Tips on Prospecting in the Desert

    The deserts that are located in California have some of the biggest reserves of placer gold in the entire state. Some of the most likely areas the gold would be found include:

    • Bajada placers or desert alluvial fan deposits, where the gold comes straight from the original mineralized bed rock source.
    • Desert placers, where the gold becomes reconcentrated from ancient gravels that are gold bearing.
    • Buried desert stream placers.

    It has also been said that in the Mojave Desert, tertiary gold bearing streams possibly flowed south from the area that is now the Sierra Nevada. The set back of the dry placer is very vital, and once more has been learned about it, a huge amount of gold might be discovered that we have not seen yet.

    Water in the desert
    One of the most important things for a prospector is water. Every prospector will need to at least carry two five gallon cans of water every single trip and one of these cans should be placed away for emergency use for drinking of the car and the other should be used for panning. Make sure to have a little wash tub so you are able to recycle the water. After you have found a place to work in, simply pour out the water from the five gallon can in the washtub and start with your panning. After you have finished, allow the water to clear and place it back inside the can. Something that all new prospectors should be well aware of is that no matter what type of gold recovering method you intend on using, whether you are going to be using a metal detector, dredge, sluice, etc, the most important and fundamental item that cannot be overlooked is a gold pan. Gold pans are the main tool when it comes to prospecting. Gold pans are used for separating gold from gravel and other material that is in the streams, and they are also very useful in areas that do not have water. In some cases, dry panning is one of the only ways of being able to recover gold in areas such as the desert for example. Pans are also useful as they can help to recover metallic targets that have been signalled with a metal detector; they can also help to locate objects that may be too hard to nearly impossible to find otherwise.