Finding Gold in Colorado

    The Gold Rush of 1849 was born principally of extreme anxiety on the part of eastern inhabitants trapped in a situation without any jobs and at this point did not have any hopes of owing a home or business to maintain them in after they retied.

    As soon as gold was discovered and revealed at Sutter's Mill in California, this is when everyday people all of a sudden saw an opportunity of becoming prosperous or at least claiming enough in order to purchase a home.

    A number of these explorers ended up in what is now Colorado, eager to find gold there, as an alternative to crossing the desert country to get to California.

    The gold fever put Cripple Creek on the map in 1890. The mines in this district are responsible for turning this area into the fourth leading gold producing camp in the world.

    During the first year of production, early day mines accounted for about $250,000 taken from the ground. In 1893, miners had dug up $3 million in gold ore. And by 1899 about $59 million in ore was obtained. Around the end of the gold rush, area mines produced $432 million.

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

    • Montrose County. This is located along the San Miguel and Uncomphagre Rivers and the creeks that are close to Paradox.
    • Lake County. Near Box Creek, near the Arkansas River.
    • Gunnison County. A place where it was discovered in the past is in the north part of the Gunnison County, mostly along Washington Gulch.
    • Gilpin County. Rollinsville near the South Boulder Creek.
    • Chaffe County. You can look near the Arkansas River from Buena Vista southeast to the Fremont County line. Near Granite is another location.

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