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Public Mining Areas of OregonOkay, guess I best start with my home state...
Oregon has a rich history in gold mining and has produced a whole lot of color over the years. From the fines in the sands of Gold Beach to the big nuggets around Baker City to the wealth of gold taken out of the gravels while laying I-5 - there's gold in them thar hills! There are also a good number of public mining areas in Oregon. Regardless of where you live, there's likely a public area near you.
Just getting started on this map, so bear with me...
Quartzville Recreation Corridor - There are 12 miles of gorgeous scenery, camping, hiking, fishing, kayaking and gold prospecting located on Quartzville Creek upstream from Green Peter Reservoir outside of Sweet Home Oregon. The area is gorgeous, the water frigid and the gold not too hard to find. Some nuggets can be had, but fines are the norm. The regs say no digging in the banks where plant roots are growing and I believe there's a limit on dredge size, but for the weekend prospector, out to get a little color amongst amazing scenery, Quartzville can't be beat!
Brice Creek - Parts of Brice Creek are open to the public through Mineral Withdrawal as a "Free Use Site". From Cottage Grove take exit 174 on I-5 and drive east past Dorena Lake for 18 miles. Follow the Row River on the Brice Creek Road past Culp Creek to Disston, turn right onto the County Road #2470 and Forest Service Road #22 which leads to Champion Creek located on Forest Service Road #2470. Grass Creek is past the Champion Creek turnoff on Forest service Road #2213. There are patented mining claims in the area, so be careful to stay off of private property. Brice Creek and its tributaries share heavily in the distribution of flood gold particles after each spring thaw and summer thunderstorms. It has easy access, good roads, and camping. The forest service "Hobo Recreation Site" allows recreational gold panning. It is an out of the way camp along road #2470, just above Brice Creek. It has a history of producing gold.
Sharps Creek - Sharps Creek first gained popularity in 1858 and is part of the Bohemian Mining District because of its excessive gold placer content. Sharps Creek is resupplied with fine gold and flake every year. Mineral Camp and Martin Creek Recreation Sites also have great gold and produce larger nuggets. Please respect private property. To reach Mineral Camp, take exit 174 east out of Cottage Grove from I-5. Follow the Row River Road #2400 13 miles east to Sharps Creek road #2460. Turn Right on the Sharps Creek Road and drive south for about 10 miles. You will pass Sharps Creek Recreation area as mentioned above. Turn left in and go EAST about 2 miles to Mineral Camp. There are many active claims posted along Sharps Creek, as well as private land, so be careful to stick to public areas.
Cedar Creek - Cedar Creek Recreation Site is situated on a river terrace next to Brice and Cedar Creeks. Cedar Creek contains some small nuggets. This area has a rich history of placer gold. Cedar Creek is located further up Brice Creek from the Hobo Recreation Area.
More to come soon...
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