Back in 2008 I stopped by the ranger station to buy a map and asked about prospecting east fork. They told me to go away ,Prospecting was not allowed at San Gabrial east fork. I drove up anyway and there must have been over 500 people at nugget alley, sluicing, dredging, panning. I drove up to heaton flat and you could see prospectors in the canyon everywhere.
many times a ranger drove by me checking adventure passes and waved at me. I would be carrying my sluice so there was no guesing what I was doing. Rumor has it the rangers are using people to help bust prospectors in the canyon now that its a national monument.