Friday, September 7, 2012

S Platte River "A CALL TO DUTY" Gold Prospectors Unite

If you are a gold prospector here along the front range of Colorado, you already know just how much trash and debris there is to be found in and along the S Platte River through the city of Denver. The Greenway Foundation has been working longer than anyone to clean and restore the S Platte River, over 20 years in fact!

Please join us and give back to the river that has given gold prospectors so much, so that future generations can enjoy the thrill of discovery in a healthy river!

CH2M HILL Fall RiverSweep 2012
Registration NOW OPEN! Click Here
The Annual Fall CH2M HILL RiverSweep is scheduled for Saturday, September 29th, 8 a.m. to noon. We are excited to announce our new Title Sponsor for both the Spring and Fall RiverSweep, CH2M Hill! The CH2M HILL Fall RiverSweep will once again be a part of National Public Lands Day and the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Clean Up. This will be the 20th consecutive year that Denver Parks and Recreation Volunteer Department and the Greenway Foundation have jointly collaborated in a 10-mile multi-jurisdictional cleanup. We would also like to thank our Partner Sponsors for their generous support. They include Zeppelin Developement/TAXI in RiNo, Garney Construction, REI Foundation, and Riverfront Park Community Foundation. We are very pleased to the have our returning sponsors Denver Parks and Recreation Department, City and County of Denver, SCFD, Riverfront Park Community Foundation, REI Flagship Store, Barefoot Wine and Bubbly, RTD Denver, Coca Cola and vitaminwater along with the support from the Greenway Preservation Trust. The event is open to individuals, companies, schools, clubs and neighborhood groups. Participants include members of Trout Unlimited, Denver Parks Recreation Department Volunteer Office, Urban Drainage Flood Control District, Coca Cola, Honest Tea, KIND Bar, Starbucks, Odwalla Juice, Whole Foods, Ocean Conservancy, Downtown Aquarium, and several others.
The Greenway Foundation hosts this event and is responsible for coordinating sponsorships, lunch, publicity and trash pickup. Urban Drainage and Flood Control District donates trash pickup and dumpsters, Liberty Waste Management donates portalets and hand washing stations, REI and Denver Parks and Recreation Volunteer office handles onsite volunteer signups, Downtown Aquarium provides parking for the volunteers, RTD Denver provides shuttle transportation for the volunteers, and local restaurants donate food for the volunteer luncheon following the event.

The purpose of the Greenway PURE Trash Reduction Campaign is to determine what types of trash are making it into the South Platte River in Denver and to use that information to create an education and outreach campaign intended to reduce the most common types of trash.

Starting at 8:00 on Saturday, September 29, 2012, PURE volunteers will be collecting trash from the banks of the River and creating an inventory of what’s there. Surveys will be conducted at Commons and Cuernavaca Parks, Johnson-Habitat Park, near Aqua Golf Pond, and at Riverpoint Plaza in Sheridan.
Groups supporting the PURE Trash Inventory include:
Confluence Kayaks
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8
Denver Department of Environmental Health
Denver Department of Parks and Recreation
Metro Wastewater Reclamation District
Urban Drainage and Flood Control District
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Coca Cola
Please download and bring with you the morning of the event the CH2M HILL Fall RiverSweep liability form, please click here.
For additional information or for Sponsorship Opportunities, please contact Cindy Shoemaker at 303-358-6696 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 303-358-6696 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or

For more information on gold prospecting in the S Platte River, contact

Monday, August 13, 2012

Adams County Implementing Changes To Clear Creek

"Stormwater Utility Implementation Project"

As Adams County develops it's long range plans for Clear Creek and the S Platte River, two critical aspects are stormwater management along with flood control measures.

Every recreational gold prospector and gold panner out there should be informed and engaged or risk being left out of the equation as plans are made and projects implemented.

Adams County allows recreational gold prospecting using "non-motorized equipment" (no dredges and gas powered highbankers according to Adams County Parks) in all it's open space and parks property along Clear Creek and also the S Platte River.

Again, we are urging all gold prospectors and small scale miners to PLEASE observe all laws. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to find out the laws whether those rules and regulations are posted on the creeks and rivers or not.

We encourage all recreational gold prospectors to get involved in your local community and also to support Gold Unlimited as we work to develop relationships with Adams County, City and County of Denver, Jefferson County and others to educate, preserve and secure the future of recreational gold prospecting in Colorado .

Visit for info.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Open Invitation to Gold Panners Everywhere

          An Open Invitation to all gold panners, music lovers and party goers near and far!


This is your personal invitation to attend the GOLDAPALOOZA II Party for Sept 1st 2012 at Vic's Gold Panning on HWY 119 in Black Hawk. If you missed the original Goldapalooza testbed party (pictured), now is your chance to get on the guest list for the real deal done big.   

    Goldapalooza II "The Red-emption"
            Order Admission passes at    WWW.GOLDAPALOOZA.COM OR

 ORDER PASSES ONLINE AND SAVE BIG! RSVP  and admission pass* required for entry to this private party pass, includes a full day of prospecting with your pan, sluice, highbanker or dredge and a sample bag of Goldstrike gold paydirt, games, contests and prizes PLUS a fastest panning contest, free event t-shirt, live creekside concert by the Broken Everlys (pictured above- rock and roll music) plus a performance by The Amazing Clam Daddys, PLUS a great creekside BBQ with all the fixins for everyone. Camping is free on a first come first serve basis (tents only) Space is limited, so get your admission passes* at now and RSVP ASAP with your number of guests. JUST $20 IN ADVANCE ONLINE OR $30 AT THE GATE DAY OF EVENT. Go to for details

Great fun and a full day of gold prospecting, free paydirt sample with guaranteed gold, event t-shirt, bbq dinner, live music, games, contests and prizes and much more!

Are YOU the fastest Gold Panner in the West?
Disassemble, move and reassemble, start and run our floatation dredge while timed! (2 person team)
Put your name on a free snuffer bottle and we dump em all in the creek, first snuffer to the finish line wins!
Throw a goldpan frisbee style for distance and accuracy!
Sit around the campfire and tell lies, this time for prizes!

Admission pass $30 per adult, kids under 16 are free with parents.
JUST $20 in advance ONLINE at
Family passes are $75 for up to 3 adults and the kids
JUST $50 in advance at
Includes a full day (and night) of prospecting at Vic's Gold Panning ($10+ value), a sample bag of Goldstrike paydirt with guaranteed gold ($20value), Event T-Shirt ($15value), BBQ Dinner ($15value), Live Music by the Broken Everlys ($20value) PLUS free tent camping (limited space rsvp early)!

Goldapalooza = Great Value, Great Food, Great Fun, Great Music and Great Gold...


Friday, June 22, 2012

Vote to help win $100,000 to improve Confluence Park!

Vote to help our friends at The Greenway Foundation win $100,000 to improve Confluence Park! Cast your vote in Coca-Cola’s “America is Your Park” campaign, and “check in” at Confluence Park with FourSquare to cast 100 votes!

The award will be based on the highest number of votes cast for the winning park. Citizens of all ages can vote by following the simple steps below:
1. Visit the Coca Cola Live Positively Site by clicking this link~
2. Once at that site click step one and vote online. You can use the map or search for Confluence Park at the top under “Park Name”.
3. You can vote online as many times you would like, per day, per hour, leading up to the deadline of July 15, 2012.
4. You can also choose step Two on the Live Positively site and check in at Confluence Park with Foursquare. For each check in, we will earn 100 votes each time you “check in” from Confluence Park. Just click the Foursquare link on the Live Positively site to accept the permission. Then from your Foursquare app on your smart phone, go to “Outdoors”, choose “Map”, pin “Confluence Park”,

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dredge ONLY Where Dredging is Allowed !

In recent weeks there have been a number of incidents involving gold prospectors using gas powered dredging and highbanking equipment down here on the flatlands in city parks and open space areas where such things are prohibited. We have heard concerns expressed by the cities of Denver, Wheat Ridge as well as Adams county about this activity and there is currently much discussion about “what to do” about "the situation".

Denver Parks and Rec already has provisions prohibiting the use of ANY gas powered motorized equipment in ANY park and/or along the River. There are also water quality and permitting issues.

Therefore, Gold Unlimited is calling on all recreational gold prospectors to obey all city and county regulations. In addition we ask that in order to preserve recreational gold prospecting for future generations that all suction dredging, dry dredging and highbanking cease along the entire Clear Creek corridor below Coors to the confluence with the South Platte River as well as along the South Platte River itself from Littleton through Adams County to the north.

While there are applications where suction dredging can be beneficial to streams and rivers, when and where these activities take place is a matter left to those responsible for cleanup and restoration and ia subject to local, state and regional regulations and policies and NOT to the individual prospector.

Please join with us as we celebrate our gold mining heritage, teach new generations of gold panners to prospect and restore our rivers and creeks. Also, we ask that you join us in making others aware that gas powered suction dredging is for upstream where it is allowed by Jefferson County Open Space and on other state and federal lands and is NOT for use downstream in city parks.


Gold Unlimited is working with the Greenway Foundation and various city, county and state government agencies to publicize rules, guidelines and permitting policies pertaining to gold prospecting including dredging activities.
We all need every prospector to use good judgment, leave no trace and always follow the laws and rules relevant to your activity.

Colorado is a special place where we are fortunate to have so many different outdoor activities to enjoy, we all need to do our part to ensure this remains true 150 years from now.

Support our effort to preserve our heritage and don’t dredge where is is NOT ALLOWED!

Please contact us if you see anyone dredging in city parks or with any questions or comments about gold prospecting and or dredging.
Don Finley Vice President Gold Unlimited
Red Wilcox  President Gold Unlimited
Arvada Colorado USA 
Gold Unlimited - "Preserve the Past, Secure the Future"
(image above of legal dredging above tunnel 3 on Clear Creek in Jefferson County Colorado, photo by Ryan)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Goldstrike Adventures: What we do and what we don't do

As with anything else there is much speculation about what Goldstrike Adventures is, what we do and how we do it.
This is to hopefully clear things up for anyone who might be confused.

We teach recreational gold prospectors the skills required to find gold and collect gold.

We sometimes go to public locations that happen to also be historic, which makes the experience more interesting and informational but is insignificant to learning how to prospect, how to pan and how and get your clean gold into a vial for display. We don't charge for the location, we charge for the learning experience.

We teach new prospectors and experienced prospectors the latest panning methods and tricks, how to setup and run a sluice box two ways, how to hand dredge, how to run a highbanker, Gold Cube, or a suction dredge system... A to Z.
We don't rent equipment or sell secret locations... our locations are listed on this very blog.
We always teach our guests to be responsible gold prospectors with an emphasis on aquatic and riparian benefits by following a few simple guidelines provided by our state of Colorado and National Forest Service aquatics and riparian biologist consultants.
We never dig in the banks, shorelines or under vegetation in sensitive areas nor allow our guest to.
Under the guidance of our consulting riparian biologists, we remove toxic and noxious invasive weeds allowing natural vegetation to thrive.
When digging in high benches or dry gulches, we always fill holes and repair the area before leaving that day.
We teach digging within the streambed itself and staying well away from structures, overpasses and artificial fish habitats.
We do remove trash and debris like glass, mercury, fish hooks, line and lead sinkers from the rivers and creeks we utilize.
We teach proper cleaning of waders, boots and other equipment that might carry invasive species to other streams.
We show new prospectors all the tricks in the book for finding gold and a few that aren't in the book.
We never use gas powered pumps and suction dredges or highbankers at sensitive areas like Arapahoe City, Ralston Creek and other endangered locations, whether it is legal to do so or not. Our belief is that public perception far outweighs being right or wrong in these cases and we should make every effort to preserve our endangered spots.
We have fun on every single adventure we conduct.

We have numerous repeat customers and many of our customers are local prospectors who have been striking out for years, young prospectors and older alike. Local prospectors utilize us to get a chance to learn all about running a dredge or big highbanker for a day or perhaps try out a Gold Cube before buying one.

We have taken out over 100 guests since we opened for business last fall and consider most if not all of of the Goldstrike alumni friends now... and we hope you will become one too.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Gold Unlimited Welcomes Keene Engineering

Keene Engineering is teaming up with Gold Unlimited as a corporate sponsor to help bring the hobby of recreational gold panning to kids across Colorado!

As part of Gold Unlimited's commitment to The Greenway Foundation, we have recruited Jerry Keene himself to help Gold Unlimited provide thousands of gold pans to middle and grade schoolers in Colorado. Our initial goal is to teach every child in Denver to pan for gold.

Keene Engineering is the industry leader in recreational gold prospecting equipment and is committed to supporting the future of our great hobby.

In addition, Keene Engineering will be assisting Gold Unlimited with the upcoming Greenway Foundation S Platte River SWEEP Day on Sept 29th 2012!

Thank you to Keene Engineering and welcome aboard!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Gold Unlimited Teaming Up With The Greenway Foundation!

Gold Unlimited Association of America is very proud to announce that we are adding the Greenway Foundation to our growing list of allies as we push forward with efforts to preserve existing gold panning sites while expanding and developing new locations for recreational gold prospectors along the S Platte River near downtown Denver.

Since 1974, The Greenway Foundation has led efforts to

  • Reclaim the South Platte River and its tributaries from a virtual cesspool to a place of environmental and recreational pride

  • Construct more than 100 miles of hiking and biking trails

  • Create 20+ parks and natural areas

  • Design and build numerous whitewater boat chutes

  • Vastly improve the health of the South Platte River Watershed and its habitats

  • Provide environmental education to more than 60,000 school children

  • Provide free riverside concerts and cultural events to thousands of residents and visitors

  • Employ more than 100 teenagers in youth employment programs

  • Helped create over $100 million of green improvement to the South Platte River and its tributaries, facilitating over 10 billion in residential and commercial development throughout the Denver Metro area.
Gold Unlimited will be assisting with the Greenway Foundation's South Platte River Environmental Education (SPREE) program with our "Pans N Hands" youth panning educational program which encourages "unstructured outdoor activity" for children helping to prevent NDD (Nature Deficit Disorder) and treat ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). According to recent research, one of the best activities a child can engage in is simply going down to the local creek or stream and playing in the rocks and water. Gold Unlimited will be providing a free gold pan to every student that participates in the SPREE gold panning excursion and weekend gold adventure excursions.
CALLING ALL GOLDIGGERS- Gold Unlimited will also be calling on all Colorado gold prospectors, miners, panners and other goldiggers to come out on September 29th to participate in the Greenway Foundation S Platte River SWEEP cleanup day if possible.

We will encourage legal, safe and existing approved methods to assist in the cleanup of the S Platte river within the existing framework of the SWEEP program, Urban drainage and other agencies involved to ensure a positive experience for everyone involved.

We will not be promoting the use of suction dredges this year in the cleanup due to concerns over their use in this section of river.
Stay tuned and help us get the word out on this fantastic opportunity to show Colorado what a valuable resourse we have in our gold prospecting community.
UPDATE TO POST BELOW REGARDING GFP - Montana City gold panning to remain open to recreational gold prospectors! According to the RISO master plan, future development includes recreational gold panning at Grant Frontier Park (Montana City) and we are working to assure gold panners that Grant Frontier Park will remain open to gold panning and prospecting just as it has for over 150 years.

In addition, Gold Unlimited will be working with the Greenway Foundation to ensure that other traditional historic gold panning locations including Montana City (Grant Frontier Park), Auraria and others remain or are developed as a place for recreational gold prospectors to visit for generations to come.

UPDATE: 6/20/2012- Gas powered motorized equipment of any kind is NOT allowed in Denver City parks, open space nor by Denver Urban Drainage. Please be aware that suction dredging is NOT allowed at Grant Frontier Park.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Denver RISO master plan ignoring Recreational Gold Panning?

I noticed some chatter on one of the local prospecting forums about concerns regarding plans for Grant Frontier Park/Montana City which is on the S Platte River near Evans and Santa Fe, and so I decided to check it out.

Be very concerned if you are a recreational gold prospector who likes to pan for gold on the S Platte River.

The RISO Master Plan developed in 2009 by the City of Denver, describes in great detail the plans to create boat ramps, swimming areas, fishing areas, wetland areas, wildlife habitat and walkways along the S Platte River including the Grant Frontier Park site... with no mention of gold panning or prospecting in any way except in their proud description about the ancient history of the S Platte River and Montana City.

There are also plans to change the river channel and streambed itself to benefit recreational boating and fishing without any apparent regard or mention of the consequences for recreational gold panning. "In-channel recreational improvements" as they call it, involves drop structures, manmade eddies and gradient changes to alter the natural deposition of material in the streambed.
Plans also include changing the natural bank, planting vegetation and creating riparian areas along the shoreline as well as adding additional bike paths, all of which would preclude putting your shovel in the ground.

We will be contacting the city of Denver in the next few days to discuss this obvious unintentional oversite and hopefully help them include the most historic recreational activity of all in their plans for future recreational activities on the S Platte River.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Snowstorm Dredge and South Park

While researching information on the possible whereabouts of the Eleanor 2 dredge that originated at the ghost town of Arapahoe City in order to possibly return her to her birthplace, I came across another historic dredge that needs saving too.

The famed Snowstorm dredge near Fairplay Colorado is the largest dredge ever used in Colorado and was in operation until the mid 1960's. It now rests in it's final pond in the middle of a sand and gravel operation.
(photo from colorado preservation inc)
The Park County Heritage Resources Center and Colorado Preservation inc are working to preserve or even move the dredge in order to avoid it being dismantled or lost, but efforts so far are sketchy at best.

According to Linda Balough of the Park County Heritage Resources Center, the status and future of the Snowstorm Dredge is unkown at this time.

After discussions with Linda I believe that the site surrounding the Snowstorm Dredge be acquired and preserved for future generations.

Linda dreams of a large park with the Snowstorm right in the middle, where people from all over the world can learn about the history of mining and even pan or sluice for gold themselves while there. Tours of the dredge and a visitor center could draw thousands each year to Park County.
The city of Fairplay already embraces and celebrates the recreational gold prospector by being the first city in the state to open a public owned gold panning area. "The Beach" as it is called has been a very successful example of what such a park can be.
However the town of Fairplay, Park County and a host of other groups and individuals have not been able to raise the funds to obtain and move the dredge... so she sits and rots away, waiting.
Gold Unlimited will be offering assistance to Park County and those involved in saving the Snowstorm Dredge as we work to have up to 5 historic sites in our state designated state gold panning parks open to the public for generations to come.

UPDATE: 5/1/2012 We are in ongoing discussions with the owners of the site and the snowstorm dredge to make a serious attempt to acquire this historic relic.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Adams County Gold District?

photo of "The Big Bend" in Adams County by Ryan Finley- All rights reserved

Adams County Open Space is currently developing it's long range plan for how they utilize their vast open space resources. Dennis D and myself attended meetings this week where ACOS is taking input from the public on what people would like to see and what activities people are most interested in participating in.

We were able to draw on large maps exactly where we would like to see future gold panning parks established in Adams county. I placed 5 locations on the map that we have researched and would make ideal recreational gold panning parks. A place we named Big Bend (pictured above) is one of those places that would be ideal for a future gold panning park.

The staff at Adams County Open Space were very receptive to our ideas and we have been invited to attend a Forum on April 30th to promote these very ideas and Gold Unlimited in general.

Adams County Open Space includes Clear Creek from about 70th and Broadway all the way east to the confluence with the S Platte River AND includes the S Platte River from about 2 miles south of the confluence with Clear Creek to about 88th ave. This forms a giant "T" shaped area that we have designated the Adams County Gold District.

The future of recreational gold prospecting depends on our ability to access local streams, creeks and rivers that are not blm or national forest, but are open space and city parks.
The mission of Gold Unlimited is to maintain and increase your ability to access these public lands, no other organization is focused on this critical aspect of recreational gold prospecting.
don finley
Gold Unlimited

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Authorized Denver Gold Cube Dealer

We are proud to announce that Goldstrike Adventures is now the official authorized Denver dealer for the amazing GOLD CUBE !
Now you can order your Gold Cube from Goldstrike online at and arrange for same day or next day local pickup and delivery right here in Colorado, plus local service after the sale!

Why order your Gold Cube from Goldstrike if you don't live in Colorado?
We are the ONLY Gold Cube dealer that provides a FREE 3lb bag of Goldstrike paydirt with your Gold Cube... so your Gold Cube comes with everything INCLUDING the gold!

Deluxe 3 stack GOLD CUBE kit is only $389.00- (12v battery not included) Includes a FREE 3lb bag of Goldstrike Paydirt
Deluxe 4 stack GOLD CUBE kit is only $479.00  (12v battery not included) Includes FREE 3lb bag of Goldstrike Paydirt!

Used and praised by "Dakota Fred" on the discovery channel hit show "Goldrush Alaska" the Gold Cube is a super concentrator highbanking sluice system for creekside use that can be used as a recirculating gold recovery system in your garage or home!

While the average gold panner can pan around 8-10 pans per hour totalling 25-30lbs, the Gold Cube can process over 1,000 lbs per hour and the name of the game in gold prospecting is moving material. The Gold Cube catches all of the gold including the finest flour gold like we see here in Colorado!

If you would like to TRY a Gold Cube before considering purchasing one for yourself, just call us and book one of our half-day guided gold adventures using the Gold Cube for a fraction of the cost!

The Gold Cube is simply the most versatile, portable, compact, economical and efficient gold recovery system on the market today!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Making Headway on Gold Panning Park?

                            (Photo of Arapahoe City historical marker courtesy of Denver Public Library)

We have arranged for a meeting with Colorado House Representative Sue Schafer on April 21st to discuss GU's proposal for setting aside certain historic sites as state gold panning parks.

Assisting us will be GU Board member Dave Winters and his team of Aquatic and Riparian biologists who will discussing the advantages and benefits and even the concerns of such a park to the host river or creek. Dave is also the State of Colorado National Forest Service Aquatic and Riparian biologist.

Colorado historian and GPAA Denver chapter club president Johnny Walker will provide additional support and background from a historical perspective.

We will demonstrate for Rep Schafer's chief of staff Mekyle Lockwood how to pan for gold and teach them everything there is to know about how and where.

Our goal is to not put the gold prospector in any kind of box, on the contrary, we desire to set prospectors free from only relying on the blm or someone else's claim to prospect.

As it currently stands, there is virtually no unified voice for the recreational prospector fighting for his right to pan in the local park or open space. Organizations like the GPAA and PLP are great and do great work, we are not in competition with them but support all their efforts as hopefully they will ours. However we recognize also that a great majority of prospectors will never file a claim and deserve to be able to continue going down to that local little creek that has been good to them for any number of years and dip their gold pan in that water.

With ever shrinking blm land available to file claims on and considering most recreational panners never file a claim, there is also a need to protect public lands not available for claiming commercially, (small scale or otherwise) but are ideal for recreational prospectors.

Cities like Boulder, Breckenridge and even Wheat Ridge have been able to legislate the gold prospector out of places as historic as "Prospect Park" without even hardly a whimper from the gold community and Wheat Ridge is looking to expand it's ban on panning further upstream on Clear Creek to the Coors private property boundary.

It is time that Colorado recognize the significance and contributions gold prospecting has brought to this state and celebrate the rich heritage and history gold mining instead of pretending this state was founded by accident.

Hopefully in the next few months and years we will work together to make that happen.

Don Finley

Did you know?
Colorado is one of the few Rocky Mountain states that does NOT have a gold panning park or preserve?

UPDATE: 4/19- Joining us at the meeting and down at the creek to learn about gold panning and the plans for the Arapahoe City gold panning park will be author and Colorado historian Rick Gardner of the Gardner Historical and Preservation Society.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Can I Do Some Small Scale Mining In Your Backyard?

During a casual conversation with the President of a local GPAA gold prospecting club, I used the term "Recreational Prospecting" and was instantly admonished and told that the "correct" term we should be using (according to him) is "small-scale mining" or "small-scale prospecting" because (according to him) using the term "recreational" puts us (recreational prospectors) at the mercy of local governments and regulating committees without any power to fight for our right to pursue our passion.
Those of us involved in the formation of Gold Unlimited believe the exact opposite is true and that by relying on mining laws (small scale or otherwise) which do absolutely nothing for recreational prospectors, those who advocate the term "small-scale mining" are contributing to the continued loss of public lands available to pursue our hobby.
Mining laws do nothing to protect your ability to prospect "recreationally" in public parks and along public trails or other developed public lands. If prospectors are left to ONLY prospect on a claim or potential claim, then prospecting as we know it is dead and 99% of the places to prospect, pan, sluice and highbank are gone and off limits. Here in Colorado we are seeing the continued shrinking of available public places to prospect before our eyes. We have seen gold panning banned in Wheat Ridge, Boulder and even Breckenridge without even a whimper from national and local prospecting clubs. There is a park in Wheat Ridge named "Prospect Park" where any form of prospecting is illegal. Ironic?
We believe that the real power to preserve the future of recreational gold prospecting lies in the fact that it is "recreational" and not commercial. For example do sport fishermen consider themselves "small-scale fishing operations"? Of course not.
Consider it from the perspective of a land owner or claim owner that you are approaching to prospect on his (or her) land...
You have two choices here for the question to ask the land owner.
Question #1- "Would you mind if I went down to the creek behind your house (or business) there and do some "small-scale gold mining"?
Question #2- "Would you mind if I went down to the creek behind your house (or business) to do some "recreational gold prospecting"?
If YOU were the land (or claim) owner, which question might be more likely to get a "yes" answer from you?
If you are a city, county or other government agency, which question is more likely to get a "yes" response?
If we are to retain our ability to have access to public land for the purpose of our hobby then we need to educate the public on what we are doing instead of confusing them with incorrect terminology.
We are NOT small-scale gold miners unless we are out there on open blm land prospecting for the sole purpose of filing a claim. If you are on land that is un-claimable like city, county, parks, etc. then there is no reason for you to be there prospecting as a small scale miner since you cannot file a claim there.
Dakota Fred and the Hoffman boys are "small-scale miners". Jesse Peterson owner of Vic's is also a small scale miner.
We are Recreational gold Prospectors. It is a hobby, a sport, a recreation and NOT a commercial endeavor and therefore should NOT be regulated in the same fashion as small-scale miners and should not be limited to the same guidelines and rules as commercial small scale mining operations.
Recreational prospectors have the power in our number should we band together as one force like fishermen, kayakers and other recreational groups have done. There are millions of recreational prospectors across the US and maybe a few thousand small scale miners at most, yet millions are spent proctecting the rights of the miners and virtually zero is spent protecting the rights of the recreational prospectors.
We will be speaking at local GPAA clubs on this very subject and welcome any debate or input as we seek to protect the rights of recreational prospectors just as other groups have fought and won for access to steams for other recreational purposes which were far less historically significant as gold prospecting.
Denver Colorado was literally built over 100 years ago with the gold that was panned out of the S Platte River, Clear Creek and it's tributaries and we believe that people 200 years from now should have the right to experience that same thrill as those early frontiersmen did.
We invite all prospectors (recreational and otherwise) to join us as we change the perception of what gold prospecting is all about and protect future generations rights to experience this great recreational activity.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Gold Unlimited Teams Up With State Aquatics and Riparian Biologists

Here are a few pictures from one of our days on the stream with state of Colorado aquatics and riparian biologists Dave Winters with the National Forest Service, Paul Winkle with the Colorado Division of Wildlife and Parks, Jay Thompson from the BLM, Deb Grieco from the National Forest Service and Bill Janowsky also from the National Forest Service!
A little snow didn't dampen the spirit of these folks, they were "on the gold" and having fun!
This team of state biologists will be helping Gold Unlimited start off on solid ground in terms of what gold prospectors are doing in the streams and to the streams and also with education of the general public about prospecting and educating prospectors about implementing proper methods of creating fish habitat and restoring creek banks and shorelines.
Special Thanks to "Red" Wilcox, Kevin Singel, "Yukon Jim" Blankenship and Johnnie Walker for helping make this day a reality!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Group Seeking to Create Permanent Historic Gold Panning Park

How many gold prospecting clubs and organizations have marine biologists working with them?
One of the first things to come out of our recent activities with a group of aquatic and riparian biologists from the National Forest Service, BLM and Colorado Dept of Parks and Wildlife was that one of the sections of Clear Creek that we took them too known as Arapahoe City/Arapahoe bar, should be "set aside forever by the State of Colorado for the specific recreational purpose of gold panning and recreational prospecting".
Yes, you read that correctly my friends.
With the Republic of Wheat Ridge perched like a vulture waiting for the land near this location to sell so they can quickly annex it for the tax revenue, we are facing a certain loss of accessibility here if something isn't done and done quickly.
According to these 5 top experts in their field (aquatic and riparian biology), nothing that recreational gold prospectors are doing in this section of the creek has any measurable or permanent or long term impact on the creek or the water quality regarding fish, wildlife and vegetation yet the perception by passers by on the bike trail is just the opposite.
Last weekend prospectors were approached by a woman who vowed to get whatever they were doing in that creek outlawed and banned as she claimed they were killing fish and scaring the ducks away. Panning is already against the law less than a few hundred feet from this location in the City of Wheat Ridge.
Arapahoe City itself is perhaps one of the most important gold panning locations in Colorado history. From John Hamilton Gregory to George Andrew Jackson, even Tom Golden and the Estes Party and Lewis Ralston.... all of these men lived at Arapahoe city where they could pan enough gold during the harsh winters to survive until spring year after year until the more famous mother lode gold strikes were made near Central City and Idaho Springs.
You might even say that Arapahoe City, the gold and the men who lived there built Denver.
If ever a site deserved to be set aside as a permanent tribute to the men and women who panned those waters 150 years ago, it is Arapahoe City where you can still find the best gold around to this very day and according to the School of Mines.... forever. Future generations should be able to come here and pan the same water and find gold just like John Hamilton Gregory and Lewis Ralston did back in the early 1850's and those of us charter members of Gold Unlimited are going to try and make that happen.
Please join us as we undertake this monumental task... it will take the teamwork of virtually every recreational gold prospector in Colorado, (along with our group of most generous and helpful state marine biologists, a couple of historians, native Americans and Gold Unlimited org) so we invite GPAA clubs and individuals alike to help.
email us at for info on how you can help make the Arapahoe City Gold Panning Park a reality!
Images from the Arvada Gardner Society.

Gold Etiquette 101

Of course just about everyone knows that you should never walk directly upstream of someone else's sluice box but...
What is it about gold prospectors that makes them pass up a quarter mile of good digging spots where no one is digging that day to come down and set-up right on top of the first prospectors they come across?
It reminds me of the novice or casual fishermen that move in right on top of you to the point of throwing their line right across yours ending up in a tangled mess.
I don't know about you, but when we go out to the river or creek, it's as much to enjoy the beauty of being somewhere on a creek semi-alone without feeling like you might as well be at the mall, elbow to elbow with shoppers fighting for a sale item.
We were at the Arapahoe bar today conducting one of our guided gold adventures and letting our customers enjoy the beautiful day on the creek and had intentionally picked a spot away from our usual locations... with a quarter mile of river in either direction open and available and with good gold, two different prospectors came down and set up within a few feet of our setup.... in fact their sluice was in between our sluice and where we were digging so now we have to go around them to get to the hole we were working.
So please, as we teach prospectors on our guided adventures... give other people some space and pick a place far enough from others so as not to impact their day and in the process it will make your day a little better too.
Goldstrike Adventures

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mud & Wading Boots- A Case For Cleaning Your Gear

In our ongoing conversation with Colorado aquatics biologists, we are learning that there is much we can do as recreational gold prospectors to be proper stewards of our public waterways.
One big problem in virtually every state (including Colorado) are the non-native invasive species and diseases that are attacking our streams such as whirling disease.
As prospectors working down in the streambed and moving from stream to stream... perhaps even state to state most are unaware of the potential contamination that can and does occur via your equipment including your waders.
Below is just one article on this subject written for anglers but certainly applies to anyone in the water.
"Gear cleaning, does it really make a difference?
by Leah C. Elwell
That is a question that many people ask when they learn that they are being asked to carefully clean their gear after each use. After all, many people reason, ‘I really don’t do anything that makes me especially different and, I am in a hurry to get home after fishing and after all, I really don’t see why cleaning is so important’. The truth is that any one of us could be the one to transport a devastating new species to our favorite water. Proof that we need to clean is well documented and cleaning is something we all should do every time.It has long been suspected that anglers are able to transport invasive species with dirty equipment. By their very nature, many aquatic invasive species have qualities that allow them to survive adverse conditions. Also they tend to be small and can come in contact with different types of river users (anglers, boaters etc). For example, the larval form of zebra mussels is transparent, microscopic, and can survive out of water for 7 days. These kinds of traits in a species (which are common among many other invasives) are reason for concern. These traits make it likely for us to be transporting mud that contains invasive species on our fishing gear.
In this article, we summarize a few scientific studies that looked at dirty gear and its ability to transport aquatic invasive species. The first study took a detailed look at anglers and their ability to move soil between angling access sites and across the country (Myxospore detection in soil and angler movement in southwest Montana: Implications for Whirling Disease Transport by K.Gates). As well as collecting mud stuck to wading gear, the study also surveyed anglers about their invasive species knowledge and their cleaning practices. There are a number of interesting facts that emerged from her analysis.
Some of the most relevant details are highlighted here.Mud on Boots: One hundred and six mud collections were taken from boots of both resident and non-resident anglers. The mean amount of mud per boot was 8.39 grams. Let’s translate this into a number that mean something to us. If we convert this amount of mud to pounds and then determine the number of anglers it would take to generate a significant amount of mud. It would only take 27 anglers to move one pound of mud on their boots. To put this into the context of possible real-life scenario, let’s consider an average season for a fishing guide. The average fishing guide in Montana might have around 100 guide days with 2 clients per day. That is a total of 200 clients with boots coming from outside the Fact: One pound of mud is brought region or the state. If we use our 1 pound of mud forto the stream on boots with every 27every 27 anglers, then those 200 clients are bringing in anglers who fish.over 7 pounds of mud from their home river. If we consider that this 7 pounds of mud came from only one guide’s clients for the season, then we are really talking about hundreds of pounds of mud being moved around by the huge number of clients in a fishing season. These hundreds of pounds are likely moving invasive species from spot to spot. A couple of interesting points from the study related to Fact: Anglers show up at the river mud on boots to consider. When the resident and non-with mud on their gear.resident boot mud quantities were compared there was no difference between the two. Also, mud was collected both from angler boots that were arriving and departing from a fishing access site were compared and found there was no difference in the amount of mud collected from boots that were arriving or leaving a site. This tells us that regardless of where you live, anglers tend to have similar habits and all anglers have dirty boots.Angler Movement: When anglers were asked about their fishing activities seventy-four percent of Montana residents and 72% of non-residents planned to fish again in the next 7 days. Three percent of Montana residents and 14% of non-residents planned to fish out of state in the next 7days. These survey numbers tell us that anglers are highly mobile and are people that tend to visit new waters fairly regularly.Cleaning Practices of Anglers: When anglers were asked in the survey about their cleaning practices, it was clear that cleaning was not an overwhelming priority. Fifty one percent of Montana residents and 49% of non-residents said they occasionally, rarely or never clean their boots and waders in between uses. Twenty-five percent Fact: About half of anglers typically of Montana residents and 21% non-residents reported never clean their gear.they only occasionally, rarely or never completely dried their boots and waders between uses. With less than half of the anglers out there doing any cleaning or drying of their boots means that a lot of anglers are moving mud and potential aquatic invasive species around.Overall this study gives us clear reason to clean our gear. Anglers are proven to be moving significant amounts of mud on their waders and nothing good can come from moving mud between waters. When we add the fact that anglers are highly mobile and lack a commitment to cleaning, we have substantial motivation to get more anglers cleaning their gear.In an interesting related study, Oregon State University researchers donned felt soled wading boots and then stomped in mud that was known to contain invasive species, Myxoboluscerebralis the parasite that caused whirling disease. With boots covered in mud and the parasite,researchers then waded through tanks that had healthy trout. Months later the trout were found to be infected with whirling disease. This study shows a direct link between dirty gear and its ability to move viable invasive species (report to the Whirling Disease Initiative).Both of these studies make plain that boots can move sediment and potential invasive species.We can address this problem by taking clear action and commit to cleaning our gear. It is hard to deny the idea that dirt and invasive species are sticking to our boots, particularly following these studies.
For that reason, it’s time for us all to take the simple actions needed to clean our gear.Removing dirt from our gear is a logical step to take in our angling day.
The commitment is as simple as are the methods to clean gear. The basic principles of the Clean Angling philosophy are Inspect, Clean & Dry. These steps really help to minimize the spread of invasive species and also allow us to be active participants in preventing spread. Everyone who fishes needs to be clean Angler, one who makes Inspect, Clean & Dry an automatic part of every trip. Many fishermen understand how important this is and are taking these simple actions.
The three steps of Inspect, Clean & Dry are self-descriptive.
Just from these three words, people understand what they are to do and the actions they produce are what we need. Below are recommendations for how to properly clean your equipment.
Please refer to our Tips for Careful Cleaning for full instructions on how to clean.
Waders must be cleaned very carefully!• Separate all individual components such as insoles, socks, booties, ankle guards, and laces.Then wash everything - inside and out with water.• Make sure you remove all dirt, plants and other visible substances. Be sure the treads, seams and any creases or crevasses are completely clean. Use a small brush if needed.• If possible, thoroughly dry everything before you reassemble the waders.
Other Equipment- Reels, nets, lines, gear bags etc.• Thoroughly wash them to remove dirt, plants and other visible substances. Completely dry them, ideally in the sun on a hot day.Heat and cold can kill many invasives that might be hitchhiking on your equipment. These treatments can be used to supplement careful inspection and cleaning. However, these methods do not kill all invaders. So realize that they help but are not perfect.• Heat - Soak in a bucket or tub of the hottest water available. Be aware that many hot water heaters to not produce water hot enough to kill AIS. Available research studies suggest minimum of 140° F is necessary. Remove and dry.• Cold – Store your gear in a freezer to kill many invasives. After overnight freezing remove,thaw and dry. Freezing might be the only good option if you are on a traveling fishing trip with no time to dry between waters. Some motels have freezer space if you ask nicely. Remember,freezing will kill many but not all of the aquatic invasive species (AIS) we are concerned about.Drying kills most invasives. High temperatures and low humidity are deadly to most AIS. Do everything possible to expose your equipment to hot and dry conditions for as long as possible.It’s best to dry gear in the sun. If possible, after cleaning, allow the gear to air-dry for at least 7days. Longer is better.
Where to Clean is just as important as how you clean. It's important to clean in the right location. If possible, clean your gear on-site at the end of your trip. If you wash off any invasives at the water you have been fishing on that day, you will just be leaving them where you got hem. Don't let them hitchhike away from the site.
Statement of rationale: This article is a summary of research that looked at the potential for anglers to transport soil and aquatic invasive species on wading boots. Please refer to the full articles if you have any interest in the scientific data collected to make their conclusions. Though some of these studies are not peer-reviewed science they have still been subjected to rigor of scientific panels and advisory committees. Further, their results give us a way to rationally discuss the risks that may be associated with not cleaning gear versus cleaning gear regardless of the specific type of gear we are concerned about (i.e. felt, rubber or other materials).
Baldwin T. J. et al. 1998. Distribution of Myxobolus cerebralis in Salmonid Fishes in Montana.Journal of Aquatic Animal Health.Bergersen E.P. and D. E. Anderson. 1997. The Distribution and Spread on Myxobolus cerebralisin the United States. Fisheries.Gates, K. 2007. Myxospore detection in soil and angler movement in southwest Montana:Implications for Whirling Disease Transport. Montana State University Master’s Thesis in Biological Sciences.Reno, Paul. 2005. The potential of vehicles and fomites to transfer the agent of whirling disease.Final Report to the Whirling Disease Initiative."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Take Willow Cuttings Now to Plant in Spring and Help Restore a River

Over the next few days and weeks Goldstrike Adventures will be taking a variety of state of Colorado, National Forest Service and other marine, wildlife and riparian biologists down to the stream to... learn all about recreational gold prospecting from a to z, while we learn from them how we can better do what we do (digging) while improving habitat for other living things in the process on behalf of Gold Unlimited.
In addition, Colorado state and local chapter directors with Trout Unlimited will also be digging, classifying, sluicing and maybe even dredging as we work to develop a plan for dredgers and other prospectors to use as a guide to clean, save and restore existing waterways here in Colorado.
As a result, I will focus on activities and methods recommended by said biologists in upcoming posts.
Here is one sneak peek preview of some of the types of things we will be talking about for specific locations where the bank is undercut or eroding or otherwise needs protection-
Tips on Willow Planting to Restore Stream Banks
"Riparian vegetation growing along the edges of streams, creeks, and rivers is critical for controlling erosion and providing
wildlife habitat. This vegetation includes grasses, fortes, and woody plants such as willows and aspen. Willows are among
the most common woody plants found in riparian areas. They are an important source of food and cover for wildlife. Their
roots hold the stream banks in place and provide a place for fish to hide. They also provide shade to help reduce stream
Many riparian areas would benefit from more willows. Improving management practices such as grazing often results in
more willows but on some riparian areas willows must be planted. Planting willows can be an effective technique to
quickly reestablish new populations. However, it requires a lot of hand labor which can be expensive. Consequently,
volunteers are often used to assist in willow planting projects. Volunteers, however, are normally available for a limited
time and are oftentimes inexperienced. This fact sheet provides some tips which are proven to increase the chances of
successfully collecting and planting willows."

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Goldstrike/Vic's First To Offer "Dry-Dredging" Adventures

While filming one of our Goldstrike Adventures To GO from Vic's Gold Panning on N Fork of Clear Creek today, Ryan and I were treated to seeing owner Jesse's cutting-edge technology Hydro-Jet "Dry Dredge" system in action. (photo not from today! lol)

It is awesome to put it mildly.
Below is a YouTube video of the Dry Dredge, check it out.

We subsequently worked out an exclusive arrangement as part of our existing exclusive paydirt agreement with Jesse to offer our Goldstrike Adventure guests the opportunity to have a day Dry Dredging for themselves at Vic's Gold Panning.

Goldstrike Adventures and Vic's Gold Panning are the first gold adventure companies to offer this newest technology to recreational or casual prospectors, tourists and those new to gold mining.

Contact us at or call us at 405-464-3782 for questions or to book your personal gold adventure!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Unethical, No. Proud, YES !

Well it looks like we've ruffled some feathers (again).... I told you this wouldn't be boring!
A couple of paranoid gossiping gold forum members are upset with us here at Goldstrike Adventures for offering and sharing the Colorado gold panning experience with recreational gold panners around the globe.
"Why..... It's Unethical" is the claim. It seems these large brained big thinkers are afraid that by revealing their so-called secret locations which are really just public parks and open space, that I am going to start some kind of gold rush and that "their" revered secret spots will be all "mined out". (lol...sorry)
The fact is that we are very proud to provide people from Australia to Canada, across the entire USA (even Alaska and California) the chance to pan placer gold from significantly historic Colorado sites no matter where they live via our Goldstrike Paydirt bags. Goldstrike Paydirt is currently the #1 selling paydirt on ebay month after month. The feedback is fantastic and it is great to hear how much people enjoy the history of the specific location that each bag came from as well as the gold of course.
We are also very proud of Colorado's rich gold mining history and believe it is something to be celebrated and shared not secreted away for club members only or just local insiders. As far as it being "mined out" any time soon... did you know that Colorado is NUMBER TWO in gold production in the US and if they didn't mine it all out 150 years ago with giant dredges and hydraulicking operations then a few guys with a shovel and a Gold Cube aren't gonna' do it. The Colorado School of Mines told us that in fact for every single piece of gold you remove today there will be at least that much gold back in that spot next year and the next and the next millennium.
Some people are upset with us because we take customers out on guided gold adventures to where these people consider to be their secret locations.... in spite of the fact that these "secret" locations are on public lands, city parks or open space and have been historic gold sites for over 150 years and are fairly well known but hiding in plain site. The only thing secret is that these individuals think they have a secret location but they don't.
We are proud of the fact that we teach people from beginners to experienced prospectors, natives from Colorado and visitors from other states, where the gold is and how to find it for themselves... we teach them things to utilize long after the adventure is over. Things you can't teach on a blog or website. We show experienced prospectors new tricks and provide them the opportunity to try new equipment and new spots without joining any clubs or accessing claims or message boards or gossip forums... and we will continue to offer our services for as long as there are people lined up to go get gold with us. We are proud to do so and hope you will continue to support what we do as we grow our business... attacks not withstanding.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Wlderness Act Threatens Colorado Panners, Prospectors and Miners

FROM an article by the GPAA in the Pick and Shovel Gazzette
..."In Western Colorado, prospectors and miners are facing an old foe — U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.An environmental activist, Salazar served as a U.S. Senator from Colorado from 2005 to 2009, when he resigned his senate seat to become Secretary of the Interior under President Barack Obama.“Ken Salazar is trying to shut down the whole west end of the state of Colorado and make some kind of Wild and Scenic areas out of it. We’ve been fighting with the legislature on that — talking with congressmen and senators. I have been in touch with several of them and they are trying to stop it, but they can only do so much,” Peterson said.“What they are doing is illegal!” They are trying to designate areas as Wild and Scenic and when you look up the description of Wild and Scenic, they don’t even fit the scope or picture of what is Wild and Scenic. They are trying to designate whichever way they can to get it to go through,” he said.“They’ve already closed a bunch of areas. You can’t take any ATVs or any kind of equipment across there. They call it the Wilderness Act.”Peterson blames the signing of the Colorado Wildernesss Act of 1993 under former President Bill Clinton for many of the problems Colorado outdoors groups, including prospectors, now face. Back then, the Wilderness Act designated 19 areas within the National Forests and public lands of Colorado, encompassing 612,000 acres, as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System. It also restricted activity in five areas, totaling some 155,000 acres under other land management plans.“It wasn’t until the Clinton administration that they really started to push this Wilderness thing,” Peterson said.“What Clinton did in the Wilderness Act — you can’t even walk across the land. You can’t leave any kind of trace like footprints or anything else. If you could fly across it, you’d be fine, but you are not supposed to be touching the ground in a Wilderness Area.”Since then, hundreds of thousands more acres of public lands have been designated as Wilderness Areas in Colorado and have been closed to prospecting, mining and other outdoors activities.Salazar played an pivotal role in locking up even more of these public lands by introducing the legislation in May 2008 that led to the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area and Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Act. The legislation designated approximately 200,000 acres as Dominguez-Escalante Canyons National Conservation Area, which includes the more than 66,000-acre Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area.Salazar was already at the helm of the Department of the Interior when an internal memo earmarking 13.5 million acres of public lands for possible designation as “National Monuments” under the Antiquities Act, was leaked to the news media last year."

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sneak Preview of new GOLD CUBE Commercial !

Sneak preview of the new GOLD CUBE commercial set to air on the prospecting channel in CA and OR soon! Very funny stuff !

Monday, January 2, 2012


Goldstrike Adventures now offers "I STRUCK GOLD" T-Shirts for sale or you can get one for free by going on a Goldstrike full-day or half-day guided gold Adventure !

Also you can get a FREE bag of Goldstrike Paydirt ($19 value) by purchasing a Goldstrike T-Shirt, then take a picture of yourself (or someone better looking than yourself) in your Goldstrike T-shirt and send it to or make a YouTube video and post it. If it's good enough to use it in our advertising campaign, we'll send you a complimentary 3lb bag of our premium paydirt at no charge! LIMITED TIME OFFER, act now.... operators are standing by.

Goldstrike "I STRUCK GOLD !" Tee Shirts are 100% cotton and come in any color you want as long as it's black with gold lettering! Available in children sizes S M L and adult S M L XL 2XL 3XL and 4 XL as well as a Ladies cut Tee S M L !

Front is screenprinted "I Struck GOLD !" along with the Goldstrike Paydirt web address just beneath it telling others where they can strike gold too!

Tell the world you are a successful prospector and take pride in your hobby while helping spread gold fever from sea to shining sea, across the fruited plain!

Strike gold in your own home with and bring the adventure to you.