Gold in California's Coastal Ranges (Conclusion)
(Northern California Counties.)
Here's my final post in this series of hard rock and placer gold in California's coastal ranges:
Placer Gold in the Coastal Ranges
Up to this point I've been talking about hard rock gold deposits in the coastal ranges, but it's time to shift gears and cover gold placers in this region. Although many of the known placer deposits in the region are small in size and limited from a commercial mining standpoint, these deposits (and others that remain to be located) may hold decent potential for small-scale prospectors and miners.There isn't much information or literature out there concerning gold sizes and overall values in California's coastal ranges but I tend to think that most of the gold to be found there will range from micron-sized particles to small flakes and nuggets in some instances.
One of the things I personally find attractive about the placer mining potential in the California coastal ranges region is that most of the efforts of other small-scale miners have been focused in the Motherlode's historic gold districts an hour or two's drive east. This may mean less competition and the chance of discovering "virgin" or semi-virgin ground (albeit limited in nature) for those you willing to put a bit of time and effort into prospecting and working the coastal ranges.
Known Gold Placers
Here's a short list of known gold placers in California's coastal ranges. Remember, these are key locations only. You should also prospect/sample any and all tributary streams in these areas for the presence of color:
Big Austin Creek (just north of the community of Cazadero in Sonoma County)
Cache Creek (a bit northwest of Capay in Glenn County)
Bear Creek and Sulphur Creek (near Wilbur Springs in Colusa County)
Napa River (in the immediate vicinity of Calistoga, Napa County)
Mitchell Canyon (north of Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County)
Russian River (Mendocino and Sonoma Counties)
(Section of the Russian River.)
Cottonwood Creek (near the community of Platina in Shasta County
**Coastal Beaches (particularly those in the San Francisco area and near the Oregon border)
Klamath River (the Klamath is a well known gold producer, especially farther inland in Siskiyou County)
(**I actually recovered very small amounts of placer gold on a San Francisco beach in 1983. E-mail me for particulars. J.R.)
Please note that some of the placer areas listed above may only have water at certain times of the year. Also, be aware that some areas may be gated, on private property, or placed off limits by one (or more) of the once-Golden state's anti-mining bureaucracies or special interest groups.
I wish you well if you try your luck in California's coastal ranges. Let me know how you do, OK?
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "'Can I Make a Living Gold Mining? (Part 3)'"
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2012
Questions? E-mail me at email@example.com