Panning for Gold and other minerals, gems and metals can be great fun or very frustrating depending on the day! Try your hand at this age old activity and learn some hands on history in the process!
Spend the day and hang out for awhile after your tour of the Phoenix Gold Mine and pan for gold, silver and other precious stones, metals and minerals, on our portion of  Trail Creek. Panning just as the pioneers did, down stream from many mountain crevices and historical mines. The winter snow run off and spring rains help make panning at the Phoenix a true experience of history and great fun for today's rock hound! You many also just pan if you are not interested in touring the mine. For a small fee of $8 for each person. You will be loaned a pan, instructed in the art and sent on  your way to try it for yourself! You will of course be allowed to keep anything you find! Come for the experience, return for the Fun! A day at the Phoenix is sure to be a true adventure! When paying for the tour, the panning and hiking are optional and considered a bonus. Most of the year you can still pan, though the dead of winter may make this impossible. There are no discounts offered when panning is not an option due to weather, drought or you don't personally wish to pan. 

For my own information I emailed the Forest Service about Panning on  Public Lands in this area, just in case you go farther upstream from Mosch Mining Property than you had planned.  I thought it would be of interest to our visitors and rock hounds in general to see the answer I received. Aug. 15, 2004

Gold panning can be a difficult thing to do in Colorado.  Due to the mining history of the area and the continued interest, most areas suitable for panning are private land as a result of patenting claims from the turn of the century.  If a map does not show an area as private there is most likely already an unpatented claim on that area.  The only way to know for sure is to figure out where exactly you might like to pan then look to see if it is private land (please note that the USGS maps commonly used are not always exactly correct.  Since most claims are only 150 feet wide a small error in the map can unexpectedly place you on private land.).    If the area is on public land then you can go to the BLM public room in Lakewood with the Section Township and Range from your map to compare against all the filed claims in that area.  If there are some, then you can get the maps for the specific claims to see if your prospective area is a part of the filed claims.  If you find an area that is available to claim you can file a Notice of Intent to conduct mining operations with the Forest Service district office in the area of your potential claim.  This document will be used to determine the potential environmental impacts your operation may have and determine if you need to file a plan of operations and post a bond.  Additionally, if you find an unclaimed area, you would most likely want to go back to the BLM and place a claim on it to protect it against someone else claiming it so you don't have to go through the trouble of finding a new area.  I am sorry for the long-winded answer but unfortunately this is the procedure for panning on the National Forest in this area.  There is no "recreational" panning where you can just go out and pick an area and start panning.  If you have any other questions feel free to email us again.

Michael Borkoski
Realty Specialist
Arapaho National Forest - Clear Creek Ranger District

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