California Gold

Entries Tagged ‘Klamath River’

Humboldt County California Gold

California gold is always found in the beach sands in some quantity along the California coast and the same is true for Humboldt County. In historic times the area known as Gold Bluff, hence the name, was a popular place for miners to try to strike it rich and it was believed by some that thousands of pounds of gold were there waiting right on the beach and washed up onto it’s shores by the ocean. Although there is some gold within the beach sands here this proved too good to be true for the mining methods of the day, since early miners had little knowledge of how to separate the small particles of gold from the sand effectively. The area today is known as Trinidad State beach and area, but at the time it had caused a mini gold rush around 1852. If your looking for beach gold also check out, Big Lagoon to the north

Klamath River

The popular Klamath River has placer gold found along it’s entire stretch, and is well known for abundant nuggets and flakes. Orleans Bar is an area where many hydraulic operations were performed in the past. The mouth of the Klamath River is a popular place to find good concentrations of beach gold. The Klamath River runs from Klamath County in Oregon into Siskiyou County, California and stretches into both Del Norte and Humboldt Counties.

Trinity River

The Trinity River is the longest tributary of the Klamath River and is a very good gold producing river.  Good placer deposits can be located everywhere along the river. Gold producing tributaries of the the Trinity River include Coffee Creek, New River, Indian Creek, Willow Creek, Hayford Creek and the East Fork. Environmental groups have been targeting the Trinity River and falsely charging that dredging  is having a environmental impact upon water species within the river. It is ironic, that the Trinity River is a very popular gold mining river in California and is also world renown for it’s salmon and steelhead fishing.

Also see Trinity County Section.

Map of the Trinity River and Klamath River watersheds. The Trinity River is shown in dark blue, with its watershed highlighted in dark yellow. The South Fork Trinity River extends southward, while the main Trinity River curves east then north.

Gold Mines

Lode gold mines are found mostly in the northeastern part of the county, but gold can be generally found through out Humboldt County. Some of the gold mines in the County include the Red Cap Mine located on Red Cap Creek just north of Eureka, California consisted of ten or more quartz veins containing gold.  On Willow Creek, tributary of the Trinity River, is where the Bonneyville Quartz Mine was located. Near Orleans, is where you will find the the Little Klondike Mine, and in nearby Pearch Creek, is where other quartz gold deposits were found. Other Humboldt County mines include Big Bar Annex Placer Mine, Croton Bar, Cavanaugh Mine, China Flat Placer Mine (found in Trinity River Area), Bissel Mine (also known as Clover Flat), Coleman Placer Mine, Delaney Group of Mines, Harveston Bar Mine, and the Prospect Hill Mine.

Del Norte County California Gold

Fine particle beach gold can be found on the Del Norte County beaches. Del Norte County is home to the famous Redwood forests. There are some undeveloped quartz veins that are privately owned at the Northeastern part of the county in the Klamath Mountains. It is unknown or pure speculation as to how rich these quartz veins might be. The Klamath River stretches from Oregon into Siskiyou County and into Del Norte County is known for some placer gold along the path of the river and in the river itself.

Smith River Forks

Smith River also has placer gold deposits. On the South Fork of the Smith River, which had large scale dredging operations, is Coon Creek, which has been another dredging operation in the past, and gold is found in the cemented gravels of the creek and gravel bars. There were several dredging operations conducted on the South Fork of the Smith River and tributaries. One mile south of Douglas Park is the where the Nels Christensen Mine is located.

Smith River area

On the north side of Preston Peak, is where the Bartlett Mine is located, which was a quartz vein mine.   The Crescent City Mine, which was also a quartz lode mine is also located in Del Norte County near Crescent City. Last Chance Mine was a major producer of gold in the past. 30 miles Northeast of Crescent City is the Low Divide District, which was a primary location for copper deposits, but there are some placer gold to be found here.  There were numerous hydraulic placer claims worked sometime in the past, throughout the county. On Upper Monkey Creek there was a lode deposit, and there is some gold to be found in the creek.

Other mines the county were the Hard Luck Mine, which also produced arsenic. The Monumental Group of mines were major producers of vein gold as well as the  Myrtle Creek Mine. Placers can be found in Myrtle Creek and area, and in the past large dredging operations took place here. The Prudential Mine which is found at Shelly Creek, was a major producer. On Craigs Creek, placer gold has been recovered, along with platinum. French Hill is a producer of placer gold deposits.

Siskiyou County California Gold

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 upon 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 it’s 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 it’s 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 it’s steelhead and salmon fishing. There are two forks on the Salmon, the north fork and the south fork. At one point between the two forks is an area known as Sawyers Bar, where over a million ounces of gold was reported to have been recovered.


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.


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