Where Are the Best Places to Find Gold in California?

By Anna Duncan

The Golden State of California has been a hot-spot for gold seekers since the 1840s, when James Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill, sparking the California Gold Rush. Since then, hundreds of thousands of prospectors have flocked to California in hopes of striking it rich.

Today, there are still plenty of places you can go to find gold in California. One popular spot is the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where you can pan for gold in rivers and streams. The Northern Sierra foothills also contain many small placer deposits that can be panned by hand or with a metal detector.

Another great place to look for gold in California is the Mojave Desert, where you can find both nuggets and flakes.

Many hobbyists and professionals alike have had success panning or metal detecting in this area. There are also several commercial operations throughout the desert that offer recreational mining tours and equipment rentals.

The Mother Lode region is another great place to search for gold in California. This area is known for its rich deposits of placer gold, which are often found in dry washes or dry gulches near old mining sites. While it doesn’t produce as much gold as it used to during the Gold Rush era, there are still plenty of places here that can yield good results.

Lastly, don’t forget about the beaches along California’s coast! These beaches often contain small amounts of placer gold that have washed down from local rivers or streams over time. While these amounts may not be enough to retire on, they may still be worth your time if you’re interested in recreational prospecting.


In conclusion, there are plenty of great places to find gold in California; from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Mojave Desert and even along its coastal beaches. So if you’re looking for a fun and rewarding way to spend an afternoon or weekend outdoors, consider trying your luck at finding a little bit of buried treasure!