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Entries for the ‘Oregon Gold’ Category

Grant County Oregon Gold

In northeastern Oregon in the southwest of the Blue Mountains is the Grant County gold belt. This area was prospected after the big strikes in Baker County. There were some rich discoveries along Canyon Creek, Granite, Greenhorn, North Fork, Quartzburg and Susanville. There was a million ounces of gold or more recovered from Grant County.


Northwest of Bates by 18 miles, down the middle fork of the John Day River, is the Susanville District. This district produced over 50,000 ounces of Oregon gold.

The Middle Fork of the John Day River

The Middle Fork of the John Day River

Along Elk Creek and north of the middle fork of the John Day River, there was some extensive placer operations which were the main source of gold in the district. On the south side of Elk Creek, about 2 miles above its junction with the middle fork, in township 20S range 33E and section 7 on the S1/2, is the Badger Mine. The Badger Mine was the principal lode producer in the district. Other mines in the area include the Chattanooga in Sections 5 and 6. The Daisy Mine in Section 5, the Golden Gate (Poorman) in Sections 7 and 8 east of Badger Mine and north of Elk Creek.

Canyon City

The Canyon City District produced over 900,000 ounces of gold to date. Along the John Day River and all its tributaries contain rich placer deposits. There was numerous area lode mines. The Golden West mine is located in T14S R31E Section 12. The Great Northern Mine is located  in T14S R32E Section 7. The Great Northern Mine was a rich pocket gold mine that produced free gold. The Haight Mine, near the Great Northern Mine, was also a good producer. The Miller Mountain Mine is located on the northeast slope of Miller Mountain and it was also a very rich producer. Near the Marysville School you will find the Prairie Diggings, this mine consisted of shallow surface cuts into a mineralized belt.

The Golden West Mine on Little Canyon Mountian circa 1935

The Golden West Mine on Little Canyon Mountian circa 1935 -Photo courtesy of Nick Sheedy, John Day, Oregon. "The man in the center of that 1935 photo is Isaac "Ike" Gucker, who was a well-known miner who found the Great Northern Mine and mined gold on Little Canyon Mountain for 50 years. Ike Gucker was my great-great-great-uncle, and my family still owns the great Northern & Golden West."--Nick Sheedy


Along Granite Creek and its tributaries Bull Run Creek and Clear Creek was some very rich placer ground. the John Day River is also rich in this area. Desolation Creek was also a very good producer as well. Every creek and gultch in this area should be checked for placer gold.

Prairie City

Dixie Creek produced over 20,000 ounces of placer gold and all of the creeks around Prairie City contain placer gold to some extent.

Malheur County Oregon Gold

Between 1904 and 1959 Malheur County produced a total of 13,522 ounces of lode gold and 13,860 ounces of placer gold. The Mormon Basin District, which straddles the Baker-Malheur County lines is the mineralized area. See Durkee in our Baker County section for more information.

Linn County Oregon Gold

Quartzville Creek

In Quartzville Creek and its tributaries there is abundant placer colors and flakes. The BLM operates “The Quartzville Recreation Corridor” and this is a great place to learn how to gold mine. There is a 19 mile section of Quartville Creek that is closed to mineral entry, but is open to recreational mining using pans, sluices, dredges and highbankers. Contact BLM for more information. Also in the area is the Albany Mine which was a minor lode producer. There a  few smaller mines in the area as well. Stay out of the mines as they are privately owned and dangerous.

Quartzville Creek is great for new gold prospectors

Quartzville Creek is great for new gold prospectors

Calapooya River

The Calapooya River is a popular river for dredging, panning and sniping gold. Also see our Lane County Oregon Gold section for more information.

North Fork of the Santiam river

This river also contains some fine placer gold. I have also heard rumors of the occasional nugget being found.

Curry County Oregon Gold

Ocean beaches along the entire county, but especially North and South of the mouths of the Chetco River and the Rogue River, in blacksand deposits you will find placer gold and platinum. All regional streams (gravel bars, benches, terraces), placers formerly worked and still yielding colors and nuggets to the seasonal gold panner.


Gold Beach area ocean beach blacksand deposits was once extensively worked for its rich placer gold and platinum. Port Oxford area beach blacksand deposits also contain placer gold and platinum (fine to very fine). The Sixes River on the inside of Cape Blanco, in section 4 of township 32S and Range 15W, you will find the Madden Mine which was a large lode gold producer.On the north side of Cape Blanco, the beach deposits of blacksand on both sides of the Sixes River contain placer gold and platinum.

Cape Blanco

Cape Blanco circa 1850

Chetco River

Northeast of Brookings to headwaters of the Chetco River, located at township 38S and range 10W, center in section 26 you will find the Frazier Mine which was a rich producer of lode gold associated with pyrite. The Golden Eagle Mine was a hydraulic placer gold operation.. Near the head of Slide Creek the Golden Dream Mine was a large lode gold operation. In the center of section 23, the Peck Mine was a good producer of lode gold. Near the edge of section 35, the Young Mine had rich pockets of free gold. In section 10, the Hoover Gultch Mine, worked intermittently since 1900 for its lode gold.

Illinois River

The old mines and prospects along the lower Illinois River also had rich gold deposits with a by-product of copper.

Lobster Creek

Gold is found throughout Lobster Creek, located 10 miles east of Gold Beach, up to Rogue River. It is actively being worked at a place called “Old Diggings”. There are nice nuggets and flour gold dredged up every year. Most areas are claimed, so permission is required to work these areas.

Rouge River

The Rouge River gravel bars, benches, terraces from Marial, in the northeast corner of the county to its mouth at Wedderburn has abundant placer gold deposits. Around the Agness area on the Rogue River gravel bars, benches and terraces had rich placer gold deposits. Near Marial, to the southwest by 1 mile, in section 17 and 20 of township 33S and range 10W, you will find the Mule Moutain Group of mines which consisted of 11 lode mines, 1 placer mine and mill site. If you go to the northeast 2 miles in the northwest 1/4 section 3 and the northeast of section 4, you will find the Mammoth Mine which was a rich lode gold producer. The Marigold Mine was also a rich lode gold in quartz mine. Near Saddle Peaks (reached by rough trail), is the Paradise Mine which produced free gold.

Sixes River

Along the South Fork of the Sixes River and heads of Salmon and Johnson Creeks there are numerous extensive placers that have been worked. If you go east on a dirt road to the head of Rusty Creek you will find the Big Ben Mine which was a rich lode producer, with lead and silver. Also in the area is the Combination Mine, which was a rich lode gold producer as well. There is also a BLM mineral withdrawal area setup at the old ghost town of Sixes. The area is set up for recreational mining using pans, sluices, and dredges up to 4″ hose diameter.

A view of the Sixes River

A view of the Sixes River

Panning the Sixes River

Panning the Sixes River

Clackamas County Oregon Gold

Near the head of Ogle Creek, which is a tributary of the Mollalla River in the far Southeast corner of the county, just north of the Marion County line is the location of the Ogle Mountain Mine and Mill. This was the located in the North Santiam district of Marion County and had a total production of around  5,000 ounces of free milling gold.


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