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“The following mining property is available to our members on the main stem of the Salmon River.”

Important note concerning Mining & Dredging Seasons on this Property

The Salmon River road is located about 37 miles south on Hwy 96 (down river along the Klamath) from the town of Happy Camp. Hwy 96 is a good road, and the drive takes about an hour. The junction is on the left, just past the Somes Bar store, before crossing the Salmon River.

The small town of Orleans can be reached by continuing south on Hwy 96 for another 6 or 7 miles. Orleans has two gas stations (propane & diesel also available), a fairly large grocery store & deli, a restaurant, hardware & auto parts store, laundry mat, several RV parks with full hookups, a motel and other support services. A listing of accommodations with addresses and phone numbers is available from our Club headquarters in Happy Camp.

The Forest Service (USFS) Oak Bottom Campground is on the left as you drive 2.2 miles up the Salmon River road. Oak Bottom is a nice, quiet place to stay. There are individual sites there with BBQ pits (that do not require a campfire permit), picnic tables, running water and large restrooms. The fee in the USFS developed campground is $10/night. But there is a 50% discount if you have a Golden Age or USFS Access Passport. These are available at any USFS office (including Orleans or Happy Camp).

The USFS has agreed to allow our members free potable drinking water (as much as you want) out of their Oak Bottom USFS fee campground. There are at least 10 water faucets in the campground. The ones near the toilets allow for a garden hose hookup. Bring a garden hose if you will need it to fill your containers or RV.

The Salmon River road reduces down to (Salmon River Road 14 feet wide at its narrowest) one lane in places beyond Butler Flat, which is around 9 miles up the Salmon River road. We advise members to take a look with a car first, before driving beyond Butler Flat with a motor home or pulling a trailer. Logging trucks and other heavy trucks routinely traverse the road, so it is being done. There is a very nice USFS fee-campground further up the road at Nordheimer Flat (13.2 miles up the Salmon River road).

Perhaps the most important thing we have discovered about the Main Stem of the Salmon River is that the banks carry substantial amounts of gold which is easy to recover with hand tools and gold pans.

 

 

Important note concerning Mining & Dredging Seasons on this Property

Google Earth Coordinates: 41 45’10.7″N 123 0’35.0″W

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This property is located about one mile upriver from the mouth of the Scott River. There is an extensive high-banking area there, and there is also a fantastic natural riffle in the river that should provide very productive dredging opportunities. There are also some great camping spots.

You get onto the claim by driving one mile up the Scott River Road from Highway 96. Look for the U.S. Forest Service sign which says “Johnson Bar River Access.” You can follow the access road right down onto the new claim. There is plenty of room for parking and turning around down on the bar.

The downstream boundary sign is posted on a tree where the claim butts up to private property. Private property signs are also posted right there. Our upper boundary is located where the Scott River road crosses the river (bridge).

PROSPECTS: Dredging is going to be wonderful on this claim. When we first began visiting the Klamath River in 1983, there were some local miners dredging directly under the bridge on this same property, and they were recovering pounds and pounds of some of the most beautiful gold we have ever seen. It was big gold; much of it still attached to white quartz, likely from the famous mine just upstream at Scott Bar. To the best of our knowledge, those guys never dropped back to dredge the lower portion of the claim, especially around and beneath the natural riffle (rapids).

We are really lucky to have acquired this property!

There is also a very large bar present which is producing gold for surface miners. While we still have a lot to learn about this new property, initial test results are encouraging. The location is smack in the middle of one of California’s richest gold-producing areas!

Here follows Richard Krimm’s explanation of how he located gold in one area of the new claim:

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Important note concerning Mining & Dredging Seasons on this Property

Google Earth Coordinates: 41 43’56.0″N 123 0’30.9″W

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Gold Nuggets from S-1


S-1 UPPER SCOTT RIVER CLAIM – Located 3.4 miles up the Scott River Road from the junction with Highway 96. Watch for our claim sign on a tree along the left side of the Scott River Road. Just beyond the sign, there is a primitive access road that leads down to the river. The access road is narrow and bumpy. You might want to look before you drive in. Please leave room for others to turn around at the bottom of the road. The upper boundary sign is posted alongside the river, just downriver from another access road with a cabin near the river. The sign is posted around 200 feet downstream from the parking area near the cabin. The lower boundary adjoins private property along the river. Watch for the appropriate posted signs. There is an upper access road (goes in the direction away from the road) 3/10 of a mile further up Scott River Road, on the right side. This is Forest Service road #45N16. You will find a primitive path on the left side, about 1/10 of a mile up this road. The path leads to an old hydraulic dig, which is one of our more popular electronic detecting areas. There is camping 2/10 of a mile further up this road. Our claim up in this area adjoins private property just a bit further up the road. Watch for the posted signs. Because the river is relatively narrow, members may claim dredging areas 60 feet long, extending all the way across the river. (Dredging claims on the Klamath River only extend out to the middle of the river.)

PROSPECTS: The upper claim area, up into the old hydraulic workings (and some of the gulches leading down to the river), has been producing gold nuggets for members using metal detectors. There has been just a little work on the lower end, along the river. Members have been finding gold nuggets and jewelry-gold in the river, alongside the bank, just at the bottom of the access road. There’s a path that leads directly to where they were dredging. They said the gold came out from around the boulders. Several other members had very good luck about a quarter-mile downriver, around the corner, at the base of a set of rapids. They were also finding nice-sized jewelry gold, up to half-ounce sized nuggets, in and around the boulders. They finally gave up for lack of having a mechanical winch to help move the boulders around. The prospects on this claim look very good!

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Important note concerning Mining & Dredging Seasons on this Property

Google Earth Coordinates: 41 46’24.5″N 123 1’38.5″W

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S-2 LOWER SCOTT RIVER CLAIM – The bottom of this claim (downriver end) is approximately 0.3 miles from the junction of Highway 96 and Scott River Road. Both claim boundaries are clearly marked with signs alongside the roads on both sides of the river. The upper boundary sign is posted on a stake near a big rock pile along-side of the road. The lower boundary crosses the river on a steep angle, with the lower part being on the side of the existing Scott River Road. Long-term camping is not available on this claim, but can be done on the S-1 claim several miles upriver. The far side of the river can be reached by driving about a mile upriver, crossing the bridge, and then making an immediate right turn to follow the access road downstream to our claim.

PROSPECTS: This is a very proven section of the Scott River. Both dredging and prospecting out of the water should be good on the claim. Look for hard-packed gravel, which will indicate sections of the streambed which have not been previously mined.

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Google Earth Coordinates:
Parcel #1: 33°37’0.69″N 114°19’1.10″W
Parcel #2: 33°37’48.41″N 114°17’29.12″W

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The Club’s property in Arizona consists of two separate half-mile square parcels which are relatively close to each other, several miles to the west of Quartzsite.

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Here follows an explanation from Lee Kracher, one of the Club’s long-standing highly-supportive members who resides in Quartzsite during the winter months. Terry McClure, Mike & Sybil Thayer and Anita Kracher were also very helpful in providing the following information and images:

There are very few signs of serious work on either of the two parcels. We had really hard rains lately and most evidence of any workings has been washed away. But it really looks good out there!

I have talked with people who have worked all around the two claims, and they are finding gold. I gather that the gold is spotty and hasn’t moved very much.

For the most part, members should not expect to recover very much, because it is all hand work and limited yardage. It’s not like dredging. A cubic yard per day is a real big day’s work for one person out in the desert!

Desert mining (dry mining) is completely different than most people understand; and because of that, some members won’t have very much success.

Specialized gold metal detectors are the general rule of thumb down here. People who are finding the most gold nuggets at the moment are using the Minelab 3 and 4K Series and the Fisher Gold Bugs.

As for the others, even a blind dog finds a bone now and then. This is desert mining, so members should bring plenty of drinking water no matter what time of year.

Snakes can be a problem during the warm weather months, so those using metal detectors should be very watchful when outside noise is being blocked by head phones

A cell phone is considered a must-have for desert prospecting gear. Cell phone reception is great on both claims.

Directions: (see maps) From exit #17 on Interstate10, exit and go south to Dome Rock Road (look for the stop sign at the bottom of the over pass before the LOVE station). Make a right turn (west) there and go 1.4 miles where you should take a left on Cholla Street. Then go 2.4 miles (until the pavement makes a 90 degree left turn), where you will take a right on a well-traveled gravel road (Pipeline Road has no sign at the moment). At about 9/10ths of a mile, you will see a large rock on the right with “49ers” painted in white. Take that gravel road about 30 yards and you will find a 4″ PVC pipe with a red top. This is the SW corner of parcel #2.

Because conditions change from occasional flooding, I strongly suggest you drive into these sites and take a look, before pulling an RV to these properties.

Camping: The BLM does not allow camping in this part of the desert; it is designated as day-use only. There are campgrounds both private and BLM (improved) within a reasonable distance, where you can camp year around for a nominal fee.

There is excellent quadding in the whole area. So even if you are camping some distance away, you can get to these claims within several minutes.

You can also boon-dock (2 week maximum stay on the public lands) just north of our properties on the BLM land between Dome Rock road and the northern boundary of parcel #2.

Also, there is a park at the corner of Cholla and Dome rock, about 3 miles away. They are usually full-up for complete hook ups, but I believe they have some dry spots which have electricity. You would still have to haul your black and grey water (they have a place to dump) even if you are boon-docking. They also have water available. This is a great area for off-road quadding.

For your supplies, its only about 5 miles into Quartzsite or about 20 miles to Blythe (California).

Parcel #1: (160 acres)

Directions: (see maps) 2WD from the pipeline road. Look for the rock with “49ers” painted on it. This is a gravel road going west. Go 1 mile and turn left at the fork (you will see a “49’er” sign in blue rocks). If you watch, in about 1/10th of a mile, there is a faint trail going off to the left. Do not continue on straight unless you have 4 wheel drive or a quad. This road will dead-end at a 49’er marker. This is located at about the middle of the north boundary of Parcel #1.

This property should have some good gold from erosion and lack of mobilization of material. The canyon in there looks to me to have the best prospects. There appear to be many, many lucrative areas to be worked.

You can get to parcel #1 with 2-wheel drive, but it will take 4wd or quad to venture further out onto the property. This is because there are big washouts in the arroyo. On the sloped/flatter areas, bedrock appears to be around 3 to 6 or 7-feet deep. It looks to me like there should be some good workings on it.

When you go to parcel #1, don’t go too fast down the road. When I say “don’t go beyond,” I mean don’t ! It’s 4 wheel or quad. At the end of the trail to the middle of the northern boundary, you can continue on with a quad. I wouldn’t even go that far with a 4wd, because it gets narrow, slanted and bushy. Even a dune-buggy may have a hard time going up that far. It leads to a very nice canyon in the SW quadrant. You might want to hike up there first to have a look.

More GPS readings: NE corner marker is at 33°37’1.60″N 114°18’48.17″W, and the NW corner marker is at 33°36’59.28″N 114°19’14.95″W.

Parcel #2: (160 acres) The GPS coordinate above will take you to the claim at the southwest corner.

My perception is that this will be a deep claim, because it is a delta fan-type alluvial deposit. You can access nearly all areas of Parcel #2 with a 2-wheel drive.

We can see a few places where some dry washing has been done. This claim is sort of a “delta” fan and is in the drainage of some well-known lode mines. From what I have heard, and my own very limited experiences here in the desert, gold will be found from the surface on down to the cliche (like a hardened clay) and beyond. Some local prospectors have used air chisels to break up the hard pack and recovered good gold out of it, and also out of the overburden.

This is desert mining and in no way is it similar to working areas where movement was water-powered. Here, gold is where you find it, and doesn’t seem to have or follow a common path like it does in river mining.

The gold in this area is mostly fine, but I know of one quarter-ounce nugget found lying on the top of the ground in plain sight, and my neighbor has a hand-full of small nuggets that he has metal detected right above (west) of this claim. There is a guy who has been working a hole in the same spot for 7 years, to the south of this claim. He says that he keeps finding pockets of gold up to 8 ounces.

Upper Klamath :: Upper-mid Klamath :: Mid Klamath :: Lower Klamath
Elk Creek :: Indian Creek :: Scott River :: Thompson Creek
Salmon River Main Stem :: Salmon River North Fork
Master List of Mining Properties

 

 

Important note concerning Mining & Dredging Seasons on this Property

Google Earth Coordinates: 41 45’10.7″N 123 0’35.0″W

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S-3 MIDDLE SCOTT RIVER CLAIM – The bottom of this claim (downriver end) is posted on a tree alongside the Scott River Road approximately 1.9 miles from the junction of Highway 96 and Scott River Road. The upper boundary is posted on a stake on the gravel bar alongside the river. This is a pretty short claim. Long-term camping is not available on this claim. There is camping on the S-1 claim several miles upriver.

PROSPECTS: Members have been rewarded very nicely while working on this claim. Lots of good gold pockets–nice nuggets. It is one of our most popular claims in the Club. This claim has supported members in panning, sluicing and dredging.

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Important note concerning Mining & Dredging Seasons on this Property

Google Earth Coordinates: 41 17’5.2″N 123 21’36.7″W

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The lower boundary of this claim begins just upstream from where Nordheimer Creek meets the Salmon River. The upper boundary is located on a tree 1.7 miles further upriver. You can gain access to the lower end by driving all the way down the USFS access road at Nordheimer.

There is a fantastic area for panning and vac-mining about a half mile up river from Nordheimer Creek. The location is just upriver from where the Salmon River road crosses the Salmon River. There is a fairly large parking area along the side of the road there, and trails that lead down to the area.

There is a road access located 1 mile upriver from Nordheimer Creek. The road will get you closer to the river, but we suggest you walk in first, to make certain you are able to drive your rig out afterwards. There is a second access road located 1.2 miles upriver from Nordheimer Creek which will take you down to Quail Flat. This access road requires you to first drive upriver and find a place to turn around, because of the direction of the access road as it meets the Salmon River Road. We strongly advise you to first walk down this access road before deciding to pull an RV or other trailer down onto Quail Flat.

This second access point goes down to Quail Flat, where there is a flat area for some camping.

Important Note: There is a long pool-area located where Crapo Creek enters the river from the far side, a little less than half-mile upstream from Nordheimer Creek. This is an established cool-water (from Crapo Creek) holding area for spring-run Chinook Salmon. At certain times during the summer months, there can be dozens or hundreds of salmon holding in this long pool-area. Therefore, we are designating the entire pool-area as off limits to any mining activity – especially dredging. No dredging within 500 feet of Crapo Creek.

Gold prospects:

The Club has sponsored group surface prospecting projects down onto into the area about a half-mile upstream from Nordheimer Creek (just upriver from the bridge that crosses the river). The moss there pays very well, especially in the bedrock cracks that are in great abundance all the way up and around a very large bend in the river there. Two of our members reported recovering 2 dwts per day of fines and flakes, just shoveling into a sluice box in the same area. They brought the gold into the office, and other members said they saw them recover the gold. The gold came from the surface of the gravels to the bedrock, with the largest flakes coming off the bottom. We have also had some good luck in the group projects finding high-grade gold in the river gravels along the banks of the river.

Some members have also had good luck both dredging and surface mining near Quail Flat.

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