Dave Mack

“Here follow the mining properties available to our members on the upper Klamath River near where Interstate 5 crosses the river.”

IMPORTANT: No dredging or mining activity is allowed within 100 feet of the three bridges which cross the Klamath River along these properties.

These claims are situated upstream from where Interstate 5 crosses the Klamath River. There are basically two ways to gain access to the claims and our camping area: One is by exiting Interstate 5 at exit #786, which is where the Colliers Rest Stop is located, and where Interstate 5 crosses the Klamath River. The other is to exit Interstate 5 at exit #789, which is the next I-5 exit to the north. From there, you can drive east several miles and connect with Klamathon Road.

Klamathon Road is a dirt road that follows along the Klamath River, starting where Interstate 5 crosses the Klamath River at exit #786 (There is no sign there calling it “Klamathon Road” at the lower end), and ending at Ager Road around 6 miles upriver. Access to the Club’s UK claims and the camping area will almost entirely be accomplished from Klamathon Road. The Klamathon Road is almost entirely unpaved, and there are some narrow places towards the lower end. Four-wheel drives are not necessary. But it is far better to access our camping area with RV’s by driving in from Interstate 5 via the #789 exit.

There are some places to park and camp along these UK properties, but please be careful to not block or inhibit traffic along the Klamathon Road or pre-established river access routes. For the future of our activity, it is important to be considerate of others who are actively using the road and river in this area!!

CAMPING for members has been arranged in an area alongside the Klamath River approximately 4 miles upstream along Klamathon Road from exit 786 off Interstate 5. Chemical toilets are placed there for member use during the busy part of the mining season. Please do not dump RV tanks into these toilets, because they will over-fill, and eliminate usage by other members who are not self contained. Members can reach the camping area from either of two directions:

1. From Interstate 5 exit #786, the camping area is located on the left side 4 miles upriver along Klamathon Road. You will see where Klamathon Road returns to follow the river and meets a smaller dirt road that follows the river in a down-stream direction. This is our camping area.

2. From Interstate 5 exit #789 (the sign says “Henley Hornbrook”), you will take an easterly direction off the exit. This is “Copco Road”. Follow the signs towards Copco Lake and Iron Gate Dam. You will pass a Chevron gas station and Mini-Mart on your right. Around 2.9 miles down Copco Road, you will take a right turn onto Ager Road, drive across the bridge (crosses the Klamath River), and take an immediate right onto Klamathon Road (watch for the sign). The entrance to our camping area is located 1.6 miles down Klamathon Road on the right. There is room to park RV’s there.

Please; no open fires are allowed in this camping area!!

 
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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 52’37.11″N 123 19’16.44″W

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T-1 LOWER THOMPSON CREEK CLAIMS – are located on Thompson Creek, which is 10.9 miles upriver from Happy Camp. The creek is marked with a sign on the Highway 96 Bridge which crosses the creek. Since there is private property at the lower end of the creek (Thompson Creek Lodge), our claims must be accessed by a Forest Service road (road #18N01) which is located 3/10 of a mile towards Happy Camp on Highway 96 from Thompson Creek. Since our claims take in miles of the lower end of the creek, there are several points of access. Approximately 1.6 miles up the #18N02 access road, it splits three ways. Taking the right-hand road (may need some brushing) will lead you to the lower-end of our claims. The middle road will take you to the upper end of T-1. This road is not maintained anymore. So we suggest you check it out before driving an RV or pulling a trailer on this road. ATV’s might be a big help to gain access on this creek. To access the lower end of T-1, take the right-hand split in the road. The road will lead you to a small bridge that crosses Thompson Creek 1.3 miles from the split. Just before the bridge, you can take a right turn into a camping area and creek access. The lower creek boundary is a long way down the creek from there. There is another old creek access road that you will pass on the way in, but it will likely need some brushing to make it passable. You can also take a left turn just before the small bridge that will take you onto a 4WD very primitive road, which splits left and right, just after crossing a small feeder creek. All of these primitive roads are overgrown with brush and may require some work before use. They lead to creek access points further up and downstream. There is limited camping space in both areas. We highly suggest you look, before driving into these areas. There is another lower creek access and camping area which can be reached by crossing over the small bridge and taking an immediate left up another primitive road. We suggest you look before driving in. To reach the upper access area of T-1, rather than take the right split in the road (1.6 miles up #18N01 from Highway 96) which leads you to the small bridge, you would take the center option in the road and follow it 4 miles from the split. The right-hand turn follows an overgrown and primitive road which leads to a parcel of private property. The private property is the upper boundary of T-1. Watch for the appropriate posted signs. There is limited camping at the bottom. The bottom of the road is just upstream from the upper boundary of T-1.

PROSPECTS: Thompson Creek has good gold, and much of it is big and slabby. One old-timer (named Briggs) found a pocket of gold up Thompson Creek that was so rich, he was able to retire. His gold was found in slabs-which is typical of Thompson Creek gold. Members have found gold all along T-1, wherever they have dredged. Some do better along the edges, and some find it in the center of the creek. The gold seems to be associated with boulders and bedrock. The gold is spotty-meaning that in some places you find none, and in other places you find plenty. Because access is not easy on most of T-1, member dredging has been limited to the direct access areas. We had several members doing well mining out of the creek in a gravel bar below the lowest campground. They were finding fine gold and flakes in the streambed gravels. Overall, the prospects look excellent. If you are dredging, you must reach bedrock, most often in the boulders, in order to do well. Some areas have bedrock exposed or within a foot or two. Here is a nugget which one of our members recently located with a metal detector. Other areas have several feet, or up to 8 or 9 feet of gravel and material over top of bedrock.

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T-1 nugget found with metal detector

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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

To view the content from the link above you will need to have Google Earth installed on your home computer. Download Google Earth



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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