Best beginner spot in Southern California to find GOLD?

Best beginner spot in Southern California to find GOLD?

Are you a beginner gold prospector looking for a spot in Southern California? The East Fork of the San Gabriel River is a great spot for beginners and even for advanced gold prospectors. Gold prospecting started in the San Gabriel Mountains in the 1800s and continues today. Prospectors are still finding gold flakes, gold dust, and gold nuggets every year.

The San Gabriel River is one of the most popular gold prospecting destinations in Southern California. Why? Because it's a short distance from Los Angeles for people to find gold. The area was a major gold producer of placer gold and still is.

The East Fork of the San Gabriel is located in the San Gabriel Mountains above the city of Azusa, California. Travel along Highway 39, also known as San Gabriel Canyon Road, and take the bridge to East Fork Road which runs alongside the river. Within a few miles, you will see spots to park alongside the road with easy walking access to the river to sluice and pan for gold. A parking pass is required to park! (grab one here)

Only gold pans and river sluices are allowed. No motorized equipment is authorized to find gold on the San Gabriel. When prospecting in a river look to dig the inside bends, and around big rocks. Look along the river embankment for benches, where high flood waters run for gold to settle.

For the more advanced prospectors, hiking to the Bridge to Nowhere and beyond will yield a better gold return. However, it does require you to hike 10+ miles with your equipment, food, and water.

If you want to pan for gold but also have activities for the family, this is a great river for all. It's a family-friendly river but gets crowded quickly during the summer months.

Happy gold hunting and heavy pans!

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