Dolores River Colorado Gold
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Thread: Dolores River Colorado Gold

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  1. #1
    May 2006
    Rociada, New Mexico
    White's MXT, AM Recon Sluice, Technetics Eurotek Pro
    70 times
    Cache Hunting

    Dolores River Colorado Gold

    We camped along the Dolores river north of Rico in western Colorado last week. Wanted to do a little panning but the spring run off is in full force. I wanted to check out this area since my GPAA book shows several claims up north along the river. Has anyone ever checked out this area for gold? Even if there isn't any gold it's a beautiful area to camp.

  2. #2
    Oct 2008
    Minelab: XT70, XT17000, Sov XS w/S-1 probe Tesoro: Lobo ST, Toltec II Whites 4900, Eagle II SL 90, Spectrum XLT Falcon MD 20, Whites GMT, TDI Pro, Vibraprobe
    73 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I haven't checked the Dolores near Rico, but there is A LOT of flour gold in the Dolores from Gateway to the mouth of the river at the Colorado in Utah northeast of Moab, and northwest of Gateway. Actually, the gold isn't much in the river, it's found in fossil river beds from eons ago. You have to move a lot of dirt, but if you find a good spot, it can be worth it from an "adventure" perspective. The gold is so small it takes a lot to make a gram. There are some GPAA claims southeast of Gateway, but I haven't been there. There are a couple northwest, too, and although I haven't found a decent pay streak yet, there's lots of black sand.

    The big problem with the Dolores in this part of the state is access. You have to go to Google earth to find roads, then copy coordinates to your GPS. Googgle Earth uses WGS 84 map datum, so make sure your GPS is set for WGS 34. There are very few places you can drive close enough to the river to gain access. The canyon walls are steep, and the river is remote. If you go the the mouth of the river there are two ways to get there that I'm aware of. One is via I70 from Grand Junction to the Cisco exit, then follow the signs to Moab. There is a bridge across the Colorado a long time before you get to Moab, and just up river is a historical bridge called Dewey Bridge that was burned out by kids playing with matches about 10 years ago. There is a dirt road to the left just after you cross the modern bridge that leads to the Dolores. You have to be careful not to miss the turn off to the river from the main BLM road. I think it is the first left after about a mile. When you get to the river, there is a low water crossing, which right now isn't low. Once on the opposite side, follow the road for about a mile, and you'll see some old placer workings above the river to the left. There is a buried ancient river channel that has been worked, and is still producing gold. Chip away at the gravel, then collect the silt between the cobble, and pan it out, or take it home for processing. Just after you cross the river, there are several places to camp in the ancient lake bed that is now overgrown with Cottonwood, Russian Olive, and willows. The camp sites are clear, and easy to get to. If you want directions from the route through the Colorado National Monument, send me a private message. It's more difficult because it's not marked with signs, but it's a beautiful drive, and you dont' have to drive through the river if you don't want to.

    I have to go to work right now, but I'll try to remember to take some photos of the gold I found in 3.5 buckets of dirt from the bench deposit I told you about. I'll let you know when I get it done.
    Last edited by Tonto; Jun 07, 2015 at 12:57 PM.

  3. #3
    Aug 2004
    Olympia WA
    Minelab Xterra 70, Minelab SD 2200d, 2.5", 3", 4"and several Keene 5" production dredges, Knelson Centrifuge, Gold screw automatic panner
    1972 times
    I grew up in this area and my childhood pet, a beloved border collie, was named Rico. I lived in Uravan for a while, now a radioactive ghost town...actually less than than as all traces of the town have been obliterated by the gubmint. Paradox valley, gateway, Then past the San Miguel. You can probably still see the remains of the flume anchored to the vertical walls of the river canyon. You may still be able to pick out the old wagon road pinned to the sandstone bluff and back filled with cobbles. Intense to walk and unimaginable to drive a wagon down. At the bottom is an assortment of long forgotten, century old mining equipment and the grave of the miner who worked himself to death using it.
    Tonto, russau and KevinInColorado like this.

  4. #4
    Feb 2013
    Garrett Ace 350
    79 times
    I'd be interested in the route through the monument if you wouldn't mind sharing. I'm actually moving from junction to glade park November. I've got a highbanker setup to recover fines also



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