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  1. #1

    Feb 2007
    N OC CA
    Whites MXT,Compass 94B & 77B
    461
    2 times

    Lake Isabella area

    Hi all happy New year,
    Was wondering if anyone has info knowledge or experience with gold prospecting the Lake Isabella area. The area, between Bakersfield and Ridgecrest, has a history of bearing gold placers in the Kern river and over the Sierra Mad re in the desert areas. I've never prospected the area but have been presented an op pertunity and thought some here may have some heads up info they are willing to share.Peace be with y'all in 09, Urb.
    Truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but, in the end, there it is.

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  3. #2

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
    Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
    5,712
    1501 times
    Banner Finds (3)

    Re: Lake Isabella area

    Welcome urban prospector. I can't help ya on the likliehood of gold nuggets that far south in the Sierra Nevada region, as I'm not into nuggets (I'm strictly coin/relics). But I notice in your monicker that you have the 94b and 77b in your arsenal. How did that come about? Have you had those since they were in production? (early to mid 1970s) or were they something you bought recently?
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  4. #3
    ie
    Nov 2008
    Anaheim Ca and Quartzsite Az
    Minelab SD2200v2/GP4500
    146
    2 times

    Re: Lake Isabella area

    The Kelso valley around the old lucky boy mine . We have found good nuggets there. But DO NOT enter the mine just work the wash and bed rock.
    www.colonywoodscreening.com

  5. #4

    Jun 2007
    Lebanon, Ohio
    Whites DFX
    561
    5 times
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: Lake Isabella area

    UP...I lived in Bakersfield in the early 1990s and if you are staying in the Lake Isabella area you are less than 30 miles from the Rand Mining District , south of Ridgecrest. If you are a member of the GPAA or LDMA, there should be a claim or two in that area where you can drywash or MD the tailings for nuggets. Randsburg is almost an old ghost town with lots of buildings still remaining from its haydays. Also, if Lake Isabella is low due to the drought, you can probably walk among the ruins of old Kernville that was flooded over when the lake was formed as a reservoir. The town was moved north of the lake and now serves as a resort town...they have the Whiskey Flat Days Festival (Kernville was called Whiskey Flat at one time) and celebrates the old west days and the golding mining era (I think it's in mid-February). I've never done any prospecting in the area (lived in the area before I became interested in metal detecting after retirement) but enjoyed visiting the Lake Isabella area for it's history and charm. Also, a guy by the name of Paulson found a 13 pound gold nugget within 25 miles of the town of Mojave to the southeast of Randsburg in the late 1970s with his metal detector. Try and top that one buddy!!
    Death Valley National Park to the north is a great one day visit this time of year as well.
    Good luck and have fun!!

  6. #5
    Charter Member
    us
    Jan 2005
    CA
    Garrett GTI 2500, Garrett Sea Hunter, Garrett Scorpion and Garrett ProPointer
    479
    29 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Lake Isabella area

    Just FYI.

    13. No metal detectors on Lake property.

    http://lake-isabella.org/rules07.htm
    "I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: 'I served in the United States Navy."
    President John F. Kennedy

  7. #6
    us
    Desert Rat

    Mar 2007
    Ridgecrest, California
    Fisher Gold Bug 2 White's MXT
    86
    3 times

    Re: Lake Isabella area

    Urban,

    I've not had a chance to prospect this area, but do know that there are a number of active claims near the Keysville area. Hoping to hit this spot once it warms up a bit

    Best of luck and let us know how it "pans" out

    http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/baker...recmining.html

  8. #7
    us
    Desert Rat

    Mar 2007
    Ridgecrest, California
    Fisher Gold Bug 2 White's MXT
    86
    3 times

    Re: Lake Isabella area

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinH
    Just FYI.

    13. No metal detectors on Lake property.

    http://lake-isabella.org/rules07.htm
    Kevin,

    I believe this only applies to the property owned by the Lake Isabella Picnic group.

    Also, that particular lake is located in Ohio

    "Often called one of Muskingum County's best kept secrets, Lake Isabella is a family oriented, members only park located in East Fultonham, Ohio. There are 57 acres of clean, clear water and 8 land acres. You will find a wide range of fun activities at the Lake including swimming at our beautiful sand beach. We have a low dive, high dive, slides, a raft and a trampoline for fun in the water. Our Red Cross certified lifeguards are on duty during swimming hours."

    http://lake-isabella.org/index.htm

    N

  9. #8

    Feb 2007
    N OC CA
    Whites MXT,Compass 94B & 77B
    461
    2 times

    Re: Lake Isabella area

    Thanks 4 the replies Guys (& gals?). Tom in CA. I bought the Compasses used at a swap meet around 1972 for a kings ransom of $50. It was a fortune earned with a paper route and finding returnable pop bottles along the way. They both still work well and the battery carriers are available at Radio Shack. The 77b will find a third of a staple even still. Great machines, well worth the money. It's been less then 2 years since I bought the MXT. Still dig most every signal. Used the 94b quite a bit in the 80's as a gold machine. I would locate areas of highly ironised soil assuming gold would be in those areas were heavies pocketed then use standard gold "harvesting" techniques. After 40+ years I learned the machine well, it's been the Wife's standard for the last 12 yrs. She don't cook so well but can dig like a gopher and if she's diggin she's quiet. . Now if I could get her to change her pet name for me from "jerk" we'd have a good thing going.

    Bed pan money, in the Rand area if your not hitting "last chance canyon" do so, it's rich. Take a 4x. Didn't know about Whiskey flats but do now thanx.

    Nullers, the Keysville area is what I'm talking about as I have access to private property in that area to use as a base camp. ps good web site.

    Surfer Joe I'm not familiar with the "Lucky boy" but will find out.
    Truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but, in the end, there it is.

  10. #9

    Apr 2006
    Ventura, CA
    LST
    801
    9 times

    Re: Lake Isabella area

    Most of what I've seen come out of Keysville and the Kern have been fines from dredging or drywashing. Lots of mercury in the river.

  11. #10
    Charter Member
    us
    Jan 2005
    CA
    Garrett GTI 2500, Garrett Sea Hunter, Garrett Scorpion and Garrett ProPointer
    479
    29 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Lake Isabella area

    Nullers, Sorry My bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nullers
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinH
    Just FYI.

    13. No metal detectors on Lake property.

    http://lake-isabella.org/rules07.htm
    Kevin,

    I believe this only applies to the property owned by the Lake Isabella Picnic group.

    Also, that particular lake is located in Ohio

    "Often called one of Muskingum County's best kept secrets, Lake Isabella is a family oriented, members only park located in East Fultonham, Ohio. There are 57 acres of clean, clear water and 8 land acres. You will find a wide range of fun activities at the Lake including swimming at our beautiful sand beach. We have a low dive, high dive, slides, a raft and a trampoline for fun in the water. Our Red Cross certified lifeguards are on duty during swimming hours."

    http://lake-isabella.org/index.htm

    N
    "I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: 'I served in the United States Navy."
    President John F. Kennedy

  12. #11
    us
    Desert Rat

    Mar 2007
    Ridgecrest, California
    Fisher Gold Bug 2 White's MXT
    86
    3 times

    Re: Lake Isabella area

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinH
    Nullers, Sorry My bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nullers
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinH
    Just FYI.

    13. No metal detectors on Lake property.

    http://lake-isabella.org/rules07.htm
    Kevin,

    I believe this only applies to the property owned by the Lake Isabella Picnic group.

    Also, that particular lake is located in Ohio

    "Often called one of Muskingum County's best kept secrets, Lake Isabella is a family oriented, members only park located in East Fultonham, Ohio. There are 57 acres of clean, clear water and 8 land acres. You will find a wide range of fun activities at the Lake including swimming at our beautiful sand beach. We have a low dive, high dive, slides, a raft and a trampoline for fun in the water. Our Red Cross certified lifeguards are on duty during swimming hours."

    http://lake-isabella.org/index.htm

    N
    No worries Kevin

  13. #12

    Dec 2007
    Tierra del Fuego
    Tesoro.Fisher.Garrett
    3,296
    4 times

    Re: Lake Isabella area

    There's plenty of gold all through that area.

    Years back when gold first hit $300 they were hobby dredging the Kern as far downstream as Hart Park which is on the outskirts of Bakersfield.

    If you head on out of the Isabella area on 178 you'll pass through Onyx, where they have... you guessed it!

    Out in the flats beyond, on your way to the Randsburg Mining district, Randsburg and Johannesburg, there's a lot of dry wash activity in gulches here and there. We even found one giant floating commercial dredge they had worked in it's own pond...

    Look up the Yellow Aster Mine. It's in Randsburg.

    Anyplace on the Kern may now be excluded from dredging.
    I'd look into it before firing up a suction dredge.
    You can most likely sluice and pan all over that area, except in downtown Kernville.

    I think I'd ask the ranger district guys first where best to go.
    They may offer advice.
    Otherwise, they are real busy tax collecting if you do the wrong thing in the wrong place.

    Kelso... gosh I haven't heard that name in a long time!
    Used to be an SP RR facility there.
    I think Ballarat, Cima, and Nipton are around in that area...

    Great time of year for making plans to get out that way after any rain is done.
    Only a short time after that 'til it gets, well,

    Best
    rmptr
    I am a pathological liar and a functional illiterate.

  14. #13

    Jun 2007
    Lebanon, Ohio
    Whites DFX
    561
    5 times
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: Lake Isabella area

    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Prospector
    Thanks 4 the replies Guys (& gals?). Tom in CA. I bought the Compasses used at a swap meet around 1972 for a kings ransom of $50. It was a fortune earned with a paper route and finding returnable pop bottles along the way. They both still work well and the battery carriers are available at Radio Shack. The 77b will find a third of a staple even still. Great machines, well worth the money. It's been less then 2 years since I bought the MXT. Still dig most every signal. Used the 94b quite a bit in the 80's as a gold machine. I would locate areas of highly ironised soil assuming gold would be in those areas were heavies pocketed then use standard gold "harvesting" techniques. After 40+ years I learned the machine well, it's been the Wife's standard for the last 12 yrs. She don't cook so well but can dig like a gopher and if she's diggin she's quiet. . Now if I could get her to change her pet name for me from "jerk" we'd have a good thing going.

    Bed pan money, in the Rand area if your not hitting "last chance canyon" do so, it's rich. Take a 4x. Didn't know about Whiskey flats but do now thanx.

    Nullers, the Keysville area is what I'm talking about as I have access to private property in that area to use as a base camp. ps good web site.

    Surfer Joe I'm not familiar with the "Lucky boy" but will find out.
    UP...did you happen to visit the W. Bickel Camp while you were in that area? Some cool stuff there.

  15. #14

    Feb 2007
    N OC CA
    Whites MXT,Compass 94B & 77B
    461
    2 times

    Re: Lake Isabella area

    Ya my kind of place all junkie. Lots of materials for building this and that. The gold fever show had them on the idiot box this morning as well as the canyon. In your opinion does Tom salt his finds to make the show better? I get that impression and figured the ol man, buzzard, did for sure.
    Truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but, in the end, there it is.

  16. #15

    Jun 2007
    Lebanon, Ohio
    Whites DFX
    561
    5 times
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: Lake Isabella area

    I've always suspected that Tom either salted his finds or makes several attempts until he actually finds something....can't believe he always finds color with the first panning as the show indicates.
    Your response about "last chance canyon" indicates you did well there. Were you able to find much gold? I always regret that I didn't take a more active interest in gold prospecting until after we moved from Bakersfield back to Ohio. Bakersfield was near some great GPAA and LDMA claims. I only did little panning near Columbia on a vacation trip we took up through the mother lode in 1992.

  17. #16

    Feb 2007
    N OC CA
    Whites MXT,Compass 94B & 77B
    461
    2 times

    Re: Lake Isabella area

    I had a limited amount of time in Last chance and used a unconventional highgrading method. I would metal detect scoop the the target dump it in a bucket with a classifier on top and move on. I was curious but didn't have time to dally.Had people waiting for me and I was already up the proverbial creek for taking I-395 from OC to Sac.Filled a few buckets and left. It was a couple of days later I realized how rich the area was and how much luck had shined on me. My shovel full from here and there left me not knowing were the gold came from and were the scrap was dug. One area I searched was singing everywere and I assumed it was were someone was plinking and it was just a bunch of lead so I moved on. Not so sure now what was setting of the detector, it may have been the most pocketed area ever been in.Sometimes your the windshield sometimes your the bug.
    Truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but, in the end, there it is.

  18. #17
    us
    Jan 2009
    So. Cal
    Tesoro B2/Umax
    40

    Re: Lake Isabella area

    I have run quite a few pans through kern river. Free camping right off the road next to the river is real nice. I met my Wife at Lake Isabella, Married 20 years tomorrow!

    I am in the planning stages right now for a trip to 'Last Chance Canyon'. I'm going the last week of March or maybe the first few days of April, not sure yet. I've been all around that area, Randsburg...etc.. but haven't actually made the turn onto last chance canyon. Looking forward to it. Right now It's a solo trip unless I can find someone to meet me up there... Although cousin Dave says he may go.

    I plan to take my Tesoro Burrito 2 Umax and some classifying grizzly pans, buckets, etc.. Hope to swing the coil around, look for some nice rocks, study some geology, look at a clear sky at night and get out of the dang city for a few days... For me, just going to the desert is a treat... finding stuff is the icing on the cake.. but just getting out of town is hoot.

    On the 'gold fever' show.. Yes I like watching the episodes, but I too think those fellas are salting the whole deal. I can believe the Alaska trip finds... but when he was out on (name a river) and he just looks into the water and low and behold reaches in a pulls out nugget after nugget.. lol lol... ok. But for the most part the shows are somewhat informative and fun to watch on a rainy day.

    Rock on

    Vince in So. $ Cal.
    Happy Hunting
    Vin.

  19. #18

    Jun 2007
    Lebanon, Ohio
    Whites DFX
    561
    5 times
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: Lake Isabella area

    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Prospector
    I had a limited amount of time in Last chance and used a unconventional highgrading method. I would metal detect scoop the the target dump it in a bucket with a classifier on top and move on. I was curious but didn't have time to dally.Had people waiting for me and I was already up the proverbial creek for taking I-395 from OC to Sac.Filled a few buckets and left. It was a couple of days later I realized how rich the area was and how much luck had shined on me. My shovel full from here and there left me not knowing were the gold came from and were the scrap was dug. One area I searched was singing everywere and I assumed it was were someone was plinking and it was just a bunch of lead so I moved on. Not so sure now what was setting of the detector, it may have been the most pocketed area ever been in.Sometimes your the windshield sometimes your the bug.
    I know what you mean. There's not many opportunities for finding gold in Ohio. I did some panning at a GPAA site on a creek northeast of Columbus, Ohio a few years back. Worked all day and found two tiny, tiny specks....they were so small I was afraid to breath in for fear of sucking them up my nostrils and into my brain...never for them to see the light of day again.
    Vin-D....did you ever find any gold on the Kern River? I never tried there..... there's a big sign at the entrance to the canyon warning about how many (with an updated actual posted number) have drowned over the years in the Kern River.

  20. #19

    Feb 2007
    N OC CA
    Whites MXT,Compass 94B & 77B
    461
    2 times

    Re: Lake Isabella area

    I thought that sign was death by Auto accident. Never read it , didn't want to take my eyes off the road and wind up on the billboard.
    Truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but, in the end, there it is.

  21. #20

    Jun 2007
    Lebanon, Ohio
    Whites DFX
    561
    5 times
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: Lake Isabella area

    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Prospector
    I thought that sign was death by Auto accident. Never read it , didn't want to take my eyes off the road and wind up on the billboard.
    Yep, deaths from drowning in the Kern river. Many of the migrant workers would take their families up the Kern River canyon for a holiday weekend to camp, fish and swim since it was free. Always seemed like someone ended up drowning. St. Rt. 178......it's such a winding road up the canyon, you can get motion sickness.

 

 
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