Gold Panning

Most of the National Forests in the western states are open to prospecting and mining, including panning for gold. It is important that you recognize the following:

  • Within the boundaries of most National Forests there is considerable privately-owned land. Private lands are not open to prospecting or mining without the owner's permission. National Forest visitor maps show the general location of privately owned tracts.
  • Some areas of the National Forests are not available for prospecting and mining, including panning for gold. The local District Ranger's office can provide information about these areas.
  • Many of the more easily found mineral deposits have already been discovered and claimed by other prospectors. Entering onto these claims for the purpose of prospecting or removing any mineral is claim jumping or trespassing.

[Expand Text]

Gold Panning Areas