Is it Legal to Pan For Gold In Colorado?
Back in the 1800s, there were tons of gold to be found in Colorado, but what are the chances today?
According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, gold seekers in Colorado still have the option to pan for gold, but there are a few things you should be aware of.
Where to Legally Pan for Gold in Colorado
If you are looking to pan for gold within the Centennial State, make sure to choose a location where it is legal to do so.
Gold panning is perfectly legal to do on public lands except for "certain designated areas, such as wilderness areas, Wilderness Study Areas, developed special management areas or recreation sites," according to the Forest Service.
If you are panning for gold within a state park, any gold chunks or nuggets are state property and must be shown to park staff. However, it is said that generally, gold flakes are okay to keep.
Gold Panning Tools
In order to pan for gold, you will need the proper tools. CPW states that a good gold panning kit usually ranges from $20-$50. A shovel for digging and waders for chilly waters are also suggested, meaning that in total, you'll most likely spend no more than $100.
When panning for gold, you'll want to fill your pan with sand, particularly sand that is dark in color or even black, and then sift through it for any gold chunks or nuggets. When you catch your sand in the other pan after being sifted then you can begin the separation process.
CPW recommends that you,
Place the pan of sand barely in the water so that heavier pieces (like gold) will sink to the bottom and the sand itself will lift out over the edge of the pan.
The process can be long and tedious, but finding real gold is a huge reward in itself, even if it's just flakes.
Some of the best places to pan for gold in Colorado include Castlewood Canyon State Park and Point Barr at Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area.