Santa Catalina Mountains, Az


Jan 8, 2014
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Hey all,

I'm really new to prospecting and geology. I've been reading about placers around the Santa Catalinas, here in Southern Arizona but a couple of times, I have read that there is a layer of rock, high up on the mountains that is known to hold gold, in other locales where this layer is present. Does anyone know what this layer is called? I've seen the mountains and they are steep, is the reason that layer hasn't been prospected because it is so hard to get too? Anyone have any suggestions, as to reading material on the area? Thanks.
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Clay Diggins

Silver Member
Nov 14, 2010
The Great Southwest
Primary Interest:
I'm not sure which layer you are talking about HandsomeStranger. Those mountains are a prime destination for climbers and hikers from all over so I doubt there is anyplace that hasn't been prospected.

You can get gold right in the Canada del Oro in North Tucson. Try your luck with a drywasher right at Oracle road where it crosses the Canada. The folks in that trailer park on the Northwest side have been getting gold there for years.

Nuggets have been found at the base of "A" Mountain.

Lots of areas near Tucson with gold.

Hoser John

Gold Member
Mar 22, 2003
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
EZ to do-simply go to Az Dept Mines/Minerals and get the great book Mines and Minerals of Az and many more there also. Online and much cheaper for the same exact books also.John


Silver Member
Feb 28, 2013
Golden Valley Arid-Zona
Detector(s) used
Fisher / Gold Bug AND the MK-VII eyeballs
Primary Interest:
Welcome to the forum H.Stranger.

I would think that like many other areas here in AZ that water could also be part of the issue. There are many MANY areas with lots of gold, but a major lack of water has made it hard to get out. Though I work the areas to the south of Tucson, I'd imagine that the lack of water isn't that much different. So even if there's gold up on Mt. Lemon, the lack of water in most areas makes it tough to get out. I've not made it up to that area yet, but looking at it from Tucson it looks like it is some rough bush to be trying to work.

I work down on the east side of the Santa Rita mountains and water is a major problem for the most part. I have to haul it into the claim on every trip out there. Having a pond on the claim helps, but I still have to move water to the work area. I'm still working on making that job easier to get through at this point. Now if I had a year round stream it would make life sooo much better.

Clay.... Gold on "A" mountain? humm maybe I should be bringing a pan as well as my r/c sailplanes next time I head to Tucson. Kill two birds with one stone trip. Flying and prospecting at the same time? What a great day that could make for.


Bronze Member
Sep 30, 2012
Arizona - Is there any other state worth visiting
Detector(s) used
Fisher Gold Bug Pro, Nokta FORS Gold, Garrett ATX, Sun Ray Gold Pro Headphones, Royal Pick, Etc.
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I have gotten nice gold from this area of which is on the north side of the Catalina's. As Clay mentioned Canyon Del Oro wash holds gold. The only reason I do not return to this area is million dollar homes are a stone throw away. They would not think to kindly of my drywasher in operation.

Wash 4.jpg

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