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.


  1. One thing we learned from the samples and tests was that when you are upstream in the mountains, the gold is deeper in the streambed than down on the flatland.

    The deeper we went the better it was in fact.

    Found a layer of gravel that looks to be an old riverbed deposit near Chicago Creek and Clear Creek confluence. Water is too high currently to access.

    Gold up Trail Creek near the Phoenix mine is very fine.

    Downstream along HWY 6 between tunnel 1 and the 119 spit to Blackhawk is very difficult to work in the summer. Access is poor at best, especially near sandbars and less steep areas it seems. We have never had that great of luck on this stretch of Clear Creek.

  2. It does seem from our excursion that the BLM stretch along Hyway 6 is tough going. It sure is a scenic area however and there is some color there, its just a hit or miss proposition and is probably best to hit this area during low stream flow. I would say the best bet here is to prospect by pan & shovel for access and mobility to locate a promising spot first before trying to get more equipment in there. Be prepared to get wet and/or wear waders or a wet suit.

    Dave from Orlando