Gold Mining Claims For Sale In Oregon – You don’t need the shadow of reality TV star Todd Hoffman to find gold in Oregon. All you have to do is chase the gold miners who came before him.
Prospectors once flooded the Oregon wilds, panning rivers and dredging up the desert in search of prosperity. Today, you can follow their footsteps and maybe even find some gold flakes yourself.
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The Oregon gold rush started around 1850, around the same time people started digging up California. The first miners found gold in the Klamath Mountains of southwestern Oregon, running along the Rogue River to the Pacific Ocean. Small communities like Jacksonville and Gold Hill sprung up to help the miners, bringing wealth to the growing area.
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From there, gold mining spread up the river across the central Cascades, and eventually out into the high desert of northeastern Oregon. In 1862, gold was found in Sumpter Valley, where operations continued through the 1930s thanks to three massive dredges. Several small towns sprung up in the area, especially Baker City, where industrial wealth was concentrated.
That rich history makes an Oregon gold rush road trip and beautiful country. From the coast to the lush jungle, you can cross three mountains on your way to the desert, where some of the most incredible artifacts from the gold rush remain. And while you won’t likely find all the blind gold nuggets (we can’t all be Todd Hoffman), you can still pan for gold in the chilly mountain creeks, like the prospectors who came before.
What better place to start your journey than in sunny Gold Beach, a town named for the discovery of gold nearby that is now a great jumping off point for any adventure. You can drive up and down the Oregon coast, boat up the wild Rogue River or head into a country once known for its gold.
The easiest way to drive from the southern Oregon coast into the Klamath Mountains is to head south to California. Highway 101 will take you across the border to Crescent City, where gold was discovered in 1848, just before the Gold Rush began in Oregon. You can see some mining equipment on display at the Del Norte County History Museum.
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Head north on US 199 and break off the highway at Cave Junction to find Josephine Creek, the site of Oregon’s first large gold discovery. A forest road will take you a short way to the closed mining claims of Tennessee Gulch, as well as the Old Miner’s Trail, a mountain biking trail that runs alongside the creek.
The Medford District Bureau of Land Management maintains several spots for recreational gold panning, including the aptly named Gold Nugget Wayside. It is found just north of the town of Gold Hill (named after its discovery nearby) along the Rogue River on the side of Route 234. While you are in the area, check out the Oregon Vortex, a mysterious roadside attraction built in the old. gold mining claims.
Head southeast on Interstate 5 down to Medford and branch out to visit Jacksonville, a small town that flourished in the middle of the Oregon gold rush in the 1850s. Today, Jacksonville puts its history front and center. Narrated trolley tour takes you through the city and back in time, and if you stop by the Jacksonville Visitor Information Center you can take a self-guided audio tour centered on the city’s gold mining history.
Head to the mountains south of Jacksonville to find the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail, where gold was discovered in 1854 along Sterling Creek. After panning proved inefficient, miners switched to more powerful hydraulic methods, using some 400 workers to dig a 26.5-mile ditch to bring water to the mine. The long and winding trail along the moat is now open to hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians.
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As miners tore it south of Oregon, gold prospecting moved up into the Cascade Mountains. Do some backtracking up Interstate 5 to follow their route, and drive north into the Willamette Valley to Cottage Grove. Break out east of the city along the Baris River to find the Sharps Creek Recreation Area, where gold was discovered in 1858 and 1863. Panning is allowed during the summer in the day use area, which is just across the highway from the small campground.
Quartzville Creek flows between the cities of Sweet Home and Detroit, and is a popular area for recreation of all stripes – gold panning included. The official recreational mining corridor runs from Rocky Top Bridge to Galena Creek, and includes the Dogwood day-use area and Yellowbottom campground.
In 1859, miners struck gold in what is now Opal Creek Wilderness, and later established a mining camp called Jawbone Flats. Mining was never profitable, and the buildings were abandoned, but today the area is being revitalized as a tourist attraction, with cabins, outdoor schools and hiking expeditions. Recreational mining is permitted on Jawbone Flats and along the Little North Santiam River, Opal Creek and Cedar Creek.
Miners have crawled over every inch of western Oregon, but there is still gold to be found out in the high desert in the east. Take a long drive across central Oregon to the town of Sumpter, home to one of the finest relics of Oregon’s gold mining history: the Sumpter Valley Gold Dredge. The massive device operated with two others between 1912 and 1934, destroying the earth as it flowed in its own pool. You can tour the intact dredge (maintained by Oregon State Parks) and get a fascinating look at the later history of the Oregon gold rush.
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Take a short drive east of Sumpter to reach Baker City, once known as the “Queen City of the Inland Empire” due to its wealth of local gold discoveries. The town of Baker is home to one of Oregon’s best small town museums, the Baker Heritage Museum, as well as beautiful architecture and the fascinating Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.
No Oregon gold rush road trip is complete without stopping at the US Bank in Baker City. Inside the everyday bank is a small glass container containing the Armstrong Nugget, an 80.4-ounce nugget found west of Baker City in 1913, worth more than $105,000 today. This is the best look you’ll get at anything to say for all those years in the Oregon hills.
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Oregon’s best roadside attractions: Fairytale Wonderland, mysterious vortexes and many strange statues highlight Oregon’s best roadside attractions. CAVE JUNCTION — Three years ago, Dave Rutan opened a gold mining retreat in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness in southern Oregon, bringing in a helicopter, gas. -Power dredge with paying customers.
Now he wants to commercially dredge a mile from the Chetco, one of Oregon’s most pristine rivers. He plans for a helicopter in a four-man crew to search for gold from the equivalent of nearly 50 truckloads of river gravel every season.
“A lot of what he’s proposing is inconsistent with wilderness,” said Barbara Ullian, a Grants Pass nature photographer with a passion for protecting Kalmiopsis.
Rutan, 44, a clean-cut, clean-shaven real estate developer from Washington state, said historic mining laws would not let Ullian or others interfere.
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Clashes in one of Oregon’s most remote areas took place at half a dozen government offices. It has sharpened the debate when the desert is really a wilderness, a sensitive topic in a state with an inventory of pristine protected places.
Rutan formed Chetco River Mining and Explorations in 2007, buying federal mining claims from retired Portland miners. The claim on the Chetco begins six miles inside Kalmiopsis. They ended up downstream 24 miles, towards Brookings. Here Rutan is planning commercial scale mining.
He acquired Camp Emily, 45 hectares of private land whittled out of the national forest, also in 2007. He installed three cabins and a dining hall to hold up to 20 people, including customers who come to mine for gold next to the Little Chetco River. Now, Rutan is taking ownership of the camp.
The structure of the sale was unclear. Rutan initially advertised 12 shares at $ 65, 000. He said he limited the amount to prevent triggering the more stringent regulations of the time. Recently, he started promoting an additional 200 “ownership interests” starting at $1,500, but said what he bought for that price was “privileged information.”
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Rutan gave several interviews to The Oregonian and provided additional information in the article. Then asked to confirm certain statements during fact-checking for this article, Rutan responded that “12 of the 13 were false, misleading, misrepresented or out of context.” Rutan identified what he said was a factual error in just one statement.
In the rest of the Old West, prospectors could stake exclusive claims to mines on certain federal lands. Gold or other minerals they find their property, but the land remains in the public domain
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