Click each photo to greatly enlarge it
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. And we are adding recreational mining access to our claims on Lost Chicken Creek in 2015.
Guests* staying at the Chicken Gold Camp can pan or mine on all of our 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 on the claims. The shuttle makes 1 trip in the morning at 8:15 for repeat customers and a 2nd trip at 9 am for newcomers; it picks up in the afternoon starting at 5:30; 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.
Suction dredging: Chicken Gold Camp has 5 claims on the South Fork of the Fortymile at the mouth of Lost Chicken Creek which are available to suction dredges up to 6". All equipment and access must be supplied by the guests. We allow one dredge per claim and charge $250/week for two operators. These claims will only be open when river conditions warrant. Please email for more details.
$20 per day for panning & metal detecting
$35 per day for hand sluices - your equipment
$55 per day for high bankers or suction dredges - your equipment (max 2½")
$20 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 (shovels, pans, classifiers and buckets included)
$35 per day to rent a high banker or dredge (gas, shovels, pans and classifiers included)
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, amethyst and petrified wood. Lost Chicken Creek has produced a wealth of Pleistocene mammal bones, some of which are housed in the Smithsonian Museum.