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  1. #1

    Mar 2007
    7 times

    south dakota or california???

    Planning a gold prospecting trip for next summer. should we plan on the black hills in south dakota or california?? is anyone doing any good in the black hills? would we find nuggets or just flour gold in the black hills? thanks for your help....JOHN

  2. #2
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
    7938 times

    Re: south dakota or california???

    49erJohn wrote
    Planning a gold prospecting trip for next summer. should we plan on the black hills in south dakota or california?? is anyone doing any good in the black hills? would we find nuggets or just flour gold in the black hills? thanks for your help....JOHN
    I just found your post, sorry for not noticing your question sooner. You have probably already decided, but in any case California has many more gold districts over a much larger area than the Black Hills, and you are more likely to find nuggets in CA than SD. That is not to say there are no nuggets in the Black Hills, some pretty respectable nuggets have been found but you are much more likely to get dust than nuggets. Almost any stream that runs through the Black Hills has at least some gold in it, even Rapid Creek which runs through downtown Rapid City. There are fewer prospectors working in the Black Hills too, so if you were hoping to avoid crowds it might be a better choice, though finding public land can be a problem too - private lands are dotted all through the hills. One of the best gold districts for nuggets here in the Black Hills is almost ALL private land (Rockerville) so if you were going there it would pay to get permission from a landowner. For info on where to prospect, download
    http://www.sdgs.usd.edu/pubs/pdf/RI-015.pdf <RI-015: Prospecting for placer gold in South Dakota
    http://www.sdgs.usd.edu/pubs/pdf/RI-016.pdf<RI-016: Geologic history of Black Hills gold placers

    Nuggets represent only 2 % of gold as it is found in nature, 98% is the size of dust or even smaller, so finding nuggets involves a bit of luck almost anywhere you decide to prospect - that gold dust is our payday. One more "argument" in favor of the Black Hills, that is the summers are generally very pleasant, no extreme heat or humidity etc. The desert gold country of southern California is very unpleasant in the summers, in fact during the "heat" of the day you ought to stay in the shade and drink plenty of water, work only in the cool of the mornings and evenings. Northern California and the "Mother Lode" country has very pleasant summers, so it really depends on where you are aiming to go. There is GOOD gold in CA and in SD, which ever you decide I hope you will find that gold and post some photos here of your finds.

    I would recommend getting or borrowing a copy of the book Gold panners guide to the Black Hills By T H Bohmker
    ...there are many good books on the gold deposits and mines of California. My wife and I have done a considerable amount of prospecting and mining in southern and northern CA, and some here in the Black Hills, it would be fairly tough to choose between them. Two other factors, which have little to do with finding gold but make a vacation more interesting - there is no Mount Rushmore or Deadwood in California, both are definitely worth a visit, not to mention beautiful Custer state park, with the largest wild herd of American buffalo in the USA. <Gold panning is allowed in Custer park on French creek, still produces some nice gold too.>

    Mount Rushmore
    Custer Park
    Black Hills tourist info

    There are many other interesting things for a vacationer too, like Wind Cave or Jewel Cave, the Reptile Garden, Devils Tower, the 1880 train which takes tourists through the hills on a scenic old-time steam train, the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs with numerous remains of extinct huge mammoths not to mention a natural hot springs indoor swimming pool (no sulfur smell either)called Evans Plunge, the Needles, an underground waterfall, the Adams Museum and tours of the greatest gold mine in the USA the famous Homestake mine in Lead etc this is just scratching the surface!

    Good luck and good hunting 49erJohn, I hope you find the treasures that you seek.
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca



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