New Possibilities for the Small-Scale Gold Prospector (Part 2)
(Southeastern Wyoming's Medicine Bow Mountains.)
Another off-the-beaten-track possibility you small-scale gold prospectors and miners may want to consider lies in the scenic Medicine Bow Mountains of southeastern Wyoming. Back in the late 1860s extremely rich pockets of both placer and lode gold were discovered in and along Moore's Gulch in the Medicine Bows.
Deposits Laden with Gold
These gold pockets included placer nuggets weighing in at nearly 4 troy ounces each and quartz "float" (scattered pieces of gold ore) that assayed at 900 troy ounces per ton...fantastically rich ore by the old timer's standards and exponentially richer by today's standards. After the initial discoveries along Moore's Gulch, hundreds of prospectors and miners spread out to search the immediate area. It wasn't long before localized placer deposits heavily laden with gold were found on nearby Douglas Creek.
Once these deposits had been worked over, the miners moved on to find better ground. What they failed to realize is that had they been a bit more patient and thorough they would have found copper, diamonds, platinum, and yes...even more gold in this region of the Medicine Bow Mountains. A few of the smart, industrious, and never-say-types who remained behind to really do the job right were rewarded with the sort of wealth they had only dreamed in past years.
Sooner or Later...
What the status of this area of the Medicine Bows is at this time I can't say. But if you can gain even limited access there's always the chance of hitting something good here. Anytime you can work more remote and historically higher yield ground like this, the better off you'll be in the long run
(A nice array of nuggets from the Douglas Creek placers.)
The main fly in the ointment may come from the Cowboy State's bureaucrats and politicians who (at least in the past) have passed some of the most restrictive and anti small-scale mining legislation it's ever been my misfortune to come across. Due to its bizarre demographics and overpopulation I can sort of understand this in my home state of California, but it's a tough one to digest in a land of rugged individualists like Wyoming. Go figure...
Anyhoo, just about anything is preferable these days to the standard, over-blown locations we were all weaned on as miners here in the Lower 48. Sooner or later my friend, you're gonna have to step outside the box. It might as well be now...
Best of luck.
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Gold in the Southwest: New Mexico (Part 10)"
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2012
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org