Don't Discount Baja's Gold Potential (Part 4)
(Campsite amid the granite country rock in Baja's Sierra Juarez mountains.)
In this post on gold in Baja California, Mexico I'll be providing you with some prospecting and mining locations as well as some salient information regarding those locations. Thousands (if not tens of thousands) of troy ounces of placer gold has already been recovered in Baja, but much more gold remains to be recovered there, so take note.
Placer Gold Locations
Once again, let me remind you that Baja is divided into the northern (Baja Del Norte) and southern (Baja Del Sur) halves, and placer gold can be found at selected locations in both the north and south. I only worked northern Baja placer locations back in the day, so I can't speak with any real conviction about Baja Del Sur placers. However, I'm privy to general info about placer gold in the southern half of Baja and I'll pass that your way as well.
(The beautiful Baja mountain king snake...there's a lot of these in the Sierra Juarez.)
Remember, it's been at least a quarter century since yours truly was last in Baja and I'll tell you up front my memory isn't what it used to be. Still, the info I'll be passing along is pretty solid in the main, although particular details I provide may be a bit fuzzy at times. So bear with me in that regard. Additionally, I'll drive you crazy yet again by saying you'll need some highly detailed or topographic maps to find (and get to) some of these locations:
Let me digress here for a moment...there's actually another gold placer area closer to the U.S. border about 80 miles due north of Campo Nacional. These placers are near Campo Juarez but are well known to both Mexican and American prospectors and miners and subsequently have been hit harder than Campo Nacional and some of the others I'll be telling you about. If you do head for Baja gold ground I recommend you bypass Campo Juarez (although an adept miner could still get in the gold there). I'll leave that decision up to you.
Anyway, back to Campo Nacional. This old gold camp and placer ground sits in the higher elevations of the mountains of the Sierra Juarez and I was first clued into it by the writings of famed American geologist Waldemar Lindgren (you remember him, right?). Lindgren ended up at Campo Nacional in his search for and study of Tertiary Channels and surmised that the coarse gold gravels in the gulches, washes, and arroyos in and around Campo Juarez were Tertiary in origin. That should peak your interest some I suspect!
Coarse Gold Possibilities
Campo Nacional has the fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on your perspective) distinction of being located not far from a Mexican National Park whose headquarters is at Laguna Hanson. This more than likely means there's a federal presence in the immediate area of Laguna Hanson but, on the other hand, it doesn't mean the federales are crawling all over the Campo Nacional placers. In fact, I never ran into any "authority" problems at Campo Nacional or any other Baja gold area. Any issues that arose during my mining sojourns down there always occurred while I was in transit from one location to another (I'll talk more about that later).
(Laguna Hanson is not far from the Campo Nacional placer area.)
If my memory serves me well, there's water available in some streams in the Campo Nacional area and definitely close by Laguna Hanson ("Lake Hanson"). Again, your best bet is to be prepared to prospect and work "dry" at Campo Nacional and all other Baja gold locations. If you happen to find water (running or otherwise), then that's an added plus factor. Since we're talking about the possibility of water at certain Baja gold locations, you may want to bring along a portable sluice box like one of those fold-up, backpack versions. Couldn't hurt...
The gold at Campo Nacional tends to be quite coarse with scattered "chunkers" and even a small nugget or two if you get into a bit of good ground. There's lots of granite country rock throughout the Campo Nacional area and some decent bedrock crevicing possibilities for those in the know.
Hang in there...there's more to come.
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2014
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org