Gold Panning

How to Pan for Gold.  Try Your Luck!

If you know where to look, it’s not hard to find gold in Nevada County rivers.

Some of the most accessible gold panning locations are on the South Yuba River at Bridgeport, Edwards Crossing and Washington, and on the Middle Yuba River at Oregon Creek. These are public stretches of river so you don’t have to worry about claimjumping.

You’ll need a 12-inch or 18-inch gold pan (available at local shops), and a small vial for your gold flakes. You can only use your hands and the gold pan. No digging tools are allowed.

Look in old mine tailings, at turns in the river, around tree roots and at the upstream ends of gravel bars where heavy gold may settle.

Swirl water, sand and gravel in a tilted gold pan, slowly washing materials over the edge. Be patient, keep at it until you are down to black sand and, hopefully, gold.

Gold has a color all its own. You will be able to tell it from the brassier-looking pyrite, or Fool’s Gold. Mica is another common substance which has some glitter but breaks down upon touch.

Download Gold Mining History in Nevada County