GUARANTEES: The Klamath and Salmon Rivers are very proven gold-bearing rivers. We recommend all beginning dredgers start on the Klamath, rather than on the creeks or smaller rivers. The Klamath’s consistent gold reserves guarantee that everyone is going to recover some gold if you get out and give it even the smallest amount of effort. We also recommend that above-water prospectors begin along our properties on the Main Stem & North Fork of the Salmon Rivers. Both sides of the Salmon are very consistent in gold both in the exposed moss and the surface gravels.
While some of our more experienced prospectors have done well on the creeks, and the creeks provide fantastic potential, people consistently do so well on the Klamath (dredging) and Salmon (mining alongside the river) that we find most of our members and guests end up prospecting on these rivers instead of the creeks.
Experience has shown that the key to successful gold prospecting is in learning how to prospect for acceptable gold deposits.
“Here follow the mining properties available to our members on the upper Klamath River upstream from where Interstate 5 crosses the river.”
These claims are situated a distance upstream from where Interstate 5 crosses the Klamath River. There are basically two ways to gain access to the claims: 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 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.
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!!
Dave’s Personal Guarantee
We have over 60 miles of mining properties in northern California for you to prospect and mine.
If you can’t find the gold you are looking for on our properties, let me know and I’ll help you find it!”
— Dave McCracken
The New 49’ers Prospecting Organization, Inc.
P.O. Box 47, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039
Contact us for more information at (530) 493-2012.
“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.