Where, When & How to Pan For Gold

Where To Look

The best spots to look for gold are where turbulent waters change to a slower-moving flow. When you're panning, be sure to check the slower water below rapids and waterfalls, deep pools, and the downstream side of boulders. Other good places to find fine gold are inside bends of meanders, upstream ends of sand or point bars and bedrock crevices. These are ideal places to scoop out and pan materials.

Timing is Everything

The best times of year for panning are spring, early summer, and just before freeze up in the fall. During these times the water is low, exposing gold-bearing gravel. To minimize resource damage, make an effort to limit all digging to active, unvegetated stream gravels.

How It's Done

  1. Position your grizzly over your gold pan
  2. Shovel Gravels into your grizzly
  3. Sift the material through the grizzly while keeping your gold pan's riffles pointed away from you to avoid losing any gold. Alternate underwater dipping and swirling until all lighter/finer material is washed away and only heavier material remains at the bottom of your pan and check it for gold nuggets. *pan over another container to catch any gold you might drop*
  4. Use a magnet to separate the magnetic grains from the gold in your pan
  5. Use tweezers or dry fingers to pick out the tiny gold pieces
  6. Keep your gold safe in a water-filled vial!


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