Located within Clackamas County and roughly forty miles southeast from Portland, Oregon is the Molalla River Recreation Corridor. There is a little gold in the Molalla River and the gold that is found is found in spotty occurrences along the river. Gold is believed to have traveled into the Molalla River from the Ogle Mine area, and other unknown or small low grade deposits. There is free camping in the area, but many places it is hard to find a speck of gold. Try reading the river for gold occurrences. Gold will travel on the inside bends of the river and the shortest route in between bends. Try the cracks in the basalt bedrock. There are many boulders in the area that may have deposited a pay-streak a feet or so in front of them (downstream) when the flood levels of the river were overflowing. The gold here is mostly fine to small flakes, and sometimes you will find nothing at all. A lot of pan testing is required to find a good spot.

Molalla River Map

The recreational mining area starts about 1.4 miles below the bridge located at Glen Avon and ends south at the Horse Creek Bridge. You can use a dredge up to four inches, but no bigger. Dredging is allowed from July 15th to August 30th. The nice thing about this area is it is not too far from Portland to do some Oregon gold prospecting and is a good area for a new, but patient greenhorn to hone his or her skills. The key here is to take many sample pans and don’t give up. Go find some of that Clackamas County gold!