Most popular places in the world to find gold nuggets

places to find gold nuggets

There are many places in the world where gold can be found, from the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic to the Grasberg mine in Indonesia. You can even buy gold nuggets online. But where can you go to find gold nuggets on your own?  Are you an adventurous DIY’er that wants the thrill of prospecting for gold? Well, look no further than this list of the most popular places in the world to find gold nuggets. 


We will start our journey in Alaska, did you know that the biggest nugget ever found in Alaska was in 1998? That means there is still plenty of gold for the skilled or novice gold panner. Make your way to the Chena River in Fairbanks. The first discoveries of gold were made there in 1902 and it still has gold for you to find. 

Also in Alaska is Crow Creek. Crow Creek is a privately owned mine that allows visitors to pan for gold and tour the mine. Mining equipment is available on site. East of the Alaskan border is the Klondike Region, Yukon, Canada. Here you will find the Klondike and the Yukon rivers. These are some of the richest rivers in this region and panning for gold is allowed. There are also places that offer tours, lessons, and equipment rentals in the Yukon area. 

The American West

Rogue River is the main river system in southwestern Oregon and it is a major gold producer. There are three recreational sites for recreational prospecting northeast of the town of Gold Hill. These sites are called Gold Nugget Waysides and they are located along the Rogue River. These sites are not claimed and can be panned by anyone.

 Gold in this area can be found going downstream into the Pacific Ocean. Please be aware of restrictions placed in the area only panning allowed. If you want a less restricting area visit the Illinois River and the Applegate rivers. They are off of the Rogue River and are rich in gold as well.

In 2015 a gold nugget was found weighing in at over 5 pounds this nugget was named the Butte Nugget because it was found in Butte County, California. This gold nugget was found using a metal detector and the area where it was found has not been disclosed. California is the home of the American River which is home to what is known as “the mother lode”. The American River is one of the richest rivers in the world and was the motivation behind the original “Gold Rush”. You can pan the north and middle forks of the river. 

Head south in California and stop at Jamestown, here you will find numerous panning tours. You can go at it alone or you can hire a guide to help you look for your treasures. The choice is up to you.

Nevada is rich in gold deposits that is why more gold has been mined here than in other states. Especially in the north western part of this rich state there is gold still aplenty. Looking for gold here though is different than the other mines. You usually pan for gold that is in a river and mixed with water, in Nevada there is more sand than water so a metal detector is encouraged when prospecting for gold. 


In the 1870’s Black Hills, South Dakota was known as having the wildest mining towns since their discovery of placer gold here Deadwood Creek. Now it is home to the Homestake Mine which is the deepest and largest gold mine in North America. You can still pan for gold in the areas that are not claimed. So head to Lead, South Dakota, and stake your claim. 

North Carolina

Let’s head to the opposite coast of the U.S. and stop at the Reed Gold Mine in Charlotte, North Carolina. This was the mine that started it all. In 1799 the first documented authentic gold claim was filed for a 17-pound gold nugget found here at Little Meadow Creek. You can still pan and find gold here. Admission is free and tours are offered.  

As you can see, this is just a small list of the mines and rivers that contain gold nuggets. There are gold panning opportunities in  Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, South Dakota and Alabama, Georgia, Virginia and the Carolinas among other parts of the Northern United States. Please remember to check with all states, cities, and counties for rules and regulations concerning panning or metal detecting in these areas. 

When narrowing down your search for gold check and make sure that the river is running and not still and check the bends, sandbars, logs, and debris around the river as these act like pans themselves and sometimes trap gold. The choice of where and how to prospect depends on which region you are in. Some areas are better for metal detection while others are better off being panned. 


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About Snehal Tanwar 51 Articles
I believe in the power of words and I think God has blessed me with the same. I have a strong experience in the area of writing and love to share my work with the readers. Happy reading!!

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