The places listed below are user submitted gold prospecting locations. Things change over time - these places may or may not still be open. Be sure to fill your holes, pick up your trash and don't trespass. We are losing good spots all the time.
We really need more info on this state! If you know of any other prospecting locations in this or surrounding areas, please fill out this form. What we need here are fairly specific places like "downstream from where Highway 20 crosses Dry Creek". There are lots of books that say something like "The gold belt runs through ABC & XYZ Counties" or "Gold has been found in ABC River and some of its tributaries". That really doesn't say much about where YOU can find gold, private property issues or Forest Circus rules etc. Please use this form only for suggesting fairly specific places to be added to this page where new prospectors or folks visiting from other areas have a good chance of finding gold. Thank you
Fom Jim Wilson
The USDA Forest Service in Jackson County has areas set aside for panning, sluicing and dredging for a fee. You must get a permit at the Star Ranger Station 6 miles south of Ruch. If you are going to dredge in these areas (3" max) you must get a dredge permit from Oregon DEQ.(not that hard) Really !!!!!!!!!!!!!Happy Prospecting.
From Paul Stangeland
I normally go to the public prospecting area at Quartzville Creek out of Sweet Home, Oregon. Some people do pretty well. As for me I enjoy the outing and get a little color.
I have dredged and prospected for gold for about 12 years. I've spent a lot of time in places where there is no gold. We all know that's no fun. I mine and live in So. Oregon. I can set your viewers off to a good start. The Rogue River has gold from Gold Rey Dam west to the ocean. One section is closed by Wild and Scenic status. Anyone can pan without a permit and a couple panfulls will yield a couple of flakes. The best spots are on bedrock. Cleaning out small cracks seems to work better then running gravel from a bar. The gravel bars are large 30 + feet deep. There are a lot of small streams that hold gold. Some give up nice nuggets. There are a lot of claimed areas so check land status before your trip
From Steve & Heather
Here in Oregon, there are three places to go on Bryce Creek, two place on Sharps Creek (Sharps Creek recreational site) at mile post 4, and Mineral Camp at mile post 12 (Cottage Grove Oregon area). Sixes River over on the Oregon Coast north of Gold Beach is open to public/ withdrawn from mineral location by the BLM. They also have a 10 mile corridor on the Quartzville Creek out of Sweet Home Oregon that is open to the public. The best place that I can suggest to get info is to go to the Forest Service and BLM offices and ask for info on gold panning within their jurisdiction. Most BLM and Forest Service Campgrounds on the creeks in Gold "bearing" areas are withdrawn from mineral location and anyone can pan sluice and use a small dredge on these locations as long as they obey the mining laws set forth in these areas.
From Tom Chase
Rogue River Area
If anybody in northern CA or southern OR are interested in taking up the exciting hobby of gold prospecting, they should know about the Rogue River area. Just about every tributary to the Rogue in the Galice, OR area carries gold and the first 1/4 mile of each is open to the public for recreational mining. People should DEFINITELY check with the Forest Service first to find out what type of mining is allowed and where, specifically. I can say that flakes are plentiful and small nuggets are not unusual for those with patience. Good luck and happy hunting!
From Lamar Threet
Illinois River, Josephine County
If you are looking for a few colors in every pan, here is a place on the Illinois River just outside of Kerby, Oregon. Go North of Kerby to 8 Dollar Road. which will be on your left. The main bridge crosses the Illinois River in approx. 1 to 2 miles. Pan the grass roots on either side of the river. Average 2 to 12 colors per pan. I know of one guy who took 3 lbs of gold with a 6" dredge several years ago in this area.
From Steve Houston (North Bend Chapter of the GPAA)
Ed. Note: This is a good example of the info you can get if you join a club. If you happen to live in the North Bend, OR area, this one might be a good one to try:
North Bend Chapter of the GPAA
241 North Way
North Bend, Oregon 97459
These are open areas run by the BLM or Forest Service and are free areas.
McCully forks Campground west of Sumpter. Panning only.
Antlers Gaurd Station near Sumpter
Deer Creek Campground near Phillips Lake
Eagle Forks Campground near Richland
Powder River Recreation Area panning only
Quartzville Recreation Corridor near Sweethome
Brice Creek near Cottage Grove 2.5in. dredge max.
Sharps Creek Recreation Area near Cottage Grove
Sixes River recreation Area
Rogue River near Gold Hill
Little Applegate River near Jacsonville
Rogue River between Applegate River and Grave Creek
Cow Creek Recreation Area panning only
There are many areas operated by the BLM open to all. Most are free but a few
have a small charge.
Quartzville- Northeast of Sweethome, off Hwy.20
Brice Creek- In the Bohemia area above Cottage Grove
Sharps Creek- In the Bohemia area
Sixes River- East from Hwy. 101 on Sixes River Road. About 12 to 15 miles.
In the Gold Hill area off Hwy 234.
There is a site west of Medford, Hwy 238 to Ruch, right on Applegate road
about 2 miles. After crossing the river, turn left on Little Applegate Road.
Areas are upstream along the Little Applegate River.
There are a few other areas on the Rogue River and I think a few on the Idaho