California Gold Location Tip for Beginners

(The Calaveras River watershed.)

Gold Location Tip for Beginners

My friend, California placer gold miner Greg Gomes (a.k.a., "Nightrider"), e-mailed me yesterday with this gold location tip for those of you just starting out in small-scale or recreational prospecting and mining. Here's what Greg had to say:

"Hey J.R.,

For people in my neck of the woods they can use Google Earth to track down these coordinates: 

38*12'04.79"N 120*43'21.61"W 

This area is great for beginners. It has plenty of bedrock and shale and I have always found placer gold on both sides of the access road here. The location is open to the public and has a lot of history. It's also great to explore because it's part of the Calaveras River.

If you want some more starter spots just let me know.

Summer's right around the corner so I'm cleaning my equipment. I'll send you my progress concerning the Blackberry Mine.

Thanks for your time and knowledge,


Plus, You'll Find Some Gold

I've already told Greg to go right ahead and send me more locations like this if he's willing. For those "newbies" living in California or planning a summer panning or mining trip there, specific locations like this can really take the edge off trying to find open or public areas to work. Plus, you'll find some gold to make it all worthwhile.

I really appreciate Greg's willingness to share part of his overall mining knowledge (which is considerable, by the way) with my readers. You can do your own part to thank Greg by visiting y'Ore Placer Mine, his own online gold mining site at:

I wish one and all the best of luck out there in the "Golden State." And Greg, thanks again my friend!

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Small-Scale Mining Success Stories (Part 2b)"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2011

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. Sorry guys. I just claimed the whole Calaveras River. I'll still allow you to prospect, but 30% of your findings are mine. Oh yeah....I claimed the blackberry mine to. Ha, ha. just bustin your bedrock.
    Weather is right, new gold exposed!!!
    Lovin the articles Jim, keep em coming.

    Inheritor of Nightriders GOLD

  2. Hi Josh. Well, you better run all this by Mr. Nightrider hisself first! Thanks for the support my friend..hope we can mine together at some point. Jim Rocha (J.R.)


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