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Categories: From the Gold Prospectors Magazine, Gold Trails, How-To's

 Monday, July 1, 2019

Where's the Gold? (Desert Edition)

Prospecting Education with Kevin Hoagland


Where's the Gold? (Desert Edition)
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Where's the Gold?

from the upcoming 2019 July/August issue of the GPAA Gold Prospectors Magazine


The photo shows you a current GPAA desert claim — I’m not telling which one yet, that will be in a future magazine for a few reasons. Mainly, with the weather turning hot I do not want members to suffer any ailments that come along with extreme heat and “no shoulders” that are out in force on the claim.

If you do not know what a no shoulder is, ask any old Desert Rat; they’ll tell you along with warning you to stay out of their paths.

On the photo you see four marked areas, A-D. Look closely and choose the spot that you would prospect first.

This photo is not showing the true grade of the land but know that from the lighter areas to the northwest and the southeast to the wash is a drop of 75 feet to 100 feet.

This is a great exercise in using satellite mapping to pick a likely location.


Look at the image closely, think about the information above and what you may have learned in the past about prospecting rivers and streams.

Scroll down once you think you have some answers - no cheating!




[A] In the wash. As with most of these that I have challenged you with, the most common area is not the correct spot. Knowing that, there is a great deal of elevation drop from the top of the area to the wash and given the areas that you can see where the wash is flowing. It is a huge sand pit and unless you can really zoom in to see any bedrock inclusions consider this like many desert washes with the bedrock and any possible gold very deep and mostly unworkable to be productive.

[B] Better area possibly, water slows down dramatically here as it widens into the lower area of the claim. But, with that comes a great deal of overburden.

[C] Really good-looking high bench and one that I have found gold on. But look at the surrounding area. The gold on this bench was only from ancient flood activity. The area above it is very flat and although there is gold on the flats, it is sparse and well distributed across a very large area.

[D] Look closely: every upper wash runs into the area and it is flat. This does not mean that there is gold in every scoop or bucket, but, in areas like this, the gold is concentrated by nature. Look for the low spots and any exposed bedrock areas and start there first. Then move out based on what you are finding and where. Drywashing, recirculating and detecting have all proven out for me in this area. Take your time and prospect what you see now and how it got there while always asking yourself how the gold got there from the beginning of time. That will take you to other deposits.

I have a feeling that I will see you out here on this claim during the winter months. 


Kevin Hoagland is the GPAA Director of Development and can be reached at


Total Comments (2)


2 comments on article "Where's the Gold? (Desert Edition)"

Garrett Hook

7/12/2019 8:00 AM

.....sure looks familiar

Randy Donofrio

4/30/2020 8:32 AM


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