Norwood Bridge Recreational Placer Mining Area Colorado

Norwood Bridge Recreational Placer Mining Area

by KevinInColorado|Updated February 20, 2018

The BLM reacquired the land and river south of Norwood Bridge after it had been in private ownership. This unclaimable land along the San Miguel River is now available for your non-motorized prospecting.

Gold prospecting area, BLM San Miguel River in this area

Gold prospecting area, BLM

San Miguel River gold prospecting
BLM map with GPS coords (image courtesy of US BLM)
The gold here is pretty good! You get to this area by taking highway 145 easterly and southerly from the town of Norwood in western Colorado.

If you haven’t gotten your permit from the Montrose BLM, you can only pan and sluice within 100 feet of the bridge. To get the permit, either stop in the office in Montrose during regular business hours at 2505 South Townsend, Montrose …or you can print off the form from their website, sign it and send it in via email (call for current email address) for their signature.

San Miguel River gold prospecting

Do this WELL in advance of your visit! Here’s the form but DON’T use the email address shown, it’s out of date:

The recreational area is well over a mile long, closer to two miles I’d say. The challenge is the lack of parking along it. I was able to park at 38.1202 -108.1899 and hike down a steep hill to the river. This spot gives easy access to an inside bend with a cobble bar and decent gold. I quickly found +50 mesh gold and down to -100 mesh here. There are other spots to park along the edge of the road along here but it’s all very informal parking.

Realistically, this area has a limited season. It is a wild undammed river so during spring/summer snowmelt the river can be very high. Timing varies by year but later summer and fall have lower water flows and better river access for prospecting.

You can camp just south of here at the BLM managed Lower Beaver Campground. This campground has pit toilets, shady sites, mosquitos :(, a boat ramp and it’s free. Yup, free camping! Smaller RVs will do fine here as well as tents. There’s also good gold in the river at the campground but it’s currently claimed so stay out! The campground is at 38.1113 -108.1884

Note: I don’t approve of the term “recreational mining” but that is the formal name of this area, given to it by the BLM.

This site costs money to keep up. The only way it makes money is shopping referrals. If you appreciate the info I’m sharing, please click thru one of my Amazon or Gold Cube ads the next time you want to shop online. It won’t cost you anything extra and it keeps the site going:

Source: Norwood Bridge Recreational Placer Mining Area – Prospecting Tips – Finding Gold in Colorado

Arapahoe Bar prospecting and Tips Finding Gold in Colorado

Arapahoe Bar Prospecting and Tips on Finding Gold In Colorado

Arapahoe Bar is a Prospecting Park in west metro Denver (in Wheat Ridge specifically…thanks Wheat Ridge and Jefferson County!) which welcomes prospectors for free on a gold bearing stretch of Clear Creek.

Clear Creek in winter, Jefferson County ColoradoAs you can see in the photo, this site has an important part in the history of Colorado. To find it, go to 40th St and Youngsfield, then drive north to the creek to find a developed city park with bathrooms (On the east side of the road). You can’t dig here but, if you just walk under the highway bridge upstream on the recreational path, you come to this:

Source: Arapahoe Bar prospecting tips – Finding Gold in Colorado

Malakoff Diggins State Park California

HUMBUG CREEK TRAIL (no bikes) 2 .72 miles; Gain: +863’ -54’ = -809’
A scenic hike to the South Yuba River where it meets the South Yuba Trail. Primitive camping is available a short distance from the junction of the Humbug Trail and Yuba River.

Humbug Gold Panning

Gold Panning Find your fortune! We’ll supply the pans, instruction, and gold! During park operation hours/days you can visit the park headquarters to obtain a map and pan and try your luck on Humbug Creek.

cgoverlook_snowThere are approximately 20 miles of trails ranging from .11 miles to 3.29 miles with elevation gains from 13 feet to over 1,000 feet. A walking stick and plenty of water are recommended. Temperatures can reach over 100º in the summertime. Visit us in the park museum to obtain a park trail map. Dogs are not permitted on certain trails and must be leashed at all times. Please respect all animal and plant life while you enjoy your hike.

Source: Guided and Self-Guided Park Activities – Malakoff Diggins State Park

Keyesville Recreational Mining Area California



The Kern River Rush After the discovery of extensive deposits of placer gold in California’s Motherlode in 1848, large numbers of aspiring gold miners arrived in the “Golden State” seeking their fortunes. Within 2 years many of these individuals had fanned out in every direction of the compass looking for gold signs in other parts of the state.Gold PansGold Prospecting BooksGold Panning KitsIn 1851 a group sponsored by John C. Fremont discovered rich placer deposits along Greenhorn Creek near the Kern River (and in the river itself) in what would later become known as the Kern River Rush. These placers were worked extensively until 1865, which should give you an idea of how good the initial gold values were in this region.

Source: California Placer Areas: Keyesville Recreational Mining Area (Part 1)

Himalaya Mine Dig California

As seen on Travel Channel’s Cash & Treasures

Himalaya Mine Tourmaline Crystals

tourmaline!Open Year Round
Thursday – Sunday, 10am to 3pm
Reservations are not necessary.
Monday digs available by reservation only, please call 775-225-4245, , or 775-772-7724.

The Himalaya Tourmaline Mine is located near Santa Ysabel, CA at Lake Henshaw in the beautiful Mesa Grande. 

We offer a fun gem and crystal dig to the public. 

Continue reading Himalaya Mine Dig California

Gold Prospecting Public Mining Sites, Parks, Tours and Attractions

California –  Colorado –  Georgia –  Idaho –  Indiana –  Michigan –  Minnesota –  Montana –  New Hampshire –  New Jersey – North Carolina –  Oregon –  South Carolina –  South Dakota –  Utah –  Vermont –  Washington –  Wisconsin –  Australia –  Canada –  Italy –  New Zealand – Scotland

Rock Corral Recreation Area Mineral Mountains Utah

Rock Corral Recreation Area Mineral Mountains Utah

Rock Corral Recreation AreaThe Rock Corral Recreation Area is located on the west side of the Mineral Mountain Range. Towering from the desert floor are spectacular granite peaks and enormous standing rocks with Granite Peak being the most notable feature in the area. Granite Peak rises 9,771 feet above sea level and has several times been proposed to be set aside as a wilderness area.

Continue reading Rock Corral Recreation Area Mineral Mountains Utah

White Mountain National Forest – Lord Hill Mineral Collecting Area

Lord Hill is a pegmatite that is not very different from the Deer Hill pegmatite, except the bulk composition is different and contains many more rare elements which lead to forming rare minerals. There are many rare minerals found at Lord Hill including Triplite, Uraninite, Vivianite, Zircon, Gahnite, Fluorapatite, Bertrandite, and the list goes on. The more common minerals which are found there are varieties of feldspar, quartz, topaz, phenakite, and garnet. For a short time this location was mined for feldspar but was not profitable.
Source: White Mountain National Forest – Lord Hill Mineral Collecting Area

Free Maps

2019 Collection

Free State Maps Printable

Each Order includes a ZIP File with 6 or More Printable State Map

  • Each ZIP File Includes:
  • County Maps
  • County Seat Map
  • Cities & Highways
  • Interstate Road & State Routes
  • Rivers, Lakes, and Creeks
  • Topographical County Map
  • Elevation Map