Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Coming Soon: "GOLD UNLIMITED" - A New Generation of Prospecting

A new non-profit organization is being formed, based here in Denver, CO with the mission of creating a new presence and a new identity for recreational gold prospecting, while protecting the rights of recreational gold prospectors that hopefully will parallel the great work of "Trout Unlimited" and what they have done for sport fishing.

Gold Unlimited will actively and legally protect existing recreational gold prospecting sites and locations while working to develop new sites.

Gold Unlimited will take the lead in forging a new image for gold prospectors as ecological conservationists leaving behind waterways that are cleaner, more inhabitable for fish and wildlife as well as being more enjoyable for future generations of prospectors.

Gold Unlimited will lead a new generation of gold prospectors seeking to leave behind a legacy of responsible mining for future recreational prospectors to follow.

Gold Unlimited is planning, in cooperation with the City of Arvada, it's flagship project, which will be the cleanup, restoration and preservation of Ralston Creek from it's headwaters, all the way downstream to it's confluence with Clear Creek at Gold Strike Park.

Ralston Creek is historically known as being the first gold discovery in Colorado. Unfortunately it is now known as being uninhabitable by fish and dangerous for recreation because of the buildup of broken glass, trash, sewage and debris in the streambed. In September 2011, Gold Unlimited will launch a systematic section-by-section cleanup of Ralston Creek, working with Trout Unlimited and the City of Arvada, calling on members and non-member prospectors to volunteer their time and equipment for the massive 5+ mile cleanup.

Gold Unlimited is also laying the foundation to challenge the cities of Boulder and Wheat Ridge on what many believe to be their unconstitutional ban on gold panning, rock collecting etc.

Watch for the official Opening Day launch in the next few weeks of the biggest thing to hit gold prospecting since..... gold itself. And become a proud member of the new generation of prospectors dedicated to leaving behind a stream more healthy and in better shape than we found it!

Coming soon....

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Challenging Spots for Gold Panning - "Cherry Creek"

From the Colorado Geological Survey, Department of Natural Resources, Denver, CO 2009

Challenging Spots for Gold Prospecting and Panning in Colorado

The Cherry Creek Divide Area
Araphahoe, Denver, Douglas and Elbert Counti

This area boasts the locations of the significant gold strikes of 1858 by William Greeneberry Russell and his party, which led to the "Pikes Peak or Bust" gold rush of the following year.

The first worthwhile goldstrike was on the South Platte River, in Denver County, near Overland Park between 8th Ave and Jewell. The most productive deposits found were on Big Dry Creek, Newlin and Russellville Gulches in the Cherry Creek drainage in Douglas County and on Ronk (now called Gold Creek) and Gold Run gulches to the east of Russellville gulch in Elbert County.

These placers were abandoned by the end of 1859, as the miners left for the richer goldstrikes at higher elevations such as Idaho Springs, Central City and elsewhere that same year.

However there has been both gulch and drift mining in the Cherry Creek drainage from time to time since, especially individual and small-scale operations during the depression and at other times as well.

The gulches in which the placers lie drain the Cherry Creek Divide, which is capped by the Oligocene Castle Rock conglomerate. This formation forms "Castle Rock" overlooking the town of the same name. To the NE of Castle Rock town the conglomerate has been eroded by streams and now is represented only by remnants capping buttes along the divide. Many hillslopes have residual pebbles and cobbles on them derived from the erosion of the conglomerate.

These are terraces or benches at many places along the streams. Along the S Platte the terraces are 40 feet above the level of the river. These benches extend into Cherry Creek and its tributaries, their height diminishing upstream.

Gold has been found in the terraces and in the stream beds. Testing has shown that gold in the bench placers lies on or near bedrock but gold in the stream beds is nearer the surface.

The Castle Rock conglomerate contains gold at numerous locations in this area.

In upper Newlin gulch near the forks, the lens shaped beds of gravel were found to contain up to one ounce of gold per ton in individual samples. These lens shaped deposits were 5-40 feet above modern stream levels, near the base of the Castle Rock formation itself.

The gold in the Castle Rock formation/Cherry Creek drainage placers was typically fine-grained - 10 to 50 colors per milligram. Miners described it as almost flour gold and complained of the difficulty of its recovery from the clayey gravel matrix. Even so, colors up to one-sixteenth inch diameter were found. The Castle Rock formation gold is among the purest placer gold on earth, characteristically about .990 fine!

The source of the stream and terrace placer gold is the Castle Rock conglomerate and fossil stream placers in it. That the source is fossil stream channels explains the erratic distribution of gold among the gulches and also the erratic distribution within each of the gulches.

Access is difficult because of the extensive development in the area. There is little water and the gravels must be packed out.

Remember to always get permission before entering any property, backfill all holes and leave your site cleaner than you found it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fairplay- Middle Fork of the South Platte River Report

We met up with a most wonderful and fun couple near Fairplay on Saturday along the Middle Fork of the South Platte River for a Goldstrike gold adventure.

This area was dredged by one of the largest dredges ever used in North America and left giant tailings piles as tall as a two story house, twice as wide and miles long, beside the river.

Working down in the river bed itself for flood gold was not very productive as the material is super compacted and yielded very little gold down to a depth of over two feet, even in the sandbars!

There are very few large boulders (if any) left in the river after the dredge went through, so working behind big boulders is not an option.

However the high bench above the river is a different story altogether. We had to carry the gold bearing material quite a distance to get to the river, but the results were satisfactory considering the possibility of finding a large nugget or two. At the end of the day, we had rounded up a nice catch in the pan and everyone was pleased with the results of the day.

Be careful and respectful of private property, we were able to obtain permission to utilize a spot just in-between prior dredging areas.

We also tested our new Gold N Sand hand dredge and it works beautifully.

No more losing gold off of the shovel, thanks Red !

Special thanks to Johnny Walker and Rocky Mountain Travel !

Contact Goldstrike Gold Experience to book your own Fairplay or other gold adventure at 405-464-3782!

North Fork of Clear Creek Prospecting Report

Image of Russell Gulch late 1800's -

We went up HWY 119 along and above the North Fork of Clear Creek on Friday and tested 4 locations.

Just below Rollinsville off S Boulder Creek is Moon Gulch which is lined with private property although we did find one spot where we could get access to the creek. Very hard compacted material with a steep canyon wall on one side and private property on the other. We did find color of the speck and spot variety but digging is very difficult.

Just below Moon Gulch is Gamble Gulch which again shows color but is almost all private property on the lower road.

Moving on down, we stopped off at a spot one of our Goldstrike clients researched and asked us about for an upcoming gold adventure. If you are considering Smith Hill Road and Smith Hill Gulch to the north off 119 below Blackhawk, forget about it... there are signs that state very clearly that any use of that area OTHER than hunting by state permit is strictly prohibited.

Moving on down the North Fork of Clear Creek, we stopped at a spot down near the confluence with Clear Creek and found decent although very fine color in holes already started by previous prospectors. Working in the streambed proved to be less than successful, finding benches and gravel banks above the stream is much more productive, but extremely difficult due to steep canyon walls and difficult terrain.

If you are planning a prospecting trip up the N Fork of Clear Creek, be prepared for tough going and spotty gold but also a most beautiful part of the Rocky Mountains.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Promoting Responsible Prospecting

Here is a sneak preview of some of the signs a few of us are considering constructing and putting up along Clear Creek and other waterways in order to preserve not only the beauty of our creeks, streams and rivers but to preserve our right to continue to prospect in numerous locations... responsibly.

If you have an idea for a clever sign to promote responsible prospecting, please post a comment!

Below are a few more to get you thinking-

"If ...You Packed It In,

Then ...You Pack it out." - Please Prospect Responsibly

"Let's Help Keep Colorful Colorado 'Color'-full"

- Prospect Responsibly


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The State Capitol Dome

(updated 08-16-2011 see bottom of post for update) - RD

The beautiful Colorado State Capitol building in downtown Denver in many ways symbolizes the lack of awareness and complete disrespect for Colorado's gold mining heritage.

From the state of Colorado website:
"Rising 272 feet, the distinctive gold dome has become an eternal symbol of our state's rich heritage. Originally the dome was covered in copper. Since copper was not a native alloy or resilient to the elements, the dome soon became tarnished and many citizens became displeased. The persistent Otto Mears convinced the Colorado Mining Association to donate 200 ounces of 24-karat leaf toward the gold dome project, and soon his dream became a reality. The Board of Capitol Managers spent $14,680 for the project and hired the company of F.T. Adam & George Murphy to gild the copper dome in 1908.

By 1948 the gold on the dome had begun to wear thin, and reporter Bert Hanna pushed the Colorado citizens to stand behind their symbolic monument. By 1949 the Colorado Mining Association was able to donate the gold needed, and the state paid the $25,000 necessary to restore the dome to its previous luster. The dome was also regilded in 1980 and 1991."

What the government website fails to mention is that it is now 'guilded' with not one flake of Colorado gold but instead with Italian Florentine gold.... SAY WHAT?

That's right, not Colorado gold or California gold or even Alaska gold... fine imported Corinthian leather... err gold.

Ask the average person in Colorado on what and why the state was founded and the most likely reply will be "uh tourism?"

So I guess it should be no surprise that the gold on top of the Capitol building of a state founded on gold is imported from a country that produced a fraction of the gold Colorado has.

I read somewhere that during the great depression, folks panned underneath the rain gutters around the Capitol building for enough money to eat.

I would like to call on all recreational prospectors and gold prospecting clubs in Colorado to join together with us here at Gold Strike and plan a state-wide gold collecting day where we all go to our favorite spot and collect gold for an entire day and donate it to the state treasurer for the expressed purpose of replacing that cheap imported gold for the real thing, as it was originally intended by the states founding fathers.

We might even convince some of the larger operations such as ARGO and Phoenix and even Cripple Creek to donate enough to get it done.

C'mon Colorado ..... imported gold on the state capitol, I mean really.... how embarrassing.

Contact us here if you are interested in such a combined effort to impact our state in a positive way.

UPDATE: 08/16/2011 - I just spoke with the project manager for the re-guilding of the dome for the State of Colorado. Ashante Mining Company (CC & V) Cripple Creek/Victor CO has donated the 60+ ounces of Colorado Gold to re-guild the dome with genuine Colorado gold.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Clear Creek Upstream Testing

We sampled and tested 7 new locations yesterday for the Goldstrike Colorado Gold Experience. I forget sometimes how slow and how much work and hassle panning for gold is compared to running the sluice or a highbanker.

At any rate, we started at 8am upstream from Idaho springs near Georgetown and worked our down stream to Trail Creek, sampled Trail Creek near the Phoenix Mine and then on downstream to Chicago Creek where we went up Chicago Creek and took a couple of samples, then stopped at the confluence of Chicago Creek and Clear Creek in Idaho Springs.

It is very tough going with the water as high as it is now, but our tests revealed quite a bit of information for the Goldstrike gold adventures operation.

We then made a couple of quick stops along HWY 6 on Clear Creek between tunnel #1 and the HWY119 split before stopping by one of our favorite places, Arapahoe City and the Arapahoe bar (even though it is very close to Coors, it's not that kind of bar) before heading home at 8pm.

Long day, sore hands and fingers and back and feet... well worth it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The 'Lost' Arapahoe Bar and City of Arapahoe

April 28th 1946 Monument dedication of Arapahoe City on left is Charles L Palmer the first known white child born and on the right is Souix Chief Big Snake. Courtesy Colorado Historical Society.

Located just east of the Table Mountains along the northern banks of Clear Creek west of today’s McIntyre Street, it was the fourth town established in northern Colorado, after only Auraria, Montana City and Denver. Arapahoe City was established by gold seekers adjoining their mining claims on Arapahoe Bar, the gold-laden placer bar of Clear Creek at this spot.

Although not long lived in and of itself, Arapahoe City would play an important role in the future of Jefferson County and Colorado. The story of Arapahoe City begins much earlier than its sesquicentennial of this year. In September of 1858 the Doniphan Party of gold prospectors, including Marshall Cook, arrived in Colorado and proceeded to prospect in the area of Vasquez Fork, as the river had come to be known. They were there to see what leads could be found, and upon investigation of Ralston Creek they were satisfied of the potential to find gold, having found float gold of a fine, flat and scaly character there. They proceeded to prospect upon the Vasquez at the eastern base of the Table Mountains. There, according to Cook, they encountered a mysterious sight:

"We found upon measurement and staking that the bar had been staked on some previous occasions but by who or when no record was left only that of the three to five boulders that marked the corner, being nearly half buryed (sic) in the earth denoting that many years had elapsed since being placed in their respective position marking the meets and bounds of former prospectors as well as our future wealth. The above mentioned boulders were about the size of a mans fist and larger, placed on the brink of the bar at regular intervals of one hundred feet apart lineal measurement, by the side of the ancient landmarks we placed our stakes with the no. of the claim marked there upon it."

As he would later discover, Cook had encountered the remains of the mining claims of the Estes Party, which had preceded his arrival there by 24 years. They had originally laid out their claims there in 1834. The new mining district of Arapahoe Bar had again located and confirmed the bounds of what was possibly the oldest mining claim in northern Colorado, laid out many years before the first widely noted gold discoveries in the region took place. Of the Estes Party, Cook wrote in the 1880s:

"Prospected along the eastern base of the mountains to head of the Platte not finding any paying prospects...they reached Vasques fork of the Platte where just below the two table mountains that the stream flowed between, on the bank of the Creek that is now known as Arapahoe Bar. Here they staked the bar into one hundred feet front measurement running across the width of the bar. The old corner I found in the winter of 1858 marked with from three to five boulders of regular intervals of one hundred feet apart and corresponded with the measurement made by Arapahoe Town company that relocated the same bar in the winter of ‘58. The Estes party mined in and along the creek banks until the water raised from the melting of snow then they tried the bar which did not pay with the Georgia rocker. From here the party worked their way north along the base of the mountains until they reached the Black Hill, where the party spent the next winter and did considerable mining that paid them the largest of any mining operation that they had been engaged in while out. The Indians became menacing and the miners through prudence the better part of valor, hid their tools where they worked last and returned to Mo... "

On November 29, 1858 the Arapahoe Town Company was organized and elected Marshall Cook as president, George B. Allen Secretary and Thomas L. Golden, Treasurer. The Arapahoe Town Company was very generous, allowing every settler a lot free of charge, with members of the town company required to build a cabin or home in a specified period of time. According to Golden, in writing to the Missouri Republican newspaper, the town received its name along some rather colorful reasoning:

"Indians are thick here. We apprehend danger from them. They have sent us word by some of their chiefs to quit their country, but we think we can stand them a rub, as we have 700 white men here. We have laid out a town by the name of Arapahoe City after the aborigenes."

According to old Jefferson County property records Arapahoe City appears to have been laid out in the standard grid system of the time and surveyed into blocks and lots. One direction of the town’s streets were lettered, such as A Street, B Street, etc. at least up to G Street, while streets in the other direction were numbered, at least up to 2nd Street. The townsite was laid out by George B. Allen. Arapahoe City initially served in part as shelter from the elements for gold seekers in the winter of 1858-59, which was very harsh. It also was like a base camp for miners to go and prospect in the mountains. Among these were two who had arrived, apparently individually, from prospecting on the Laramie toward the end of 1858, named George Andrew Jackson and John Hamilton Gregory. At Arapahoe City Jackson built himself a cabin and intended to remain there the balance of the winter. There he befriended Tom Golden, and continued to keep an eye out for gold. After prospecting on Clear Creek he was convinced he could find good amounts of coarse gold further into the mountains, and impatiently tried to find it but was stymied by the depth of snow on several attempts. However, his perseverance finally paid off when on January 8, 1859 he wrote in his diary:

“Well, Tom old boy, I’ve got the diggins at last…Dug and panned today until my belt-knife was worn out, so I will have to quit or use my skinning knife. I have about 1/2 oz. gold so will quit and try to get back in the Spring.”

Gregory, meanwhile, had also ventured into the mountains, eventually making it to the future site of Black Hawk. He found indications of gold; however, a snowstorm forced him to retreat to Arapahoe City. Both remained in town until spring. With whom he would entrust the secret men would kill for, Jackson wrote “Tom Golden is the only man who knows I found gold on the head of the creek, and as his mouth is as tight as a No. 4 Beaver trap, I am not uneasy.” Gregory told his secret to a few people, among whom was David K. Wall, who was starting out in farming in the Golden valley, who agreed to grubstake Gregory to provide him food for further prospecting efforts. Jackson and Gregory returned to and confirmed their discoveries, which proved to be among the most important in Colorado history. Also during that spring there was the first building boom in Jefferson County history in Arapahoe City, where around 20 buildings were built. Comprising most of the town’s construction to that time, they were not built close to the river where the mining district was, but upon the bluff overlooking it. Arapahoe City’s buildings were made up of log and frame structures, the largest known over time being a two-story frame commercial building with a false front. Also in 1859 the Casto-Kendall Company became the town’s first transportation firm. The first to take a wagon to the Gregory Diggings in May 1859, they had hauled the goods of the Gregory party themselves including only the front wheels of the wagons as no roads existed at the time. As a matter of fact, they went straight up the faces of the mountains, with the Gregory members walking alongside.

By the end of 1859 Arapahoe City had around 200 inhabitants. This was enough to warrant its getting the honor of having the first post office in Jefferson County, of which Asa Smith was postmaster, in 1860. During 1859 year Arapahoe inhabitants had numbered one-fifth of the number of delegates at the first Jefferson Territorial convention. At the constitutional convention held in Denver that August Arapahoe City sent the same number of delegates as the new upstart town of Golden City (7), including Marshall Cook, George B. Allen, Samuel S. Curtis, M. Chilcott, J.R. Gould, Asa Smith and W.L. Crocker.

Golden City was a new settlement just upstream which was named after Tom Golden at Jackson’s suggestion in June of 1859. It proved to be quite a competitor to Arapahoe City. Initially, late in 1859, the Jefferson Territorial legislature selected Arapahoe to be the first county seat of Jefferson County, on the 9th ballot. However, this decision was apparently deferrable to a popular vote of the people. Arapahoe City in early 1860 was a candidate to become the county seat of the newly created Jefferson County, but its votes were far outnumbered by the larger populace of Golden City. On January 2, 1860, Golden City was elected the Jefferson County seat with 401 votes to 288 for Arapahoe City and 22 for the paper town of Baden. In the July 1860 election to become the permanent seat of Jefferson County, Golden City won by a majority of 337 votes.

By the close of 1860, Arapahoe City had downsized to 21 buildings, and a total of 80 inhabitants. In time it faded away, with gold mined intermittently from its historic placer bar including hydraulic and dredge mining. The last Arapahoe City building at its site, the early home of the family of Jonas E. Wannemaker, burned to the ground in 1913. However, it is possible Arapahoe City buildings have survived elsewhere, as noted Colorado historian Jerome Smiley wrote “There were fifty or sixty cabins erected on the site. The rise and prosperity of Golden caused the decline and fall of Arapahoe. Many moved their log buildings to Golden.” Over time the townsite itself vanished. On April 28, 1946, the Colorado Historical Society placed a bronze marker on the site of Arapahoe City, and its general area, now known as Fairmount, remains today among the longest continuously settled places in Colorado.

gold was first discovered in Jefferson County, in 1834 at the placer sandbar of Clear Creek where Arapahoe City would stand. The Estes Party laid out our first mining claims with rocks and got gold using a Georgia Rocker until rising spring waters forced them out. 24 years later when the Doniphan Party arrived they found gold and realized the meaning of the now half-buried claim stones and laid the claims of Jeffco’s first mining district alongside them, from which Arapahoe City rose. People of Arapahoe wanted to find out where in the mountains the mother lode was where these daughter deposits in the sand bar washed down from.

John Hamilton Gregory came to Arapahoe City in January 1859. While finding mountain gold snow forced him back, and David K. Wall gave him food to follow up his find. On May 6, 1859 Gregory found the vein that revealed the great gold riches of today’s Gilpin County. Gregory’s and Jackson’s discoveries confirmed the faith of the miners and put the Gold Rush into full boom. After $21,000 made Gregory returned east and was never heard from again.

George Andrew Jackson came to Arapahoe City in late December 1858. With his partner, Thomas L. Golden, he went from Arapahoe and his camp in the Golden valley and explored for gold in the mountains. He struck the rich find of today’s Idaho Springs on January 7, 1859, sharing his secret only with Golden. Jackson’s and Gregory’s discoveries, putting the Gold Rush into high gear, were pivotal to creating Colorado. Jackson lived here the rest of his life until dying at Ouray in 1897.

Courtesey Colorado Historical Society and Frank Hall's History of Colorado,

Today, whatever remains of the Arapahoe bar itself is on Coors property and the all that remains of Aprapahoe City is the monument on McIntyre St (pictued above).

Finally, The Secret Free Gold Panning Spots in Colorado List

We see people searching all over the Internet looking for good places to go gold prospecting only to find that local gold clubs, forums and websites pretty much all simply cut and pasted the same 15 or 20 year old list of one free location and two or three pay/fee (not free) spots to find gold.

The only free location on "the" list is the section of Clear Creek West of Golden in Jefferson County on HWY 6 between the first tunnel and the split to Blackhawk/N. Fork Clear Creek which is partially open for prospecting, but it is steep and deep, parking is tricky at best and the gold is spotty.

NOTE: 6/2012- Mayhem Gulch area is CLOSED to gold prospecting within 100' of any trout habitiat there.
So with that in mind, here is the list that all the people in the clubs and groups and forums know about, and talk about, and go to, ...but don't bother telling you about. Probably because they are more interested in selling memberships than helping recreational prospectors.

Looking at google maps, start by searching Commerce City, zoom in and focus on Clear Creek. You will find gold the entire length of the Clear Creek from it's confluence with the South Platte River in North Denver/Commerce City all the way upstream to the town of Golden. Access is the tricky part.

Here are the locations along HWY 76 which follows Clear Creek from I-70 and Wadsworth to it's confluence with the South Platte.

NOTE: 6/22/2012- DREDGING and gas powered equipment is prohibited at ALL of the following locations according to Jefferson County Open Space, Adams County, City and County of Denver. DREDGE ONLY WHERE DREDGING IS ALLOWED!

Confluence Park on E 74th street west of HWY 85 (on the south side of 74th) is one of the first locations gold was found in the region by early prospectors and has good color in all sandbars and gravel banks along both Clear Creek AND the South Platte. During the great depression, the South Platte was line with gold panners. As the name implies, there is parking there.

At 70th and Gilpin there is a very nice park on the south side of the street (just west of the NAPA store) with tables, grills, shade trees and... oh yeah, reliable gold in the sandbars and gravel banks on both sides of the bridge.

Continuing west on 70th street, to Washington St, go south to the first parking lot on the right (west side). This is private property so you will need to ask permission. Go into Tymkovich Meats and ask, they will give you permission. Check out their quality meats and products while there and make sure you fill your holes and leave your site cleaner than you found it.

Continuing upstream, one of our favorite spots is at about 68th and Broadway. 4-2012-YOU CAN NO LONGER park at the back (SE corner) of the Clear Creek Business Park parking lot which has parking for trail access there. YOU WILL BE TICKETED and/or TOWED for parking in this lot.
The sandbars and streambed has good consistent gold of the small, medium and pretty good sized variety when the water is low enough to allow access.

I'm told that you can get down under the HWY 36 overpass also to prospect in Clear Creek there but I have not checked out the access or parking personally.

Goldstrike Park is at the confluence of Ralston Creek and Clear Creek. Both streams have a good supply of placer gold working its way downstream. This location is a little tricky to get down to the water during the monsoon season.

Wheat Ridge - WARNING, DANGER: Don't even think about it, gold prospecting was banned, even at Prospect Park, they will take your shovel and make a bowtie out of it for you. People are working to encourage the city to develop and implement a permitting system for gold panning and such, much like a fishing license.

Wheat Ridge has plans to annex Clear Creek from I-70 and Youngfield west one mile to Indiana street, as of this writing (Aug 2011) it is legal to prospect West of the I-70 Overpass.

NOTE: The Arapahoe Bar/Arapahoe City site is a very Sensitive area and is at risk:

If you do go there, please be respectful of the south side creek bank, grass and bushes along the shoreline as these prevent erosion of the Clear Creek bike path and trail above, therefore avoid any digging above the natural waterline at all these locations.

Practice responsible prospecting so we can keep this area open for future generations to enjoy. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate to neighboring Wheatridge that prospectors are as responsible as every other sportsman and have just as much right to access to the river and recreation.

Clear Creek History Park - Golden, CO. Take the Washington St exit off of HWY 58 going into Golden. Go south on Washington to 11th then go west to Arapahoe st. Parking on the left behind the Ball fields. Watch out for kayakers in your sluice box, but otherwise a beautiful and fulfilling location.

Clear Creek above Golden on HWY 6 - This is the area that virtually every website and gold prospecting club in Colorado tells you about. Yes, you can pan and even sluice upstream from Tunnel #1 to Tunnel 3, however there is a claim upstream from tunnel 3 to Elk Creek.

North Fork of Clear Creek HWY 119- To Blackhawk. You can get access just downstream from the convenience store which is about 2 miles upstream of the split from HWY 6. There are some holes already started which will deliver some fine gold in spots. Trying to work in the streambed on N Fork is futile at best. The soil is heavy clay material with tons of silt from the old mine tailings. There is also a small piece of BLM land marked by a roadside emergency phone upstream about 2 miles below Blackhawk which has produced some fine gold from the banks and benches up above the stream itself.

Now, going all the way back down to Ralston Creek, in Arvada, both Memorial Park and Hoskinson Parks have decent size gold, but this creek is littered with broken glass and trash, so beware and wear gloves/boots in it and bring a trash bag to remove any trash you come across. There is good parking along the street at both parks, watch out for flying discs at Memorial Park, (do NOT pick one up to throw it back) as this is a frisbee golf course.

South of Denver at the confluence of Dry Creek and the South Platte in Littleton, sandbars and gravel banks contain gold. Access is difficult, consult google maps before heading out.

Further southeast, Cherry Creek has fine gold south of Parker near Franktown and Castlewood Canyon (as well as Cottonwood creek) at the headwaters of Castlewood Canyon all the way downstream to downtown Denver's confluence park with the S Platte. This is a very challenging area with fine gold, private property and limited access to the benches and deposits above the stream.

Cottonwood park is just west of Parker road off of Jordan road at the north side of the town of Parker. There is good parking and access to Cherry Creek. Fine gold down fairly deep.

Hope this helps any new prospectors out there.

If not, at least the other prospecting websites have something new to cut n paste.