Where to find gold in Oregon

Errol metal detecting

Errol Belda

Wednesday 14, 2016

Where to find Gold in Oregon

Gold nuggets all found using a Metal Detector in Oregon by Mark, Errol Belda.


Gold nuggets found by Mark, Errol Belda. in Oregon using a metal detector.

Yes, Oregon still has lots of gold.

 The majority of gold in the State of Oregon comes from two main regions: Eastern Oregon or the Northeast part of the state, and Southwest Oregon above the California border. Public land does allow for gold prospecting in both areas.

Southwest Oregon Region: History tells us in the mid 1800’s gold deposits were found in the Josephine Creek Area and nearby creeks. The word got out and the miners came, soon gold was also found in the Illinois River, the Applegate and the Rogue River. Rich gold deposits were also found on the southwest beach, known today as Gold Beach.

Nice gold, both placer and lode have been found throughout the Siskiyou Mountains. Grants Pass and Medford areas have produced much gold in the past.

Hydraulic operations from the past show us areas around Myrtle Creek, Cow Creek, Quines Creek, Last Chance Creek, also produced good gold, both Lode and Placer. The South Umpqua River and waters draining into the South Umpqua also produced.

Another prosperous area is Josephine County, in the past gold was found along the Illinois River, Josephine Creek, and Althouse Creek. Check out the old lode mines.



Mark Belda metal detecting in eastern Oregon with a Minelab GPX 5000Mark metal detecting in Eastern Oregon with the Minelab GPX 5000

Metal detecting is a great way to find gold in Oregon.                                        

Well over ½ million ounces of gold came out of Jackson County. Jackson County had its initial discovery in 1852, and is still a desirable area to prospect. Gold has been found in most waterways in the area; Applegate, Sterling, Palmer, Willow and  Elk Creeks, Happy Prospecting!
Another prosperous area is Josephine County, in the past gold was found along the Illinois River, Josephine Creek, and Althouse Creek. Check out the old lode mines.
Curry and Coos Counties also have plenty of gold. The Sixes River will yield gold, and the Oregon beaches in this area also yield very fine gold.
The Eastern Oregon Region was also very prosperous, a gold belt that covers most of Baker, Grant and Union counties produced nearly ⅔ of the total production. One can look for the many old gold mines and placer areas. Bucket Line Dredging was used here also, Look for valleys left by the dredges.

Gold nuggets found in Eastern Oregon at the Belda's training events.


Several Mining districts from the town of Huntington to the base of the Wallowa Mountains along the Snake River still have gold.
The Burnt River along Hwy 84 still has gold. Drainages that flow into the Burnt River have also produced gold. Gold Prospectors Association of America has outings on the Burnt River, Check out a membership with them.
The Powder River upstream from Baker City was mined extensively.
Sumpter area is a beautiful area. The gold dredge used is docked as a remembrance. Millions of dollars of gold came from the 3 dredges used. There are stories of larger nuggets found in the tailing piles since the dredges were designed to discard larger materials.
Other areas for old mining towns are Granite, Bourne, Greenhorn and Susanville. Buck Gulch outside of Susanville Thousands of Ounces of gold have come from this region Including the Armstrong nugget.
The John Day area has a lot of old Placer mines. Gold is still found in the majority of the creeks throughout the area.

The Armstrong nugget currently on display at the US bank in Baker city, Oregon. Found by George Armstrong and Dick stewart Is currently the Largest Gold nugget ever found in Oregon.  
We have found many gold nuggets throughout Oregon and there are many more to be found. Plan a nice vacation and take along a metal detector designed to find raw gold nuggets, a sluice box, a gold pan and at least one classifier for the creeks, a pick, a shovel, and a finds pouch. There are many ghost towns too for coins and relics. Go, have fun, and find treasure too.






Books about where to find gold in Oregon


Best Metal Detectors for finding gold nuggets