Nothing But Nuggets (Part 1)

 (Nuggets, nuggets, and more nuggets...)

There's a creek in Northern California where you won't find much in the way of placer gold fines or flakes...just nuggets. I know this sounds too good to be true, but as they say, "truth is stranger than fiction."

One Honey of a Spot

Lest you think I'm just stringing you along here, you should know by now that I'm not one for BSing or blowing smoke up your butt. Everything I'm about to tell you is absolutely true, so listen up.

Gold Pans
Gold Prospecting Books
Gold Panning Kits

I'll drop hints to this creek's location in this post, but I'm not going to name it. It may very well be that some of you Northern California miners are already aware of it, but then again...who knows? Either way, it's one honey of a spot.

Not for the Weak of Spirit

I've told you in the past in "Bedrock Dreams" that to get at good gold you need to get away from the easily accessed locations and hump the boonies some. To get at the large, medium, and small nuggets that are common in this creek you'll not only be humping the boonies, but busting ass big time.

I'll tell you right now that reaching this location is not for the weak of spirit, wannabes, couch potatoes, or those suffering from ailments or infirmities. That's the long and short of it because the good areas along this creek are reached only one of two ways: sheer 500-foot cliff drop offs or via steep forest-covered ridges as high as 5,000 feet. It goes without saying the latter are your best bet.

Millions in Nuggets

Can this creek be reached? Sure it can, but it'll take blood, sweat, tears, and lots of toil. I'm deadly serious here. DO NOT attempt to reach this creek on your own. A twisted ankle, a broken leg, or a fall will leave you in a world of hurt, if not worse. Still interested?

 (The creek we're talking about is nugget heaven.)

OK, a little bit of background information for you. A few enterprising old timers worked this creek way back when and the gold they found there made them more than willing to pay the price of reaching this location. What sort of gold? Nuggets, lots of nuggets, and very large nuggets. In fact, millions of dollars' worth of placer nuggets when gold was only $20.00 a troy ounce.

Small Pockets and Shallow Paystreaks

Interestingly enough, only trifling amounts of smaller gold particles were recovered by the old timers and this held true for the few hardy souls who worked this creek in subsequent years. The bulk of the gold recoveries from this creek have been (and continue to be) in the form of nuggets...some of them multi-ouncers.

The area the creek lies within is rugged and intersected by numerous gold-bearing quartz veins. The gold that has eroded out of these veins typically doesn't travel far and tends to form in fixed pockets or shallow paystreaks, most of which lie under several feet of overburden and, in some instances as much as 15 feet of overburden (try shoveling that off). It's also believed (but not proven) that rich, auriferous Tertiary gravels exist along the steep ridges above the creek.These may be the reasons for the large quantity of nuggets in the creek.

If you're mouth's not watering yet, it will be. I have more info and hints to come, so stay tuned.

Did you like this post? Then read this one: "Placers, Paystreaks, and Pockets (Part 1)"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2013

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. Ok JR, here I thought you were a nice guy, now I see you have a mean streak....A REAL MEAN STREAK!!!! Once again, great stuff!

  2. Thanks Gary...with the hints I'll provide and a bit of research legwork, anyone should be able to ID this creek. Best, J.R.

  3. Talk about a tease!!!! LOL Can't wait for the next installment.

  4. More to come Phil...stay tuned! J.R.

  5. JR
    You have told us that the easily accessible wont be where the choice ground will be. We scour over land maps. We read reports. We faithfully read Bedrock Dreams gleaning your wisdom. Time is a formidable enemy. We never enough to dedicate to mining. More than a fever it is a love, challenge and accomplishment to see that special metal. Like alchohol, pursuing it has cost lives and has long reaching fallout. Researching the history of mining is like going to the antiques roadshow. We see people at mineral shows who beam with the light of the sun while showing their beautiful finds. The beauty we have encountered has been breathtaking. A mother bear and her cubs passed our truck as we went further into the woods. It was scarry yet amazing beyond belief. We cant thank you enough for what you share with us. You are a historian in your own wright. Reading BR is like travelling in a time machine. What was still is and will be. We could meet presidents and dignitaries, but they would pale by comparison to spending time with a man who shares his life experiences with us.

    Amber and Paul

  6. Amber and Paul you are far too kind. I appreciate your words and the way you write them. You're very creative in your own right. best! J.R.

  7. Great reading, bring it on lol...........

  8. OK Tony! Thanks for commenting, J.R.


Post a Comment