Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Montana City: Ghost Town Gold or Bust?

I received an email from one of our Goldstrike Adventure customers (thank you Kevin) asking about the ghost town of Montana City as a possible location to include for our gold adventures. I had heard of Montana City and I had also researched the gold strikes at the confluence of Little Dry Creek and the South Platte River with some success, but had never put the two together... till now.

From Wiki-
"Montana City was the first settlement in what was later to become Denver, Colorado. It was established during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush on the east bank of the South Platte River, just north of the confluence with Little Dry Creek, in 1858. At the time, the site was in the Kansas Territory.

The site selected because it was adjacent to placer gold diggings along the South Platte River. However, the gold diggings at Montana City proved disappointing, and the site was soon abandoned in favor of the settlement of Auraria, a few miles downstream.

The Montana City site is now Grant-Frontier Park and includes mining equipment and a log cabin replica."

Two main groups of gold-seekers came to Colorado in the summer of 1858. The "Russell" group from Georgia founded Auraria while the "Lawrence" group from Lawrence, Kansas laid out Montana City near where present West Evans Avenue crosses the Platte River in Denver.

The "City" was abandoned by the winter and the group laid out the St. Charles townsite on the East bank of Cherry Creek. This letter was sent by a member of the Lawrence group.

"Here I am in the Gold Mines (so called) & I guess it is properly named, for I have seen the gold...There is quite a rush here to the mines, as there are within a few miles of this place over 500 persons. There were only about 30 or 40 when we arrived."

So, Kevin and I are going out on Friday to do some "testing" at Montana City together... hopefully you will see it added to our growing list of locations to choose your next gold adventure from.

UPDATE: Friday Oct 14th 10:30pm - Montana City is no bust!

Met with fellow Goldstriker Kevin and also a guy named Ron who has been coming down to the Montana City site for a few years now, emailed me about today and I now know why Montana City is his favorite place to pan.

First, what a beautiful place, once you get down into the river itself you are completely unable to see any sign whatsoever of a building or city... even though you are in the middle of one of the oldest industrial and business parks in Denver, the trees and riverbank shield the view. Simply beautiful I must say.

Oh yeah, about the gold. The clay false bedrock is down only a few feet at the most and in some cases is exposed. We found good amounts of fairly decent sized (12-20mesh) gold with lots of 100-400 mesh stuff underneath lots of dense black sands.

We have immediately added Montana City to our list of Goldstrike Adventure Locations. Call us if you'd like to try your luck at Montana City with our state of the art equipment.

As Kevin said today.... "Wow, you have all the toys".

"At your service", I added!


  1. That really is a pretty site, especially on the sunny, warm autumn day we got to enjoy! Of course the flakes of gold in my sluice were pretty too ;)

  2. This really IS a lovely site for some prospecting. One note for those who go visit - having some sort of hand dredge like the Gold-n-Sand Don uses is a smart idea. The hard clay bottom is quite uneven and of course the gold will settle in those little low spots your shovel cant easily get to under water.