As many members on here will tell you, you're best bet for getting a good group to prospect with would be through the Chapter Network. Any local chapter will have the most intimate and up to date information on their surrounding areas which is invaluable when out there looking for gold and other precious metals.
Each Chapter is unique and sure to have a lot of friendly faces and open arms to help bring you into their world of prospecting. You're also in luck as this area has a good handful of Chapters that you can get in touch with and join with if you'd like. Here's the California Chapter Contact List for easy reference - http://www.goldprospector...r-Directory/state/CA
Hope this helps, we'll see you out there!