opt to seek your own gold or merely tour the Wyoming Historic Gold Sites in the area, it will certainly be time well spent.
The nationwide organization for gold miners, the Gold Prospector Association of America, also has a few claims which are available for you to work in South Pass and other historical Wyoming gold areas. You can know more about gold prospecting and the GPAA at www.GoldProspectors.org.
Written by J.C. Allen, a Wyoming resident where he stays warm with his wife, 6 children, their German shepherd, and chicken flock. When he is not prospecting, he works in the oil fields, edits Sublette Times.com, and has just started a brand-new project creating custom-made job safety media. Drop in, say hey there, and find out additional regarding gold prospecting, our neighborhood past, and enjoy our excellent Wyoming outdoors!