Gold may be found in nearly every U.S. state. Miners have found gold since 1799. The states that produce the most gold are mostly in the west, but there is also a lot of gold in the southern Appalachian Mountains, Midwest, and Northeast.

The list below provides an overview of some of the best places to find gold in the United States. This will help you understand gold mining in the country better. Let’s start!

Best Places to Find Gold

1. Nevada

Nevada is the leading gold-mining state in the United States. In 1849, the yellow metal was discovered at Gold Canyon. However, the later discovery of lower-grade deposits in the early 1960s put Nevada on the list of the most mineral-rich states in America.

The Carlin Trend ores are more valuable than any of the mineral resources in the country. If you are a gold prospector, Nevada has many public lands that provide great chances for new discoveries.

In this state, there are many gold deposits. However, some deposits are so fine that the average person can’t extract gold from them.

If you want to find gold, look in areas known for having large gold deposits. You can identify these areas by looking for basic prospecting methods like panning, metal detecting, and dry washing.

Humboldt County is an excellent spot to begin your search for gold. There are numerous locations throughout the county where big nuggets can be discovered. Districts like Dutch Flats, Varyville, Rebel Creek, and Winnemucca are included. You could also search in the eastern county of Elko.

2. Colorado

Colorado is one of the best places in the United States to find gold. In 1859, the first discovery of gold was found in Colorado. Since then, many more deposits have been found in western Colorado, especially in the mountains.

Gold is usually mined in Summit County. People use different techniques to get gold, like lode mining and placer mining. Some people have also tried to get gold from the Sawn River and Blue River by dredging.

Park County has been a place where people have found gold for a long time. More than 1,000,000 ounces of gold have been mined in the area. There are also deposits of gold near the Tarryall Creek and some water bodies near the Mosquito mountains. People have also found gold in other counties in Colorado, including Gilpin County, Teller County, and San Miguel County.

3. Alaska

Gold has been mined in Alaska since 1896. There is still plenty of gold left in the ground for miners to find.

People who go to Alaska to mine for gold are often surprised by how hard it can be to find a good spot to do some prospecting. Even though there is a lot of land in Alaska, few places have road access.

The land in this area is mostly covered with tundra. This makes it difficult to do recreational gold prospecting. In addition, other people have already claimed most of the good areas for gold mining.

There are many places to go if you want to find gold. Nome, Juneau, and Fairbanks are some of the most popular places for gold mining. If you want to go there, contact the Chamber of Commerce in that area for more information on getting started in gold prospecting.

4. Arizona

Arizona is a state in the U.S. that many prospectors visit every year. The warm winter climate is great for people who want to spend the cold season looking for gold.

Notably, locating sites for gold prospecting has become increasingly difficult as gold prices continue to rise daily. There is a vast gold-bearing ground in Arizona, but so many people are searching for it that it is difficult to find a good starting point.

We advise researching first if you consider prospecting for gold in Arizona. This will assist you in determining where to go. Yavapai County, Mohave County, Cochise County, Yuma County, and Maricopa County receive additional information. These are some of the most productive gold-mining areas in the state of Arizona. Recreational prospectors may have specified areas.

5. California

Since the discovery of gold in 1848, many people have gone to California in search of valuable metal. The discovery led to the California Gold Rush, one of the most important events in American history during the 19th century.

The Mother Lode Country is a well-known gold-producing region in California. This area is located in the north-central part of the state and has been prospected extensively in recent years. However, placer deposits are constantly being refreshed by high water levels.

Many small streams, bench deposits, gulches, and lode prospects in the Mother Lode Country still have gold waiting to be explored.

Gold prospecting can be done in many places in California. Some counties include Shasta, Trinity, and Siskiyou. The Klamath and Sacramento Rivers are also popular spots. Gold can also be found in Los Angeles, San Bernadino, and San Diego.

6. Pennsylvania

Like most states in the east, Pennsylvania does not have much gold left from when glaciers passed centuries ago.

You will not find a lot of gold in this state to make you rich, but there is enough here to make prospecting worth your time.

Some of the major minerals mined in this area include iron and coal. However, large iron mines can also produce gold as a byproduct.

There is a lot of lode gold near Cornwall and Morgantown. This could mean placer deposits in the rivers and creeks nearby.

There are many places to find major placer mining. York County, Grantham, Dillsburg, Rossville, and Wellsville are great places. There are also good places to find placer mining in Lancaster County, like the Peter’s Creek and Susquehanna River in Quarryville. Wyoming County is also worth exploring for its placers in some creeks.

7. Oregon

In Oregon, gold mining has been active since 1852, when the first placer gold was discovered. This led to much gold production, making the state a great place for tourists and recreational prospectors.

Many areas in Oregon are worth visiting. Some of these areas include Jackson County, Josephine County, Coos and Curry Counties, the southern part of Douglas County, and the areas around Medford and Grants Pass.

Jackson County is a great place to prospect for gold. Since the first discovery, more than 500,000 ounces of gold have been mined here. All waters in this area contain gold. Check out the Applegate River along with the Elk, Willow, Sterling, and Palmer Creeks.

Gold can be found in different towns. The towns are Bourne, Granite, Susanville, and Greenhorn. One of the most famous golds was the Armstrong Nugget. It was found in Buck Gulch in Susanville.

8. Idaho

One of the things we appreciate most about Idaho is the abundance of mining exploration opportunities. Gold is abundant across the state, and there have been numerous significant discoveries in the numerous mining zones.

This is a great place for gold prospecting. However, most of the good sites are far away from populated areas. You will need to research to find a good spot to mine.

The Boise Basin is a large area in the state that is known for its gold mines. There are several towns in the area, including Centerville, Placerville, Pioneerville, and Idaho City.

There are other places to consider besides the city. Elmore County has some great towns, like Pine, Featherville, and Atlanta. You might also want to look into Owyhee County. Some interesting towns there, like Silver City, used to be famous for gold mining.

9. Georgia

The great majority of Georgia’s gold is located in the northwest. This area is commonly referred to as the Georgia Gold Belt.

Gold was first discovered in Lumpkin County in 1828. Some say that the native Indians and some of the earlier Spanish explorers knew about gold before this time, but there is no proof.

There is still a lot of gold to be found in the rivers and creeks in this county. The Chestatee, Senate, and Etowah Rivers have had many mines along their banks.

There is plenty of gold in the waters near White County. Especially the Nacoochee and Chattahoochee Rivers are rich in gold. Not forgetting Dukes Creek has produced huge nuggets throughout the years.

You might also consider looking in the Cherokee, Pickens, Dawkins, Paulding, and Forsythe Counties.

10. Tennessee

Even though the overall gold production in Tennessee has been low, recreational prospectors still have opportunities to find gold and be satisfied with its amount.

Tellico Plains and Coker Creek are the oldest mining towns in the state’s southeastern part. That’s where you’ll find most panning.

Coker Creek is one of the areas most well-known for its rich gold deposits. This would be an amazing spot to look if you’re interested in finding gold.

Suppose you want to find a place to fish for trout. In that case, you could look into the Cane, Tobe, Citico, and Turkey Creeks in Monroe County, Montvale Springs in Blount County, Polk County, and the creeks between Hiawassee and Tellico Rivers.

11. Michigan

The state of Michigan is located in the eastern United States. Like other states in this region, Michigan has a very small amount of placer gold.

There is still some gold in the state, but it won’t be in large amounts like in other states known for having gold.

The first place you should check is the Ropes Gold Mine in the Upper Peninsula. You should also check around Ishpeming; there are rich placer deposits in some of the streams and creeks.

Suppose you’re looking for a great place to kayak. In that case, you may want to check out the Maple and Grand Rivers in Ionia County, The Muskegon in Newaygo County, the White River in Oceana County, the Rapid River in Kalkaska County, and Manistee and Flat Rivers in Wexford and Ontonagon Counties.

Gold mining is not done commercially in Michigan because there is not a lot of gold there. However, using the right techniques, you can find small amounts of gold in the rivers and creeks.

12. Montana

Gold mining has a long history in Montana. The state ranks among the top producers of gold in the United States. Most of the gold mining districts are located near the Idaho border.

In 1852, gold was discovered in Montana, but the 1862 gold found attracted people to the state. With so much federal land for mineral exploration, Montana is a great destination for recreational prospectors.

There are many areas to explore for gold near Bannack and Virginia City. The Missouri River near Helena is a popular spot, as well as the Kendall District and North Moccasin District. You can also try looking in the Radersburg, Jardine District, and Cooke City areas. Remember to use different methods like dredging, sluicing, and panning to find gold in these spots.

13. New Mexico

Gold is not produced in New Mexico as much as in Arizona. However, New Mexico has offered residents plenty of deposits over the years. These deposits include lode and placer gold.

Gold is often found while looking for other minerals. The limited supply of gold in New Mexico is likely due to that region’s harsh, dry climate.

Some areas that have been popular with recreational prospectors include the Elizabethtown Baldy District, Hillsboro District, Pinos Altos, Santo, Rich, and Whiskey Gulches.

Bear Creek produces a lot of gold. The Old Placers southwest of Santa Fe is a great place to find gold if you use a dry washer.

Learn more: Gold mining in the United States

Frequently Asked Questions About Best Places to Find Gold

Where Is Gold Most Likely to Be Found?

Gold is usually found as a pure, native metal. Sylvanite and calaverite are minerals that contain gold. Gold is usually found embedded in quartz veins or placer stream gravel. It is mined in South Africa, the USA (Nevada, Alaska), Russia, Australia, and Canada.

What Are the Signs of Gold in the Ground?

Seeing lighter-colored rocks in a group of rock formations can signify that gold is nearby. The rocks may have been bleached lighter because of an acidic mineral solution. If you see quartz nearby, that can also be a sign that gold may be present.

Is There Gold in Every River?

Gold is present in freshwater and seawater, but it is diluted so much that it is not practical to try to extract it.

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