Not usually thought of being a gold mining County, nevertheless, near the northern-central border there was a discovery of some very rich veins. Lassen County is covered by a lot of lava rock, but in the midst of all the lava beds in the higher elevation of the county, you can find the Hayden Hill District in township 36N and 37N. range 10E and 11E. Official records indicate gold was first discovered at Hayden Hill in 1870, however proper records were never kept or were lost. Most likely mining began around the mid-1800’s just like the rest of California and Oregon. 116,000 ounces were recorded from 1870 onward. Mining came to a slow in 1910 when the town of Hayden Hill burned to the ground. According to early mining reports the quartz vein system was never more than 300 ft deep and is part of a vein system that extended to Happy Camp. The main gold mines at Hayden Hill are known as the Blue Bell Mine, Brush Hill Mine, Uncle Billy Mine, North Star Mine, Golden Eagle Mine and the Evening Star Mine. On the west side of Hayden Hill was/is the Blue Bell Mine. To the east of the Hayden, Hill Camp was/is a mine named Brush Hill Mine. On Willow Creek, there was a 5 stamp mill.
Gold mining in California in the county of Siskiyou there are many, many places that have historically produced gold in Siskiyou County and many gold prospecting locations are available for recreation. Upwards towards two million ounces of gold were taken from Siskiyou County, located at the top of the State of California. Siskiyou County has an amazing number of gold mines; some active and others none active, and still some that have long caved in. The number of gold mines in the county is upwards towards three hundred and seventy. Klamath River The Klamath River is one of the more note-able gold producing rivers in Siskiyou County and flows from Klamath County in Oregon. Placer gold deposits can be found in the entire length of the river. A lot of the area along the river is claimed, but the mining club, the new 49ers offers use of its many claims along the Klamath River with membership. Many of the tributaries that flow into the Klamath offer good California gold. Scott River The Scott River is actually a tributary of the Klamath River and offers good gold all along its path. Near Callahan, there were numerous gold mines and placer operations. Many of the mines near Callahan had small but rich pocket gold discoveries. In the area, the Martin McKeen Mine was a note-able producer, as well as the Porphyry Dike Mine. Both produced tens of thousands of ounces of lode gold. Other mines include the Blue Jay Mine, and the Copper King Mine which was a silver mine with gold as a byproduct.
In the Fort Jones area, you will find Cottonwood Creek and Rancheria Creek. Both were major producers of California gold and produced over four million dollars from 1850 to 1859 with industrial large scale dredges. Many lode mines are in the Fort Jones area, including the Golden Eagle Mine which was a large producer. Salmon River Another major tributary of the Klamath River is the Salmon River. The lower part of the Salmon River marks the border between Siskiyou County and Humbolt County. The Salmon River is also world famous for its steelhead and salmon fishing. There are two forks of the Salmon, the north fork, and the south fork. At one point between the two forks is an area is known as Sawyers Bar, where over a million ounces of gold was reported to have been recovered. Yreka There are many gold mines found around Yreka. Interestingly, it has been reported that gold nuggets have been found within city limits; some weighing as much as four ounces have been found after winter floods of the Shasta River.
In Modoc County, near the Oregon border, there are several small gold mines that overlap into Oregon’s Lake County, near Fairport, California. You might try the surrounding streams for placer deposits and Modoc County Gold.
In the Modoc National Forest is the High-Grade National Recreation Trail. On the trail, there are remains of gold mines, old gold mine tailings, ditches and even a few standing buildings from the mining period from around 1912. There is a ghost town here as well, aptly named High Grade, and is privately owned. High Grade is located in a canyon above Fort Bidwell, as seen on the map. This area represents the biggest gold rush of Modoc County but did not last long.
Rockhounds may want to check out Surprise Valley found in the high northeast corner of Modoc County near the Oregon and Nevada borders. Here at this ancient lake bed, you can find fossils, petrified wood, and obsidian glass.