Finding Gold in Arizona

    The entire gold production in Arizona is around that of 14 million ounces. This production is small in comparison to that in California (150 million ounces) and is much smaller than that in Colorado (40 million ounces) and Nevada (30 million ounces). Additional to that, the majority of the gold in Arizona was produced as a consequence of low-grade copper mining, so examples that talk about Arizona's gold history are somewhat uncommon.

    Gold can be found in twelve of Arizona's fifteen counties, but most of these mining districts did not live for long, and other than a few ruins and ghost towns, there is not much to be found. There are however three areas with gold discoveries which lead to gold rushes that do merit mentioning, these are the Bradshaw Mountains in central Arizona, Greaterville in southern Arizona, and the Mohave County rush in the northwest corner of the state.

    Some of the places to consider finding out about gold and places where gold has been found are:

    • Yavapai County. This is an area near Prescott and runs all along the eastern foothills of the Bradshaw Mountains. Gold was found in the creek beds. Some of the creeks that can be found are Humbug, French, Big Bug, Cow, Granite, Lynx, and Agua Fria.
    • Mowry Wash. This is located nine miles south of Patagonia in Santa Cruz Country and used to be a gold producer.
    • In the south of Pinal County, which is located around four miles south of Oracle. There were once a lot of placer workings in the gulches of the Santa Catalina Mountains.
    • The Superstition Mountains, which is located east of the Apache Junction close to Phoenix. This was a place where gold was claimed to be found but it was a dangerous area and some people died while exploring these mountains.
    • The Gold Basin area is located in Mohave County and this is near Chloride and is around twenty miles north of Kingman.
    • In Mohave County there is also the Mohave Mountains, which are located eighteen miles southeast of Topock. The Red Hill placer diggings, Dry Gulch and Printer’s Gulch were once located here.
    • Maricopa County, which is located near Wickenberg. You can also look along the Hassayampa River where the very old Vulture Mine was reopened as a tourist attraction area and it shows its visitors what a mine looks like.
    • Greenlee County around Clifton. You can go to the San Francisco River, Chase Creek and Eagle Creek.

    Important Note: Always check with the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) and property owners before attempting to do any gold panning.