Visiting CA in July
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Thread: Visiting CA in July

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  1. #1
    us
    Feb 2015
    Moses Lake WA & Provo UT
    414
    579 times
    Prospecting

    Visiting CA in July

    My family is going to be in Fresno for a week this summer and I figure I will have a day or two to break loose and go prospecting. It will be my first time ever finding gold in CA. I was looking at going to the Merced River, given all the nice stories that we have from our friend Eagle about the places he would frequent. I'll probably just have my pan and bazooka possibly, and if there's somewhere favorable, I'd love to try sniping. I also really want to try metal detecting sometime, and maybe I should try it while I'm down there. Is there another area that I should look into that's not too far from Fresno? On the Merced, it seems like it won't take me more than about an hour and a half to get to a spot.
    et1955 and Asmbandits like this.

  2. #2
    us
    Oct 2018
    Central Valley California
    139
    156 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Unfortunately the recent snow melts have made the bedrock inaccessible on the Merced River by Briceburg which is the only public area here you can legally prospect for gold without having to worry about getting into someone else's claim or getting into trouble with the BLM cops. I was there last November and had no idea I was standing on the middle of the river, now it's completely underwater. This is what it was on November 27, 2018, I was panning for gold by those rocks there.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's what it was last week.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I really wish I got into this hobby earlier during the drought. Seems like it won't be accessible like this again for several years.
    63bkpkr and OwenT like this.

  3. #3
    us
    Mar 2012
    Idaho
    Gold Hog Stream Sluice
    431
    990 times
    Prospecting
    In the low water picture there is some interesting looking bedrock in the lower right corner. Hope the water level goes down enough for you to work that spot.
    OwenT likes this.
    Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you SHOULD.
    Visit my Idaho Gold Prospecting Blog at Bedrock or Bust
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  4. #4
    us
    Feb 2015
    Moses Lake WA & Provo UT
    414
    579 times
    Prospecting
    I was looking at the landmatter maps and there are a fair amount of claims in the area but it's by no means "claimed up" so I'm confident I can find some good open areas since I'm willing to do the research. Maybe not on the river itself, but in some minor drainages even, seems like the whole area has decent gold.
    Asmbandits likes this.

  5. #5
    us
    Oct 2018
    Central Valley California
    139
    156 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by OwenT View Post
    I was looking at the landmatter maps and there are a fair amount of claims in the area but it's by no means "claimed up" so I'm confident I can find some good open areas since I'm willing to do the research. Maybe not on the river itself, but in some minor drainages even, seems like the whole area has decent gold.
    Yeah the creeks all over the area have gold in it, would be your best bet since the water levels are lower there too. The easiest accessible creek is the one right by this rock shop here a few miles before you enter Mariposa on Highway 140. He owns the creek behind his shop and will let you pan there for $10.

    https://www.yelp.com/biz/dials-rock-...catheys-valley
    OwenT likes this.

  6. #6
    us
    Feb 2015
    Moses Lake WA & Provo UT
    414
    579 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by firebird View Post
    Yeah the creeks all over the area have gold in it, would be your best bet since the water levels are lower there too. The easiest accessible creek is the one right by this rock shop here a few miles before you enter Mariposa on Highway 140. He owns the creek behind his shop and will let you pan there for $10.

    https://www.yelp.com/biz/dials-rock-...catheys-valley
    Good to know, I'll probably stop by. $10 is probably worth it, especially if I get some extra tips on where to go potentially.

  7. #7
    us
    Jul 2004
    Angels Camp,Ca.
    779
    750 times
    What most people fail to check is the bedrock higher up on the banks of a big river.Remember that the rivers were once higher up tens of thousands of years ago.Break open those crevices and scratch out the gravel,clay and sand..then enjoy your yellow.

  8. #8
    us
    Prospector

    Apr 2014
    Modesto, CA
    358
    839 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by dave wiseman View Post
    What most people fail to check is the bedrock higher up on the banks of a big river.Remember that the rivers were once higher up tens of thousands of years ago.Break open those crevices and scratch out the gravel,clay and sand..then enjoy your yellow.
    Great Point! Often times those are the best cracks to find... just imagine how many 100's even 1000's of prospectors comb the exposed bedrock on a river bed... but how many take the time to hike up the mountain side to check a crevice. Especially given the amount of lode and placer gold in the sierra nevadas… just my 2 cents.
    Underburden and et1955 like this.

  9. #9
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    Southern California
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
    4,031
    4537 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
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    From the above Water Flow Charts of the Merced river you can see a wide spread of flows for the three years depicted, 2017, 2018 & 2019 to date.

    2017 was a 9000 cfs water year, 2018 was a ~ 14,000 cfs water year and 2019 is a bit yet to be determined However the weather conditions for each year were different, compare the flow rates by month & amount. The temperatures in the Sierras are starting to warm up so the flows should begin to increase as the snow melts.

    We've a month to go before your arrival in Cali., much could happen on your river of choice so I would advise checking the water flow data for the Merced.

    The attached charts are from "USGS Real Time Water Flow Data" from the water check station # 11266500 on the Merced River. Also the Starting Date of each of the charts are slightly different so you may want to re-do the charts by starting at January to have a better idea of what was going on. Have an enjoyable time during your visit!.............63bkpkr
    Last edited by 63bkpkr; Jun 04, 2019 at 01:41 PM.
    OwenT, firebird and et1955 like this.
    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  10. #10

    Feb 2014
    859
    2100 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Contact Untied Prospectors club and see if you can get a guest membership for a day or two to check it out. I don't think they have this anymore but it's worth a try
    firebird, OwenT, Gold4Mike and 2 others like this.
    Never confuse motion with progress


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  11. #11
    Charter Member
    us
    Ed Tracy

    Jan 2015
    Shoreline,wa
    Equinox 800
    533
    879 times
    Prospecting
    Sorry you won't be near my claims, remember you can always mine on my claims. Was up on Horseshoe bend fishing Sunday, great time with you there, this time no rain.
    OwenT, Gold4Mike and ratled like this.

  12. #12
    us
    Feb 2015
    Moses Lake WA & Provo UT
    414
    579 times
    Prospecting
    I wish I could go but I donít think weíll be stopping in that part of the state.
    et1955 likes this.

  13. #13
    us
    Feb 2015
    Moses Lake WA & Provo UT
    414
    579 times
    Prospecting

    Visiting CA in July

    Quote Originally Posted by firebird View Post
    Yeah the creeks all over the area have gold in it, would be your best bet since the water levels are lower there too. The easiest accessible creek is the one right by this rock shop here a few miles before you enter Mariposa on Highway 140. He owns the creek behind his shop and will let you pan there for $10.

    https://www.yelp.com/biz/dials-rock-...catheys-valley
    Just thought Iíd follow up on my trip. After going to the museum I spent most of the day panning at Mikeís (Yosemite Rocks and Gifts formerly Dialís rock and fossil shop) on Agua Fria creek. He showed me around and thereís good potential, plenty of nuggets been found in the area and they had a record flood 2 years ago and he said it was pickers all over. I didnít hit it but but I found a few respectable flakes. Good experience for $10 though.Click image for larger version. 

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