Don't Discount Baja's Gold Potential (Part 6)
(Baja desert vista.)
I'll be serving up some additional placer gold locations in Baja California, Mexico in this post so if you're interested in making a trip down to Baja stay tuned.
These gold placers were (and are) not very large in area but were quite rich in the late 1800s when they were first discovered not far north of the Meling Ranch. Not much is available on the El Socorro placers in terms of historical or mining literature and I personally visited the area only once (maybe twice). To get to the El Socorro district you can take Highway 1 south till you're almost halfway between Colonel and Camalu. Take the observatory road southeast about 25 miles and the placers will be just to the north of the road.
From El Socorro as a starting point, the following Baja locations or areas contain placer gold in limited amounts as well as old hard-rock mining operations:
Fortuna (about 50 miles northeast of the El Socorro placers)
La Calentura (about 25 miles northwest of the El Socorro placers)
Santa Cruz (just a few miles northwest of the El Socorro placers)
In a line nearly straight south of El Socorro are Valladares and El Morro, both of which contain hard rock and placer gold in varying amounts. If you continue south toward and through the central Baja desert you can expect gold at Onyx, just north of Catamajue, at Leon Grande, Columbia, El Desengano, Escondido, El Pulpo, and San Juan. I can't tell you more about these gold locations because I never visited them or worked them.
Calmalli (sometimes known as the Pozo Aleman Placers)
If you push farther south into Baja along Highway 1 you'll eventually come to Guerrero Negro (not far from the famous Scammons Lagoon whale area). Go about 25 miles southeast of Guerrero Negro and take the road almost due east to El Arco. Not far to the north of El Arco are the Calmalli gold placers. Some of these placers are GEN-U-INE Tertiary gold gravels while others were derived from mineralized veins in mainland Mexico eons ago before Baja split away from the mainland taking some of Mexico's gold with it.
THERE'S GOOD GOLD AT CALMALLI! I repeat, good gold for anyone willing to make the journey (hint, hint, hint...). Coarse gold and small-to-medium nuggets abound here and Calmalli is one of the few places in Baja you can actually nugget shoot with a detector to success and without tons of metallic garbage constantly plaguing you. The best gold will be found in both cemented and unconsolidated stream, bench, and elluvial (hillside or slope) placer deposits. Like many Baja gold locations this is dry, desert ground so pack accordingly.
(El Arco...the Calmalli placers are not far away.)
Calmalli was (and still is) the best gold placer district in all of Baja. I can't put things any clearer than than that. If you get this far south in Baja you'd be foolish to bypass this area providing you can still access it, that is. We'll talk more about that issue and other topics in my next (and final) post on gold in Baja.
Until then, stay safe and keep smiling despite all...
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2014
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org