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Where the Gold is!!!

Obviously, the first step in prospecting is to go where the gold is. In the past, this was by trail and error. Lots of time was spent exploring creeks, canyons, mountains, and rivers. Hoping to find some good color. Luckily for the recreational prospector, the continential United States have been throughly mapped. There are also historical records for most mining activity of the past 100 to 150 years. Therefore the first place to start looking for gold is to find where gold has been found before. This can easily be done on-line and at your local library. If you live close to a college that teaches geology, mining engineering or metallurgical engineering, their library probably holds significant amounts of information. Doing your research at home will increase your likelihood of success in the field.

Speaking of research, here are some books that might be of interest:

That said, here is list of states that have placer deposits. Click on the state that most interests you to see which counties have produced gold: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Recommended Books

If you want more percise information on locations within each county, I highly recommend becoming a member of the GPAA (Gold Prospectors Association of America - a non-profit organization). The author is a member and has been for several years. Upon joining the GPAA, you receive several wonderful gifts including their mining guide. The mining guide has hundreds of maps to mining claims throughout the United States. As a member, you have rights to prospect on all of them. If you want more information click on their logo.

DocCopper's Gold Prospecting Pages

DocCopper's Gold Prospecting
  Where the gold is
  Gold Locations East of the Rockies
  Getting started - Gold Prospecting Basics
  Advanced methods of gold recovery
  Gold from Black Sands
  Leaching of Gold
  Beware the hoaxes
  Beyond Prospecting
  ** Outdoor Cooking
  ** Wilderness Survival
  ** Amateur Astronomy
Gold Prospecting Links
  Gold Prospecting Links
  Australian Gold Links
Gold Prospecting Resources
  Gold Prospecting Books
  Gem and Rockhounding Books
  Fossil Books
  Amateur Geology
  Gold Prospecting Store


Chilton, Clay, Cleburn, Coosa, Randolph, Talladega, Tallapoosa


Most of the state has area with placers


Placer Gold Deposits of Arizona
Placer Gold Deposits of Arizona

Cochise, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Maricopa, Mohave, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, Yavapai, Yuma


Garland, Montgomery


Where to Find Gold in Southern California

Where to Find Gold in Southern California

Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Det Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Mono, Monterey, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Maneo, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Stanislaus, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolunme, Yolo, Yuba


Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Chaffee, Clear Creek, Costila, Delta, Denver, Dolores, Douglas, Eagle, Elbert, Freemont, Garfield, Gilpin, Grand, Gunnison, Huerfano, Jackson, Jefferson, La Plata, Lake, Larimer, Las Animas, Mesa, Moffat, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, Park, Rio Grande, Routt, Saguarche, Summit, Teller, Washington


Litchfield, New Haven


Cherokee, Cobb, Coweta, Dawson, Douglas, Elbert, Forsyth, Fulton, Gilmer, Gwinnett, Hall, Hart, Habersham, Haralson, Henry, Lincoln, Lumpkin, Madison, Meriweather, McDuffie, Newton, Oglethrope, Paulding, Rabun, Towns, Union, Walton, Warren, White


Ada, Adams, Bingham, Blaine, Boise, Bonneville, Camas, Clearwater, Custer, Elmore, Idaho, Kootenai, Latah, Nez Perce, Owyhee, Power, Shoshone, Valley


Brown, Carroll, Cass, Clark, Clinton, Deerborn, Franklin, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Knox, Montgomery, Morgan, Ohio, Owen, Pike, Warren


Aroostook, Franklin, Hancock, Kennebeck, Knox, Oxford, Penobscot, Somerset, Washington


Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Harford, Montgomery


Franklin, Hampden


Allegan, Antrim, Cass, Charlevoix, Emmet, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Marquette, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Oakland, Ontonagon, Wexford


Filmore, Scott


Adair, Livingston, LInn, Macon, Putnam, randolph, Schuyler


Beaverhead, Broadwater, Carbon, Cascade, Deer Lodge, Fergus, Flathead, Gallatin, Granite, Jefferson, Judith Basin, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Madison, Meagher, Mineral, Missoula, Park, Phillips, Powell, Ravalli, Sanders, Silver Bow, Sweet Grass, Toole


Where to Find Gold and Gems in Nevada
Where to Find Gold and Gems in Nevada

Churchill, Clark, Douglas, Elko, Esmeralda, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Pershing, Storey, Washoe, White Pine

New Hampshire

Carroll, Cheshire, Coos, Grafton, Sullivan

New Mexico

Colfax, Grant, Hildalgo, Lincoln, Otero, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Sierra, Taos

North Carolina

Avery, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Cherokee, Cleveland, Davidson, Gaston, Guilford, Jackson, Lincoln, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Rowan, Rutherford, Stanley, Translvania, Union


Adams, Clermont, Hocking, Licking, Morgan, Richland


Comanche, Greer, Jackson, Kiowa, Tillman


Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Grant, Harney, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Malheur, Marion, Union, Wheeler


Lancaster, Wyoming, York

South Carolina

Cherokee, Chersterfield, Greenville, Lancaster, Oconee, Pickins, Spartanburg, Union, York

South Dakota

Custer, Lawrence, Pennington


Blount, Monroe, Polk


Brewster, Hudspeth, Llano, Presidio


Beaver, Box Elder, Carbon, Daggett, Duchecne, Emery, Garfield, Grand, Iron, Juab, Kane, Millard, Piute, Salt Lake, San Juan, Summit, Tooele, Utah, Uintah, Washington, Wayne


Addison, Bennington, Chittenden, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Washington, Windham, Windsor


Buckingham, Carroll, Culpepper, Cumberland, Fairfax, Fauquer, Floyd, Fluvanna, Goochland, Halifax, Louisa, Montgomery, Orange, Patrick, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Warren


Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Clark, Douglas, Ferry, Grant, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, King, Kittitas, Lewis, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pacific, Pend Oreille, Pierce, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Stevens, Whatcom, Whitman, Yakima

West Virginia





Albany, Carbon, Crook, Fremont, Goshen,Johnson, Laramie, Lincoln, Park, Teton