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In the past century, over 100,000 ounces of gold have been mined on Chicken Creek and its tributaries and there still remains a great deal of gold to be found.
In 2007, we opened some of our claims to recreational mining with good success. These claims include virgin ground as well as some ground previously mined by crude methods at
least 50 years ago. The claims have historically produced good gold including some nuggets as large as 3 oz.
Guests* staying at the Chicken Gold Camp can pan or mine on nearby claims for a daily fee. We allow use of pans, metal detectors, hand sluices, small suction dredges and high bankers (2.5" max). It is approximately 2 miles by road and trail to the claims. The last mile requires an ATV or a hike. We provide transportation to the claims for prospectors and gear for a fee. No motorized vehicles other than ATVs will be permitted on the last mile of trail. The shuttle generally runs one round trip per day so come prepared for being out in the weather all day: rain gear, rubber boots , hat, water bottle and food. We require all prospectors to declare the amount of gold mined at the end of each day for our records, but all gold is yours to keep.
What to expect: Every morning at 9 am an orientation is held for newcomers, you must attend in order to go on the claims. The shuttle only makes 1 trip in the morning and then in the afternoon, be prepared to stay on the claims all day unless you want to walk back to camp. We do have an outhouse on the claims but there is no other shelter so be prepared for all types of weather ... rain gear, rubber boots, hat, warm jacket. Bring plenty of food and water. The guide is there to instruct and assist, not to do the work for you.
$15 per day for panning & metal detecting
$30 per day for hand sluices
$50 per day for high bankers or suction dredges (max 2½")
$15 per day for additional helpers for any of the above activities
* Prices apply to those camped at Chicken Gold Camp and are per person per day.
* Different rates apply to those not staying at Chicken Gold Camp.
Prospecting is available from 8am to 7pm daily except for newcomers who must sign in at 9am the first day and go through orientation. If you miss the 9 am orientation you will have to wait until the next day to go to the claims.
$15 per day to rent a hand sluice
$35 per day to rent a high banker or dredge
Prices and availability are subject to change without notice.
Many 'pickers' and nice jewelry nuggets have been found by our
guests with the largest to date weighing 1.4 oz. We have many members in our "1 oz club": those who have found one oz of gold or more in one season. The claims have also produced some nice specimens of jasper, chert, agate, opal, and petrified wood.