Gold prospecting -
Panning for Gold in Tennessee
My first trips out into
the Mountain streams:
Well, as soon as I learned that
there was gold in Tennessee, I just had to go find
some. I sat at home and saw the shows on the
Outdoor channel, like Prospecting America, Gold Fever,
and others, and decided I had to join the GPAA.
That was in January.. I got my cards in
February. I was now a member and could go out and
do some prospecting, and find some gold on my
I figured while I was waiting for my gold
panning kit to arrive, that I would make the drive down
to GA to the Crisson Gold Mine in Dahlanaga (or however
the heck you spell that)
We picked up a couple of
bags of their concentrates. I thought, gee, this
would be a great way to learn the basics.
took them home, and we sat on the back porch
(enclosed and heated mind you) and bought a cement
mixing tub from Lowe's. $12 bucks or so. Ok,
so we sat there panning, now that our pan got
here. We took turns, and panned and panned.
When we got done, we put the gold back in the dirt and
panned it again. This was how we learned to
pan. Well, between that and the panning video that comes
in the GPAA kit.
Ok, now we were ready to head
out to the streams and find that gold! We can pan
out that stuff from the mine lickety split. No
problems.. always get all the gold, so we're ready to
go. I looked at the GPAA book, and it showed the
areas where we could prospect, and in the area we went
to, you didn't need a permit to pan for gold.
We had picked up a couple of extra pans and some other
things at the Crisson mine in GA.
is now late March. The water is like ice.
Boy,, should have brought some thick rubber
gloves. We had been watching the gold shows, so we
had a bit of an idea of where to look in the stream to
find some gold to pan. We drove out along hwy 64
in the south end of the Cherokee National Forest.
We found streams along the road that we could stop and
park, so we could pan.
This first place had a
great looking little creak running through. We
walked under the main road, and upstream a bit. We
started shoveling into our classifier and into our
About 3 hours went by, and no
gold. We moved on further east, and found another
good looking stream. We panned and
panned.... no gold.
The second trip out, I
took a drive along the same road, and went all the way
up to coker creek. People talked about coker
creek, and a place called Doc Rogers Field. I
wanted to see where it was at. We found it after
seeing Whites Mining Supply. They are now closed,
but he was very helpful and full of information that
helped us out.
The next weekend, we headed
out and ended up along hwy 64 again... Dhu..
Ok, in my defense,,, I saw a creek on the way
back from coker creek that just looked like an awesome
place for gold! I had to check it out.
So, we went to this stream, and boy it was a hike
getting back up in there. The rocks in the stream
are now covered in a real thin coating of some of the
slickest moss you ever saw..... yup...
I slipped. I fell,,, I broke my knee!
I didn't realize it was broken at the
time. Sure, it hurt pretty bad, but I didn't think
it was that bad. We panned and again, didn't find
I guess what I am trying to say, is
that just because you want to find gold, and the area
looks good.. it doesn't mean there is going to be gold
there. Remember, I was new back then. Some
day, I will head back to the same places knowing what I
know now, and see if it was just newbie stupidity that
caused the strike outs.
Also, it is important to
wear some knee protection when you are
prospecting. You can get knee pads at wal mart or
hardware stores from about $5 bucks on up. I like
the ones Walmart has that have a clear plastic/rubber
piece in front of the pad. (Extra
DON'T GET DISCOURAGED IF YOU
DON'T FIND GOLD YOUR FIRST FEW TRIPS OUT.
found gold every trip after, since I have been
prospecting. It is just a matter of learning the
basics, and go where gold has been found
My third trip out, I went to Doc Rogers
Field, because Mr. White, and others said there is
pretty good gold in there. Yes, I found gold!!!
but that is the next story to be posted.
you for reading. I hope this helps someone out that is
Gold prospecting feature articles:
- Gold panning - My
first and second trips out. A good story
about what NOT to do.
- Gold in
- Keeping legal - Get permit information here. (They are free!)