Monday, July 25, 2011

Minor Gold Rushes, Major Gold Production

Gold can be found in trace amounts in almost all rocks and even in ocean water, but finding it in quantities large enough to make mining profitable is rare. Erosion often washes gold out of surface rocks. Gold particles are about seven times heavier than rock particles of a similar size. As a result, nuggets and flakes of gold tend to sink to the bottom of water-deposited gravel and sand, especially in stream-beds. This gold is recovered using placer mining techniques. Lode mining, or hard-rock mining, recovers gold from veins or reefs that extend underground. The gold-bearing rock is removed from the mine using pick and shovel, blasting, and other methods.
Placer mining, widely used by the Forty-niners during the California gold rush and in the Yukon, was rare in Utah with a few notable exceptions, including Bingham Canyon. Precious metals were initially discovered in the Oquirrh Mountains by brothers Thomas and Sanford Bingham in 1848-49. More important to the history of mining were the discoveries made in that area on September 17, 1863, by men and women associated with the California Volunteers stationed at Fort Douglas and other individuals. They organized the West Mountain Mining District, the first in Utah, and staked numerous claims. Placer mining in Bingham Canyon began in 1865, and by 1871 a reported $1 million in gold had been taken from these claims.
Gold in Southeastern Utah
The most extensive use of various placer mining techniques occurred in southeastern Utah where prospectors began finding placer deposits of gold in the 1880s. Although stories of lost Spanish mines and secret Navajo mines in that area persist, the first gold rush in southeastern Utah began in 1883 after Cass Hite found placer gold in Glen Canyon on the Colorado River. On December 3, 1883, Hite, Lewis P. Brown, and seven others organized the Henry Mountains Mining District. Four years later Hite helped organize the White Canyon Mining District. Unfortunately, the gold found by prospectors along the Colorado River was very fine, making it extremely difficult to recover.
Cass Hite
Jack Sumner and Jack Butler found gold in the Bromide Basin on Mount Ellen in the Henry Mountains in 1889 and started another gold rush. A town called Eagle City boomed and busted quickly when the gold ran out. In 1892 discoveries in the LaSal and Abajo mountains triggered another gold rush, followed by news of gold in the San Juan River country.
Hundreds of individual prospectors panned and sluiced with great difficulty in the slickrock country with only limited success. Lack of water, except in the major rivers, made placer mining difficult, if not impossible. The Hoskaninni Company built a huge gold dredging works in Glen Canyon at the turn of the century, and the Zahn Mining Company ran the largest placer operation on the San Juan River in the early 1900s. All these efforts, small and great, produced little gold during the heyday of the southeastern Utah gold rushes, 1883-1911.
Tooele’s Gold
Lode mining for gold was more successful. Two Tooele County mining areas are known for their gold. Mercur, one of the most important mining towns in Utah, did not fully exploit its gold ores until the 1890s when a cyanide processing plant was built there. When ore is crushed and treated with cyanide, the gold dissolves and can later be refined to produce almost pure gold. Daniel C. Jackling, Utah’s copper king, and George H. Dern, mining engineer and later governor of Utah, were two of the major figures associated with the development of Mercur. After years of inactivity in Mercur, improved technology has periodically allowed gold to be extracted from old mine and mill tailings there when the price of gold has risen high enough to make such processing profitable.
Gold Hill on Utah’s western border enjoyed a much shorter life as a gold mining town. The Clifton Mining District was organized in the area in 1889 and the town of Gold Hill established in 1892. As is so often the case with mining towns, Gold Hill’s mines failed to produce as much of the gleaming metal as its founders had hoped. However, two world wars created a national need for the arsenic and tungsten found in great abundance at Gold Hill, and the town enjoyed waves of mild prosperity.
Piute County was the scene of another gold rush. The Gold Mountain Mining District and its central town of Kimberly flourished in the early 20th century. The Annie Laurie Mine was a famous gold producer. In 1902 a new cyanide mill in Kimberly processed 250 tons of ore a day. According to George A. Thompson, writing in the Frontier Times of June-July 1974, Gold from Kimberly’s mines was shipped in bars 6″x10″x10″ valued at over $20,000 each, on the Shepard Brothers Stages to the railroad in Sevier, eighteen miles to the northeast. The heavy yellow bars were stacked on the floor of the stagecoach, between the passengers’ feet. An armed guard always rode ahead of the coach.
But Kimberly, too, enjoyed only a short if gaudy career. Its boom was over by 1907.
A Major Gold State
As shortlived as Utah’s gold rushes have been, the state nevertheless continues to produce gold in impressive amounts. In 1944 Utah gold amounted to 34.5 percent of the U.S. total. In 1983, Utah mines produced 238,459 troy ounces of gold valued at $101,107,000 and amounting to 12.2 percent of the total U.S. production. Gold production dropped sharply in 1985, the last year for which data is currently available.
For the most part Utah’s gold production has never been keyed to great finds of free gold in placer deposits or rich lodes underground. In Utah, gold is most often found in the same ore bodies that produce silver, lead, zinc, and copper. The Bingham copper mine, for example, has been a steady producer of gold for many decades; and in their heyday the mines of Park City and Juab County’s Tintic Mining District produced large amounts of gold in addition to their silver and other metals. In mining and refining copper and silver–historically the most important metals in Utah’s economy–mine owners have come as close as one can outside of fairy tales to possessing a goose that lays golden eggs.

How to Pan for Gold in Las Vegas

Panning for gold consists of washing earth material, such as gravel or sand, in order to search for particles or small pieces of gold. A gold pan, much like the natural occurrence in a river, separates the heavier gold particles from the other materials. The process of panning for gold is tedious and long, but the rewards can be substantial, though rare. There are specific locations and areas surrounding Las Vegas where gold panning takes place for professionals, amateurs, and tourists.
    • 1
      Log on to the Internet to locate various locations near Las Vegas that provide gold panning opportunities. The Las Vegas Gold Prospectors Association of America (LVGPAA) website explains that the majority of the prospecting locations are found a short drive outside of the city. Gold panning adventures take place at the edge of streams and rivers.
    • 2
      Locate a gold panning area as well as a tour guide or instructor. The LVGPAA website explains that the association allows guests and tourists to come to meetings and events in order to learn how to pan for gold. The Colorado River Tour website is an example of a location outside of Las Vegas that offers three-day gold panning adventures for tourists and visitors who want to learn how to find gold.
    • 3
      Arrange to go on a gold panning trip or to attend a gold panning event. The Gold Gold website explains that the individual must determine if the gold panning equipment will be provided. If the individual is responsible for renting or purchasing the necessary equipment, there are stores in Las Vegas that supply the materials.
    • 4
      Find a gold panning equipment store so that the necessary items can be rented or purchased. The Desert Outfitters store is an example of a business in Las Vegas that sells gold panning equipment. The website explains that an amateur or beginner will need a metal pick, a shovel and a gold pan.

How to Pan for Gold on the Beach

Finding placer gold on a beach is uncommon but not impossible. As gold prices continue to rise, prospectors are panning known gold-producing areas and attempting to locate new sites to pan for gold. Beaches can contain placer gold, but the beach has to be located in a gold-producing area. To find gold-producing areas, contact a local gold mining club. Clubs generally have information on the best places to look for gold
    • 1
      Locate a beach that has placer gold. Identify beaches close to mountains that are well-known for gold production. The water can carry gold from the mountain to the beach.
    • 2
      Look for black sand. Black sand is a magnetic mix of minerals that has a sand-like quality. If black sand is on a beach, that may indicate the presence of placer gold. Do not confuse black sand with dirty sand. You can pick up black sand with a magnet.
    • 3
      Purchase the proper equipment. Rubber boots and rubber gloves will protect a prospector's hands as he moves the water and sand. A gold-panning kit should include a pan, a classifier to remove bigger rocks and debris, a snuffer bottle and a clear vial to hold the gold. Purchase tweezers and a magnifying glass to look at and pick up smaller pieces of gold, if these are not included in the gold-panning kit. Procure a spade and shovel to help move sand and dirt.
    • 4
      Clean equipment. Wash new gold pans with dish detergent and a scouring pad. New pans have oil on the pan from the manufacturing process. Clean the pans to ensure the oil will not cause the gold to float out of the pan.
    • 5
      Pan for gold. Fill the pan with with sand or dirt on the beach. Remove larger debris. Immerse the pan in water, shake it back and forth. Bring the pan to the top of the water and tilt it slightly so that the water washes over the dirt like a wave. Continue to tilt the pan, moving it back and forth. The dirt will wash out and the gold will sink to the bottom of the pan.
    • 6
      Clean the gold. Pick up placer gold by sucking it out of the pan into the snuffer bottle. Make sure the snuffer bottle is filled partially with water. Transfer the gold to the clear vial.

How to Pan for Gold

Gold is at record high prices. If you have ever wanted to play around panning for gold it is an ideal time. Find a good gold stream and try your hand panning gold.

    • 1
      Gold is found naturally in loads or in veins in the rock and gold is often found in almost pure form. It is scattered in tiny flakes in igneous rock. It washes out through water erosion to settle in streams and rivers where prospectors pan for gold. A good pace to pan is near old gold mine tailings.
    • 2
      Find a stream or river in an area historically know for gold. Near old gold mines is a likely spot to find flakes. California, Nevada, Utah and other western states have a great history of gold finds. Many eastern United States mountains have good areas as well.
    • 3
      To pan for gold find an area of the stream or river with about 6 to 18 inches of water. You can pan sand and gravel from right there or take it from other areas to fill your pan. You can even haul dirt from near an old gold mine if it is permitted.
    • 4
      Gold in pan.
      Fill your pan half full or a bit more. Submerge the pan 2/3rds in the water Jiggle it vigorously as gravity is what settles the heavier gold lower than other material. With a free hand break up any clay or clods of dirt. Pick out any stones or large gravel by hand. Move the material around some to help separate lighter material from the heavy black iron sand and gold. The lighter material is called overburden. Examine the rocks some as often gold flakes can be embedded in rock.
    • 5
      Lift the gold pan partly out of the water. Tilt and swirl the gold pan. Wash the lighter overburden over the rim while taking care not wash over the heavy black sand that settles with the gold. Skin off lighter material until you are left with about 1/2 cup heavy iron bearing black sand. A magnet may be helpful here to remove magnetic particles. View the sand with the eye or a magnifying glass to spot any gold flakes. Any shinny metal flake can be removed with a pair of tweezers and placed in a gold glass vial. Often flakes lighter in color can be silver or platinum. If you are very lucky you may find a gold nugget. I have seen a few pea sized nuggets found in nearby mountains. The sand that is left can be saved to go through more thoroughly later at home or back in camp.

How to be Successful Panning for Gold

Manipulating gold ore in the bottom of a flat pan to separate gold from debris takes more than nimble fingers and wrists. There are techniques to use to be successful panning for gold. Making the decision to prospect is easy, but many new prospectors find that panning for gold is harder than they thought. Panning for gold correctly will yield more gold in the bottom of your pan when you know how to get rid of the debris quickly and effectively.
    • 1
      Locate a gold-rich area to be successful panning for gold on maps obtained from the U.S. Geological Survey or the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Find locations on the maps that are adjacent to active mining operations on public land. Know where the highest concentrations of gold is before you attempt to pan for gold effectively.
    • 2
      Prepare a mining site where you can pan for gold near a waterway or have enough water to fill the pan and to collect loose debris while panning. Panning done in the waterway or over a large container filled with water can remove the non-gold material quicker.
    • 3
      Classify gold ore by separating the different-sized material. You need the finest material for fast, efficient panning. Shovel the classified gold ore into the pan. Fill it with about 5 pounds of loose dirt without large rocks. Leave room in the pan for water. Position the pan and gold ore over a catch container filled with water or over a natural waterway. Tip the pan forward and let water fill up the pan without spilling the gold ore inside the pan.
    • 4
      Place the pan on the ground and use your hands to mix the material in the pan. Break up all the large clumps of dirt. You want to break up everything that is compacted together to loose any gold in the sediments. Bring the pan back to water once the gold ore is broken down and cleaned with water in the pan.
    • 5
      Tip the front of the pan forward and allow the largest stones and rocks to fall out of the pan when the water escapes. Refill the pan with water and hold it flat, suspended over the water. Shake the pan, gold ore and water to vibrate the sediments inside the watery gold pan. You want the heavier, smaller material to sink to the bottom. Shaking the pan from side to side speeds up the process. Now tip the pan forward again and let the largest of the debris fall out of the pan. As the heavy materials sink to the bottom during shaking, the largest materials will stay on top. Lose the biggest material, fill the pan with water and agitate it again.
    • 6
      Hold the pan at a 45-degree angle to the water with the front tip of the pan sitting just under the surface when the material is down to the finest particles. Collect water with just the tip of the pan by lifting it up out of the water and then drop the tip back down to let the fine sands separate from the heavy black sands (iron sand) and gold material, which will be located at the bottom of the pan after successfully panning for gold. Suck up gold nuggets, gold flakes and gold dust left at the bottom of the pan using a gold snifter or your fingers. A plastic tube partially filled with a liquid (snifter) will suck up gold after panning for gold.

Recreational Gold Panning and Dredging Regulations

What is recreational gold panning and dredging?

Recreational Panning* - using non-mechanized equipment such as a pan, sluice box, or pick and shovel that does not disturb the earth above the water line or outside a dry stream bed.
Recreational Dredging* - using a suction dredge with an intake diameter of four inches or less and having a rating of twelve horse power or less, or using hand-operated sluice equipment and related tools. Dredging must occur beneath the existing water surface or upon non-vegetated sand and gravel bars within the active stream channel for a period not to exceed 45 days annually.
*from U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Utah Division of Water Rights information.

What are the regulations regarding recreational gold panning and dredging?

(See Additional Information for addresses of government agencies.)
Regulations differ depending on which federal or state agency administers the land on which you wish to pan or dredge. These agencies have maps showing the land under their jurisdiction, and land-ownership maps for the entire state can be obtained at U.S. Bureau of Land Management offices.
School & Institutional Trust Lands (formerly State Lands): You need a lease for recreational gold panning and dredging. Contact the School & Institutional Trust Lands Administration for lease information
Utah Division of Water Rights: Prospecting is only allowed on streams open to this type of activity (which depends on fish spawning and other factors). Contact the Utah Division of Water Rights for a list of open streams. Recreational dredging on any stream requires a permit from the Utah Division of Water Rights (see permit information below).
U.S. Forest Service: Most of the National Forests in Utah are open to prospecting, including gold panning. However, some areas within the National Forests are privately owned or already contain mining claims; therefore, you cannot prospect in these areas without permission from the owner or claimant. Additionally, other areas are closed to all types of prospecting and mining. Contact the local District Ranger's office for information about these areas and land ownership. Recreational dredging on any stream requires a permit from the Utah Division of Water Rights (see permit information below). A "Notice of Intent" is required to be filed with the local District Ranger if your dredging operation might cause a disturbance of surface resources in a National Forest.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM): You need to determine if the land is open to prospecting, withdrawn from mineral entry, or already covered with mining claims. No mining can occur on withdrawn land. If current mining claims are present, you need to obtain permission from the mining claimant before panning or dredging. To obtain withdrawal and claim status, contact the BLM with the township, range, and section coordinates for your location (shown on topographic maps). Recreational dredging on any stream requires a permit from the Utah Division of Water Rights (see permit information below).
Restricted Areas: National parks, monuments, and recreation areas, state parks, Indian reservations, military reservations, wildlife refuges, and officially designated wilderness areas are closed to prospecting. The entire Utah stretches of the Green, Colorado, and San Juan Rivers are closed to dredging and sluicing activity under the Recreational Dredging and Sluicing Application (see permit information below) due to Threatened and Endangered Aquatic Species. Contact the Utah Division of Water Rights or the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining for additional permit information regarding activities along these rivers.

Do I need a permit?

You do not need a permit for recreational gold panning on BLM or Forest Service land, as long as you follow the regulations stated in the section above.
However, recreational dredging on any stream requires a permit from the Utah Division of Water Rights. The Recreational Dredging and Sluicing Application must be filed with both the Division of Water Rights and the local BLM office. With this permit, recreational dredging is only allowed for a total of 45 days during the calendar year. If a longer time is desired, contact the Utah Division of Water Rights, the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining, or the appropriate federal land management agency for additional information and requirements. Contact the Division of Water Rights for the application and additional information.
If you cannot operate within the Utah Division of Water Rights conditions or want to conduct activities on streams closed to prospecting or mining, other forms of permitting are required. Contact the Utah Division of Water Rights, the Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining, or the appropriate Federal land management agency for additional information and requirements.

How to Sell Your Panned Gold in Utah Read more

Panning for gold in Utah is a popular hobby and sometimes a profitable one! But, when you do accumulate some gold how do you sell it? Panned gold or gold dust consists of unrefined flakes and sometimes small nuggets. It isn’t in a convenient bar or coin form. You have several options to sell your panned gold in Utah though.


Things You'll Need

  • Panned gold with sand and other debris removed
  • Knowledge of current gold prices
    • 1
      Know the market prices for gold. The price you will get for gold dust or any form of raw (unrefined) gold depends directly on the current commodity price of gold bullion. Keep abreast of daily price fluctuations by clicking on the link below.
    • 2
      Find an assay or testing service. Normally a buyer will want to verify that you have real gold and to know how pure it is. Many buyers can take care of any testing they deem necessary, so often you can combine this step with step 3.
    • 3
      Find a dealer who buys unrefined gold. In Utah there are a number of prospecting stores and clubs for the many people who pan gold. These businesses and groups can put you in contact with a reliable dealer. To find these stores and clubs, check the Yellow Pages. You can also contact the Utah Geological Survey which regulates gold mining in the state (see link below).
    • 4
      Sell your panned gold in Utah. It is best to get more than one price quote if you have a large amount of panned gold to sell (over an ounce). Te prices dealers give are generally are fairly close to one another, but getting multiple quotes can make you a bit more profit and protects you from falling prey to an unscrupulous buyer.
    • 5
      Keep track of the gold you sell. You will need a record of your sales when tax time comes. Don’t forget to keep track of your expenses as well. Panning may be a hobby for you but you may be able to deduct some of the money you spend!


    We had a 1936 Chevrolet two-door sedan that Dad was trying to nurse through the war years.  I swear that that car had its own personality, including some traits such as a stubborn cantankerousness.  At other times it had a sneaky playfulness.
                One day after a cleaning session around the yard in the early springtime, my father recruited a couple of my friends, my sister, and myself to help carry off the trash.  We loaded boxes of trash into the old Chevy’s trunk and back seats.  We all clambered into the car and pointed her prow towards the dumps. 
                The dumps were located north of Magna on a flat, sagebrush covered plain next to the tailings pond.  The garbage trucks dumped their weekly pickup here, and everyone hauled in their unwanted trash.  As we began our journey down the dump road, which was usually a dusty dirt trail—we quickly noticed that things were, however, not the same.  There were some pretty good ponds and mud puddles in the middle of the road.  Not to worry thought, my old man deftly swung the wheel and skirted the treacherous quagmires.  He drove on to the sagebrush covered flatland and avoided a sure bogging down.
                After unloading our trash on the dump, dad began the homeward journey.  After he had avoided a very mucky road hazard, one of my friends made the mistake of praising my father’s evasive action. 
                “Hell, son, this car is half mule and half jeep.”
                 “Yep.  If I put her in low gear, she would climb that tailings pond dike.”
                 “Watch this—“
                Dad veered on to the sagebrush-covered clay flatland and sure enough the old Chevy plowed through like a jeep, mowing down the sagebrush.  All went well until about a quarter mile from the road, the Chevy slued sideways and spun to a stop in a big slippery mud puddle.
                Dad mumbled something about this not being a problem and put the car in reverse.  The Chevy made a gallant effort but went only about a foot and a half before it bogged down again.  Dad was wise enough to know that you don’t just spin your wheels or you will just sink deeper.
                “Everybody out,” he ordered.  “Grab sagebrush and shove it under the wheels.”
                Dad was at his best—delegating his way out of a problem.  He was getting us to help him provide traction for those slipping tires.  “OK, now you boys get in back and push,” he ordered.
                Dad opened the drivers’ door, reached inside and pulled the hand-throttle open a bit.
                Hell!  It worked good.  A bit too good, however.  The Chevy lurched forward on to the sagebrush—dumping we three pushers onto our faces, luckily on fairly dry soil.  Luckily, I say because Dad did not fair so well.  He found himself face down in the center of the mud puddle.  He sat up and uttered a few words that we had never heard before, and I’m sure we weren’t supposed to remember either.  The sight of him covered with mud sent the three of us into peals of laughter.  Dad was just beginning to say something about our disrespect when he realized that the Chevy was bouncing across the sagebrush plain on its own volition, and heading for a power station about a half-a-mile away.  Dad was up like a shot and was soon in full pursuit of the old Chevy.  It looked like the car was mocking him the way it flapped its sprung door open and nearly closed.
                Dad was amazing.  We kids were dually impressed as he sprinted after the wayward automobile.  Then with a graceful leap worthy of a male ballet dancer, he mounted the running board of the vehicle.  He reached inside and grasped the steering wheel.  Then in a far less graceful manner, he dismounted.  The combination of slippery clay-mud on his feet and running board and the bouncing vehicle left him rolling head over heels through the sagebrush.  He had accomplished one thing however, as he fell he pulled the steering wheel so that now the car was going around in a big circle.  To add to his chagrin, all three of us were rolling on the ground in mirth.  Loud guffaws were the reward Dad got for his efforts to corral the maverick Chevy.
                Dad got up, brushed himself off as best he could, what with clods of mud covering his frontal area.  He surveyed our wild mirthful abandon and muttered something about or parentage.  But it wasn’t complimentary at all.  Then he yelled at the smirking Chevrolet—most of which is unprintable except for “Sonabitchin Chevrolet.”
                Dad ran after the circling car like an Indian chasing a circling wagon.  Again Dad leapt onto the slippery running board just in time to be bashed by the swinging door and sent tumbling through the sagebrush again.  Hells Bells!  This was more fund than a Three Stooges comedy, and tears were running down our cheeks.  My stomach hurt from laughter.  Dad questioned our parentage again.  We really couldn’t see why he saw no humor in his predicament.  Off he went again in pursuit of the playful Chevrolet.  I swear, each time it circled towards us, there was a grin on that battered grill.  Dad, after a couple more sidesplitting tumbles finally was able to insinuate himself between the doorpost and the wildly flaying door.  He fell into the seat and pushed in the throttle lever.  Then mustering all the dignity that he could, the old man drove over to where the three of us were still rolling around in unbridled laughter.  He pulled himself upright in the seat and said, “Would you kids get in the damn car?!”
                One look at his mud caked face however, sent us into peals of unrestrained laughter again.  After a short stern lecture about how he could have been crushed under the marauding wheels of this two-ton monster of a car, Dad finally had us fairly sober and into the car.
                The ride home was rather quiet and chilly.  It was punctuated however, by a snicker that slipped out now and then by one or the other of us kids.  These relapses were met by an icy stare from the old man.
                We finally pulled into our yard.  Mom was hanging out clothes.  When she saw the muddy apparition that was my father climb out of the car she shrieked—“What in the world happened to you?”
                The first words to come out of the old man's mouth were “Sonabitchin Chevrolet!”
                I swear that that car was grinning at him.

    The Crescent Creek Placers©

    View of Crescent Creek and the Henry Mountains, looking west.
         The Henry Mountains are found in southern Utah, midway between Lake Powell and Hanksville. These mountains are an oasis of water and shade in an otherwise forsaken desert. The tops of the mountains are heavily timbered and there are green meadow filled basins surrounded by pines and aspens. Deer and other wildlife are abundant, and the nation’s only free roaming herd of buffalo can be seen around the base of the mountains.

         There are several accounts of the discovery of gold in the Henry’s placing the discovery of gold between 1885 and 1890. It is probable that the discovery of gold in the Henry’s is related to the development of the Glen Canyon Placers. While the gold was abundant, it was also fine and hard to recover. Prospectors, disappointed with the prospects in Glen Canyon, spread out across the country. In trying to locate other sources of gold, some prospectors worked their way up the Dirty Devil River to the base of the Henry Mountains; where, on the east flank of Mount Ellen, they found gold in Crescent Creek. They were able to  follow the trail of gold up to lode gold and copper deposits in what is now Bromide Basin.1  Early miners also found signs of the Spanish—an arrasta was found, and John Fremont found the skeleton of a burro—still carrying saddlebags full of high-grade ore in 1853.2  

         This lode was fairly high grade—but was also shallow—and the mines soon failed. Tens of thousands of years of erosion, however, left wide spread placers in a large alluvial fan around the eastern base of Mt. Ellen. Crescent Creek has carried the gold bearing sediment from Bromide Basin to the benches, where it formed a placer deposit that is large enough to be measured in square miles. Since the time of the original deposition, Crescent Creek has cut down through the gravel, reconcentrating the gold and creating a narrow, steep walled canyon that heads east away from the mountain and drains into North Wash. North Wash then drains into the Dirty Devil River. Butler Creek to the north and Copper Creek to the south, also cut through the margins of this placer, and as a result carry some limited values in gold.

              The gold here is high karat gold—heavy and rich in color. It is also chunky and large—coming in grains, wires and large flakes. In the original deposit, the gold is distributed quite uniformly across the placer, with a concentration of gold found “in black-sand streaks at the base of the fanglomerate gravel,”3 as it was described in Johnson’s Placer Gold Deposits of Utah. Where Crescent Creek has cut through the alluvial fan, the gold has been reworked. Because the amount of water flow is low—even in spring run-off—the gold tends to be spotty. It is generally moved only in flash floods. These flash floods are common—coming several times a year, principally during the monsoon season at the end of July and August.

              In the bottom of the wash, the gold tends to be right on bedrock, leaving the overburden barren.  And while some gold can be found just about anywhere that you find bedrock, the floods have formed rich pockets along the way.  The Crescent Creek placers are considered to be one of Utah’s few commercial grade placers, but they are marginal and difficult to work at a profit. A mining company has a lease on almost all the placer ground. Their claims are well posted and run from North Wash all the way to Bromide Basin. Another company (Unico Mining) currently holds lease on the lode mines in the basin.

    Panning Crescent Creek with my son, Dalton.

         Because of the number of people that visit the area, a public panning area has been provided on Crescent Creek. It is well marked and is actually one of the better gold producing areas on the creek. When I first worked the area, I was working the stream sediments, as I didn’t see much bedrock exposed on the creek bottom. I was getting some gold, but it was fine and far between. Another prospector who was in the area came over and showed me the trick to the gold. I hadn’t realized it, but the bedrock in the public panning area is a soft clay—alternating gray or black bands—and by digging along the contact of this clay and the gravel I found large flakes of gold and small pickers. I was not getting rich, but it was certainly enough to keep me interested.

    Map of the Crescent Creek Area.

         A few weeks later, while working an unclaimed area at the bottom of Crescent Creek, I found a fairly good pocket of gold and filed a claim on some of the last remaining land in the canyon. Instead of the black and gray banded clay that we found up at the Public Panning area, we had a soft, brightly colored orange/red clay, alternating with a hard but brittle dark red mudstone. The rich gold we found was on top of this soft orange colored clay. The work was slow and water was difficult to come by, but by using primarily a shovel and pan, we pulled about ¼ oz of gold out of this small stretch creek over the next several weekends.

         Crescent Creek is a perennial stream—but as you pull away from the mountain the creek bed goes dry, the water flowing under the abundant gravel in the area. The area we were working has shallow bedrock, and as such, has some water year round. The water here doesn’t flow except during spring runoff. In this area, it is more of a seep—just enough to keep the ground muddy. When we want to pan, we need to dig a hole and let the water seep in. Then as we pan, we need to keep mucking out the hole. It also took some time to clean the gold out of the sticky clay.

         Along Crescent Creek, the gold can be found associated with barite sand. The barite sand is a white to very pale yellow coarse-grained sand and is fairly heavy. If you are not finding much barite sand, you probably aren’t getting much gold either as they tend to settle in the same places.

    Gold and barite sand.

         There isn’t much black sand in these placers and on our claim there is almost none. The black sand is more commonly found in the bench placers above the wash (in fanglomerates), and related to the original alluvial fan.

         Crescent Creek sits at the bottom of a steep walled wash—and as was already mentioned, it is prone to flash floods. In this area, they are fairly common. While we were there in the late spring we saw a brief storm that brought strong winds and heavy rain. It lasted for only about twenty minutes. About a half an hour after the rain stopped, we noticed a puddle creeping down the riverbed—and about two minutes behind it was a fast moving river. This trickle of a stream not even ¼ inch deep turned into a fast moving creek six to eight inches deep and about eight feet wide—and it flowed fast for over an hour, with a residual flow that lasted most of the night.

         These flash floods can be dangerous, but they can also move a lot of material—including gold. By putting a sluiced box into this flood, we were able to pick up some nice pieces, without shoveling any dirt.
    The first year we were there, we worked a stretch of river between six and eight feet wide, about seventy feet long, with bedrock ranging from three inches to one foot deep and pulled out about ¼ oz of gold.

         When we returned the next spring, we could not find any sign of our previous activity. Everything we had done was washed away, including the two foot high dams we built to collect water; the large piles of tailings (we had to muck out our panning holes); and the five foot deep test hole that we dug about ten feet to the side of the shallow bedrock that we had worked. It didn’t take long to realize that a very large flash flood had come through the previous fall. The flood that came through completely filled the wash. By examining the water lines on the sides of the canyon, we estimated that this flood was about six feet deep and at places, greater than fifty feet wide. And, in addition to scouring the wash, this flood also left gold.

         We went back and worked the same stretch of river that we had worked out the previous spring and found about ½ oz of gold over about three weekends.

         Most of this gold has come in the form of coarse grains, about the size of granulated sugar. We have also found some very large flakes and an occasional rice-grain size nugget. Several guests (3) to our claims have even found pea size nuggets, be we (the owners) have not yet been that lucky.

    What the future will hold is uncertain. We believe that there is a lot more gold there. The gold is in pockets and almost all of it is on bedrock. The trouble is, except where the bedrock is shallow or exposed, we can’t get to it without heavy equipment. The area is too wet to dig—all the holes fill with water—but too dry to dredge. I tried working it with a small 3” dredge, but had to dig a hole just to hold the dredge, and I then had to re-circulate the water. I was dredging in mud and couldn’t see anything. Rock jams were common, and it was difficult to tell where I wanted to work. The clay also made it very slow, as it was stuck in place and didn’t want to come up the dredge hose. After a day of dredging (with poor results) I realized that I probably could have gotten more gold (maybe twice as much) by working by hand with a pan and shovel. A highbanker does work well if you are there early enough in the spring to catch the runoff.

         The public panning area is upstream from our claims and has much better water flow. If you go in late summer or fall, you might find water in the morning and evening—but a relatively dry riverbed in the heat of the afternoon when evaporation is going strong. And yes, it does get hot. In the summers expect 100°+. The Public Panning Area fortunately does have shade from several large trees and is a nice place to camp. There is even an old cabin at the public area. It is in fairly good shape if you need to get out of the weather. In this area, you can pan, sluice, highbank or dredge. Sluicing, highbanking and dredging all require a state permit, but they are free—just contact the Utah State Division of Water Resources. If you like, dry washers can be used on all of the gravel found above the creek. And I know of a prospector that found a pe sized nugget with a metal detector.

         This is a great area to explore. There are good opportunities for photography, hiking, four wheeling, and riding motorcycles or ATV’s. Small uranium and vanadium prospects also litter the lower margins of Crescent Creek—they are interesting, but you should probably stay out of them as they are in soft rock and are especially prone to cave-ins—and also full of radon gas.

    As a general rule, take what you are going to need if you are going to explore the area. Hanksville is a small town with a few basic supplies like gas, ice and groceries. If you need anything else, you are probably out of luck—and it is 25 or 30 miles just to Hanksville from the panning area; it will take hours to get anywhere else. This area is remote but well worth the trip.

    Over 1/3rd ounce placer gold from Crescent Creek. Several small nuggets were also found.

         This article was originally printed in the October 2009 ICMJ and references the Crescent Creek chapter of A Guide to Gold Panning in Utah, also by Alan J. Chenworth. The maps and many of the photos are also taken from this book.

    Service Has Its Rewards ©2009

    I was recently looking over some old papers and photos, and remembered an interesting weekend that I had back in around 2001.

       Getting some time off work, I decided it would be fun to spend it mining in the Rocky Bar area of south central Idaho.  I was a member of the Northern Utah Prospectors Association, a small Utah club that had two groups of good claims in the Rocky Bar area.  These claims totaled five claims on three creeks.  I also had two of my own claims in Wide West Gulch, just upstream of the club claims, and there were several areas on my claims had been fairly productive in the past.  With all these claims, I figured that I should have plenty to do.
       Gold was discovered on the Feather River in 1863, and the town of Rocky Bar quickly grew to support the new mines.  Rocky Bar, Idaho, is located about 40 miles east of Mountain Home, just to the north of Anderson Ranch Reservoir. 

       While there is little left of town (particularly, the south half where the owner has sold off the buildings one by one to discourage visitors), it was at one time a thriving town with over 2,500 residents and the county seat.  Rumor is that it was a candidate for the Idaho Territorial Capital.[1]  Most of the gold found here was load gold, but there was a lot of placer gold found as well.  Most of the area creeks contain gold, including Bear Creek, which runs through Rocky Bar, Steele Creek, Red Warrior creek, and Elk Creek.  The Feather River, which has its own rich gold history, is formed from the confluence of Bear Creek Elk Creek. 

       While most of the gold in the region is fine, coming in the form of small granules similar in appearance to sugar grains, Bear Creek does have some coarse gold as well as the occasional nugget.  Elk Creek is also known for have some larger pieces of gold.

       After getting out of bed just a little too early for a day off, packing the truck and trailer—including my wife and son (and car seat too) into the small cab (it was a small, 2wd Toyota pick-up)—we were off to Idaho.  It was a long, slow and crowded drive, although it was other wise uneventful.

       When we arrived, we first set up camp on a club claim that sat next to Red Warrior Creek named NUPA 1.  This claim has one of the best camping sites in the entire area.  The campsite is set back off the road, surrounded by trees for privacy, and has a nice, sandy bottom for a tent.  Firewood is also plentiful.  Red Warrior is also known for fine, sugar grain sized granules of gold—and if you dig in the right place, they can be fairly plentiful.  While Red Warrior Creek does have some nice gold, I had my mind on another place that would give me better odds on a nugget.  

    Sluicing Red Warrior Creek.

       The first place that I thought I would try prospecting was on the Los Kelios Group—this was a group of claims that began just above the junction of Bear Creek and Red Warrior Creek.  This claim then followed the creek north through a narrow canyon, around a tight horseshoe bend where it joined with Elk Creek, flowing south, to make the Feather River.  The claims then continued down stream for anther ½ mile.  This is a very large claim block formed by 3 rich gold bearing creeks.  (Unfortunately, a year or so later, the club lost the claims—something to do with a missing signature on an Affidavit of Assessment.)  The place I specifically had in mind was a small hill to the east of the road that was cut on the east by Red Warrior Creek and the north by Bear Creek.

       Climbing the hill, I found a spot out on the point above rivers that was already cleared to bedrock.  It looked good, so I hauled several buckets of dirt down to the creek to pan out.  I found that by breaking up the bedrock I could get some large flakes, but I couldn’t find anything of quantity.   I spent the rest of the afternoon there, still finding the occasional large flake—and once in a while a small one.  Giving this spot up, I headed back to camp.  Before retiring for the evening, I tried sluicing some of the gravel in Red Warrior Creek.  I did this with some optimism, as this had been quite rewarding the last two times I had been here.  This time, however, was different.  After sluicing the gravel for about 15 minutes, I cleaned the sluice and found just one small piece of gold.  Yeah. 

       Trying to increase my yield, I decided to work a different spot on the second day.  I went up to one of my personal claims, but with spring run-off over, most of the places that I usually work were too far away from water. 

       I then decided to work the bottom end of the Los Kelios claims, since rumors held that this was a rich area.  After almost an hour of climbing hills, crossing rivers, and pushing through brush, I made it to Pinto Creek, which marks the bottom end of the Los Kelios claims.  I set up my sluice, and went to work.  The gold I was finding was OK—it was granular, like on Red Warrior Creek, but the pieces were quite a bit larger in size.  Unfortunately, before I could really get going, a thunderstorm blew in over the mountain.  After only an hour and a half there, I packed up and headed out.  Two days were shot, and I still didn’t have much gold.

       By the morning of the third day, I was very discouraged.  I walked over to Red Warrior Creek to look around.  The best gold on this claim was found on the high bars.  Old-timers had ground sluiced the area, and we found that by digging into the rock piles, we could often find virgin dirt that the old timers had missed.  Often they would start stacking rock on top of gold bearing gravel so as to clear a channel for the water to flow, but as the working progressed, it wasn’t worth their time to go back and move the rocks to get to the gold beneath them.  Because of this there were some very rich pockets found under these rock piles.  One miner that I know pulled out about ¼ oz. of gold from one 5 gallon bucket of this gravel.   Due to the good gold, this claim was one of the club favorites. 

     Stairs cut into the bank leading up to the old highbar deposit above Red Warrior Creek.

     In fact, there was one elderly couple that used to camp there for most of the summer, spending most of their time mining the high bar and generally taking care of the claims.  They were a very friendly couple, always ready and willing to show you around.  They would help greenhorns learn to pan, show you where to dig, and show you their gold.  They always had a nice full vial or two to show.  They were also very conscientious about cleaning up the claims, mucking out the creek when the sluice tailings filled it up, and making the area look generally undisturbed.

       Earlier in the season, during a club outing, a forest ranger noticed the club members up on the high-bar and stopped to see what they were doing.  This ranger, who was actually visiting from a neighboring Ranger District, came to be affectionately known as “Annie Oakley” to the club members.  “Annie Oakley” because they could not remember her name; and “Annie Oakley” because of the way she walked around with her hand on her gun, while threatening what she would do with any of the miners who did not comply with her requests.   She told the members that they would need to quit digging until they had secured a formal Plan of Operations.  Many of the miners who had been working the claim objected to her request, as they were only using hand tools (pans, shovel and sluices—and a self contained gold  buddy)—and that under the 1872 mining laws, as well as the CFR’s, hand tools were legal, and that they did not need a Plan of Operations.  They complained that they only needed a Plan of Operations if they were to bring in equipment, which they had not done. Annie Oakley (still with her hand on her gun) told the miners that she didn’t give a damn about the mining laws or Congress, and that if they did not comply immediately, she would start issuing citations, and making arrests if necessary.  She nailed several other groups in the area on the same day, including my partner on our personal mining claims.  As we later found out, she had been transferred from another Ranger District (the Idaho City District, if my memory serves me) because of her attitudes toward mining, and just happened to be on loan to our district that day.

       After this exchange, the club submitted a Plan of Operations—and were promptly told that they did not need one for what they were doing, but that since they had already submitted the application, they would need to stop working the high bar until it was approved.

       Because we weren’t supposed to dig on the high bar until the Plan of Operations was approved, there was not that much that I could do on this claim.  Remembering the older couple who had worked hard to keep the creek mucked out, I noticed that the creek was full of sand and rocks.  I decided that since I didn’t have a place to mine, I could at least clean out the creek and try and build the banks up a little with the sediments.  After 20 or 30 minutes of digging, I heard the shovel scrape on bedrock.  Like any good prospector, I sampled the bedrock—and am glad I did.  I found a half a dozen pieces in the first pan, so I took a second pan.  The results were the same.  I panned for about 20 minutes, before I finally put my trusty sluice to work.  It was nice, with the sluice just down stream from where I was digging, I didn’t have to carry gravel—or sort out rocks—just clean up the gold.  When I finished up with this area three hours later, I probably had several pennyweights of fine gold (I didn’t have a scale and couldn’t weight them).  I also found several nice pieces of fairly coarse gold—including one very nice picker.  As I write this, I am remembering a prominent writer who once told me that there was no gold in Red Warrior Creek.  “Not enough gold to fill a tooth” was his exact quote.   I won’t mention names.  I just wonder how much more I could have gotten with a dredge (and in how much less time). 

       I poked around for another day and a half before heading home.  Yes, I did get a little more gold, but nothing compared to what I found at that spot in Red Warrior Creek when I decided to muck it out.  Maybe I am off the mark a little bit, but I think that this is just one of the benefits of service.  If I hadn’t decided to clean out the stream, I would probably have headed home without enough gold to fill a tooth.  All I know is that I am glad that I took the time to try and make the claim a little better for everyone—it sure paid off for me.

    This is an old photo of me taking a break while working in Red Warrior Creek.

    The Rocky Bar Mining District©2009

                                           My son and I working a productive high-bar in Wide West Gulch.

       A goodly portion of my mining experience has been in and around Rock Bar, Idaho, and over the years I have had many wonderful expierences there.  I have had some great finds, met some great people, and camped in some the prettiest places on earth—all right there around Rocky Bar. 

       While it is mostly gone now, Rocky Bar was once a thriving town of some 2,500 inhabitants that supported the load gold mines in the surrounding hills.  It was a real boom town and was even reportedly a candidate to be the territorial capital of Idaho, ultimately losing out to Boise. [i] 

       While it was predominantly the load mines that supported the town, Rocky Bar got its start in 1863 with the discovery of widespread placer gold in the area creeks.   This gold came in the form of small granules, similar to salt or sugar grains, with the occasional nugget.  While early production numbers are unavailable, the placer mines of the area produced 58,447 ounce between 1889 and 1942 (remember, most of the placering was done in the 1860’s and 70’s).[ii]  Not bad. I have seen nuggets up to about 1/3rd of an ounce come out of Bear Creek.

       Rocky Bar sits on the north slope of Horse Ranch Mountain, and while the most productive placers were found in Bear Creek, below Rocky Bar, most of the creeks on the south, east and north sides of the mountain contain placer gold—and were worked commercially in the past.  Specifically, it was Wide West Gulch on the south, fed by Chinaman’s Creek;  with Red Warrior Creek on the east side (Wide West flows into Red Warrior Creek)—and several side gulches coming off of Horse Ranch Mountain also enrich Red Warrior Creek with gold.  To the north, in addition to Bear Creek, the Steele Creek/Blakes Gulch area have rich placers, as does Elk Creek, with its own mining camp of Spanish Town.

       Red Warrior Creek empties into Bear Creek, which then flows north through a narrow rocky canyon.  This river canyon then takes a hard turn back to the south, merges with Elk Creek and forms the Feather River.  Due to the large number of gold bearing creeks that flow into the Feather River in the Rock Bar area, the Feather River is rich in gold, and has had a rich mining history of its own.  Near the town of Featherville (about 5 miles south of Rocky Bar, where the paved road ends), the Feather river has been dredged commercially buy a large bucket line dredge.  The river here is deep and wide, with abundant water—especially after it merges with the S. Fork of the Boise—and there was a large, low-grade placer deposited here that was perfectly suited for the dredges.  The piles of gravel remain as proof of the riches produced in the area.

    Dredging on Bear Creek.

       The placer mines in and around Rocky Bar also have a long and varied history.  The first miners came in and worked the easily accessible placers—working both the creek bottoms and the numerous high bar deposits found along the creek.   A high bar deposit is formed when a creek or river cuts a river valley, depositing its gold bearing materials on the bottom of the valley.  The river then cuts a new, more narrow river valley, leaving remnants of the old river valley high and dry.  On large river systems, high-bar deposits can be found hundreds to as much as a thousand feet above the current river elevation.  Often as not though, the high bars are found tens to a hundred feet above the current river elevation.  This is especially true on small river/creek systems.   I don’t have production numbers on what these early placer miners found, but given the extensiveness of the workings, what they found was substantial.  When the Anglo miners finished up, the Chinese came in and re-worked many of the areas.  Some neatly stacked rows of rocks indicate their workings.

    This stone wall was likely the result of Chinese miners.  They were generally neat and orderly.

       To work the high bar deposits, a canal was built along the slopes above the high-bars, then the water was channeled down and across the high-bar, where it would wash away the mud, soil, and lighter materials, leaving the gold and other heavies behind.  Workers would sift through the mud, pulling out the rocks and large boulders by hand—usually putting them in large stacks at the side of the workings.  These sacks of rocks were often used to guide or channel the flowing water to the areas that they needed to work.  Large piles of well washed and sorted rocks (there is little or no sand or gravel in the pile) are indicative of ground sluicing—especially if they are on relatively flat lying rock. 

       Often when these miners would start their ground sluicing operations, they did not have well cleaned bedrock to start on, so they would make their rock pile on top of un-worked material.  This is also true when they changed the direction in which they were working.  When this happened, it was generally unproductive to go back and move the rock pile for the limited amount of ore that was found beneath it.  Mining is a numbers game—they needed to move large amounts of material, and it just wasn’t cost effective to work an area that small—especially as the water was probably being diverted to a different location by the time it was feasible to move the rocks.

       What this means is that by sampling beneath rock piles, it is possible to find small pockets of very rich, virgin dirt that was missed by the old timers.  While this principle applies to virtually all mining areas, it seems to be especially productive in the high-bars in the Rocky Bar area.  One of the identifiers of the rich virgin dirt would be a rusty red, very fine grained sand/clay that is often found on bedrock in un-worked areas. 

       Another thing to look for in the Rocky Bar area is un-worked high-bars.  The GPAA once had a claim in the area, just below Rocky Bar, and it was known for a high-bar deposit that  producing very large amounts of gold, including nuggets.  This claim was high above the river, to the south side, and had apparently never been worked.  It was, of course, a very popular claim.  People were working the heck out of it—they were loading buckets from a very large hole, and packing the material down to the creek to work.  In the end, the Forest Service revoked the claim in order to prevent further damage to the forest.  One lesson to learn from this is FILL IN YOUR HOLES.  Clean up and restore your work area when you are done.  This was a good claim that was open for a lot of people to work—and a few careless people ruined it for every one.  This is not isolated to the large clubs either—if you leave big holes on your claim or favorite work site, the Forest Service may come in and close you down too. 

    This is my camp on Red Warrior Creek.

       After the placers were worked, the attention of the miners turned to the load mines of Rocky Bar.  The ore around Rocky Bar originates in quartz veins that trend generally east-west.  While these veins are predominantly quartz with some gold, they do also contain a small amount of sphalerite, galena, chalcopyrite and pyrite.  And, while most of the gold was free-milling, there was also some bound with the sulfides. The load mines in the Rocky Bar area were very profitable, and continued producing through the 1900’s.  Again, early production numbers are not known, but between 1889 and 1942, the area load mines produced 381,396 ounces of gold.ii  They were good enough, in fact, that after the town burned to the ground in 1892, it was rebuilt—though the towns slow decline followed the fire

       By the 1930’s, most of the areas load mines were closed—but Great Depression kept interest in the area high.  The placers in the area were re-visited—and the smaller streams and creeks were “doodlebugged.”  A gentleman name Floyd, one of the owners of Rocky Bar, mentioned that a small dredge, know as a doodlebug, worked the area streams in the 1930’s.  As best as I can tell, it was something like a small bucket-line dredge—though I haven’t been able to find pictures or much detail on the dredge. 

       I don’t know how many doodlebugs were at work, but apparently Red Warrior Creek was worked up to Wide West Gulch.  Wide West Gulch was then doodle-bugged up to Chinaman Creek.  To the north, Bear Creek was doodle-bugged from the confluence with Red Warrior Creek up to what was then the city limit at Rocky Bar.   While, for the most part, you don’t see the large rock piles common of the large dredges, there are a few.  More commonly, many of the doodle-bugged areas can be identified by swampy conditions.  Thick willows and other wet vegetation growing in low-lying areas.  In the case of Wide West Gulch, much of the area is actually a low-lying, overgrown swamp.  No production numbers are known for these doodlebugs.

       While the doodlebugs have worked the area hard, the area creeks can still be productive when dredged.  In the past, the area was open to dredging with the states recreational dredging permit—however, in the early 2000’s, the area was taken off the states recreations dredging list due to the endangered “Bull Trout”.  While the area creeks are closed on the recreational dredge list, it is possible to get a stream alteration permit that will allow you to dredge by filing individually with the state.  This permit will take 1-2 years to approve, with the new Forest Service rules, also requires that you submit a Plan of Operations with it.  It is a real pain, but could be worth your time.  In most of Bear Creek and Red Warrior Creek, bedrock is relatively shallow—particularly where it has been doodlebugged—with one to two feet of overburden.  This makes dredging fairly easy and efficient.  There are spots, however, where it does get deeper—I once spent a week working through about five feet of overburden.  The gold was OK, but it was all on bedrock and it took a long time to move five feet of overburden with a 3” dredge.  Up near Rocky Bar, in areas where the doodlebug didn’t go, bedrock is much deeper.  I punched a whole some 7’ straight down through ‘hard as cement’ clay, literally picking my way down with a 6’ bar.  It took two days, my hole was only 2-3 feet wide, and I never hit bedrock.  And I only got one piece of gold (a small nugget)—which I accidentally dropped in the dirt and lost while doing a clean up.  Floyd, the guy who owns half of Rocky Bar, told me that he had used an excavator to work the bedrock just up stream of where I was dredging, and that bedrock was 14’ down.  From what I have seen, the gold on bedrock where the doodlebug didn’t go is very good, but it is a lot of work getting down to it.

    Some of the GOLD recovered.  The vial has one gram of sugar grain sized fines.  Another 1/2 ounce went to the refinery.

       Rocky Bar is a truly beautiful area, and one with a lot of history.   While it is a great place to visit, you must remember that most of the area is under claim.  If you wish to work in the Rocky Bar area, there are several clubs that have claims in this area.  Otherwise, contact claim owners and get written permission before working the area creeks.

    [ii] W.W. Stanley, 1968, Gold in Idaho, Pamphlet No. 68, Idaho Bureau of Mines p. 26-28.

    Rocky Bar, Idaho.  A right turn at the intersection will take you to Atlanta, another old mining town.