The "Prospecting" Forum

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Eastern WA
Posted by: 2&Fro
Date: November 08, 2012 03:24AM
Anyone do any prospecting in eastern Washington at all? I am finding it hard to find anyplace that will allow any kind of armature prospecting at all! I hate this state!!!Rrrrrrrrr

Re: Eastern WA
Posted by: rustedwoodsman
Date: November 12, 2012 01:15PM
Howdy 2&Fro,

I too live here in eastern WA (ellensburg), and I agree, finding places to prospect can be a frustrating experience. I wouldn't blame it entirely on the state though, the problem is that everything is either privately owned or federally claimed. Even the places I'd go to to pan and play are now posted and claimed. The high price of gold will do that. If a place has any gold (let alone big enough to find with a detector), it's most likely claimed. So what's a person to do? (If you can answer that, please share it with us!)
Here's what I plan on doing! This is/was my first summer of detecting, and I didn't make much progress with the detector.

As suggested to me, try joining a prospecting club. There are a few around, mostly west side, but they do have claims here in the east. If I was into dredging and the like, I'd probably join one of these clubs, but a homemade sluice box is as fancy as I get. Visit their sites, and you can find out where the claims are located.

As for now, when I considered buying a new detector (retirement - year 1), I thought I might spend 5% to 10% of my detecting time on prospecting (year one was a zero percent year). The 5 to 10 percent prospecting was one of the reasons I bought a V3i. It's not a gold machine, but I thought I could at least play around with it, and maybe with the right coil even find something. I owned a Goldmaster VSAT about 10 to 15 years ago when I first moved here, but I sold it after about a year or two. Even back then everything was claimed. As I interpret the Gold and Fish guidelines, you can search cracks and check blow down root wads all year long - if not claimed. There really is quite a bit of federal land that is down stream of productive gold areas that is closed to mineral claims. The chance of a good find isn't very high, but there are enough acres to last a lifetime of hunting; and every year brings new blow down.

Over the last 15 years of talking to panners and dredgers that I see on the rivers, there are "pickers" to be had if you can put your detector over them. Just make sure you're on federal land that is unclaimed and outside any National Park. Once I convince myself that I know how to use my detector, I plan on putting on a 4x6 coil and doing some driving/walking along most of the rivers around here. Gold has been mined N,S and W of eburg.

This summer I mostly visited campgrounds, and I spent way more money on gas than I found in coins. But I guess I didn't break the bank because the boss hasn't kicked me out of the house - yet. Next summer I hope to have the 4x6 on in these highly mineralized and trashy campgrounds, and to have my eye peeled for those root wads sticking up along the river, on bed rock, you know, the ones that are holding all that gold, and just waiting for me to come along.


Re: Eastern WA
Posted by: steve herschbach
Date: November 12, 2012 04:07PM
Here is a start:

You need to be a legal beagle to prospect in Washingtom and pretty much stick to unrestricted BLM and Forest Service land. From Forest Service:

(1) A notice of intent to operate is not required for:

(i) Operations which will be limited to the use of vehicles on existing public roads or roads used and maintained for National Forest System purposes;

(ii) Prospecting and sampling which will not cause significant surface resource disturbance and will not involve removal of more than a reasonable amount of mineral deposit for analysis and study which generally might include searching for and occasionally removing small mineral samples or specimens, gold panning, metal detecting, non-motorized hand sluicing, using battery operated dry washers, and collecting of mineral specimens using hand tools;

Steve Herschbach

Minelab GPZ 7000, Gold Monster 1000, Equinox 800; Makro Gold Racer; White's V3i/Bigfoot; Garrett Carrot; Sun Ray Pro Gold

Re: Eastern WA
Posted by: rustedwoodsman
Date: November 13, 2012 12:33AM
Steve, thank you for the follow-up and the internet site information.

Recreational mining can be tough here in WA, but after dealing with the forest practices regs for 25+ years, I can live with the mining regs. The easiest thing to do is stay off of the state lands, and just work with the regs for the federal lands. There's a lot of unclaimed federal land. I've found "color" on many of the streams around here; but nothing that would ever show up a detector - even a GB2. But what the heck, swinging a detector and looking for gold! Two of my most favorite things to do - and both at the same time.


Re: Eastern WA
Posted by: 2&Fro
Date: November 17, 2012 10:09PM
Thank You for all the Great information guy's. Hope to see you out digging someday!

Re: Eastern WA
Posted by: Froman
Date: March 15, 2018 10:13AM
Could anyone give me info of a going club to join I live in Spokane.

Re: Eastern WA
Posted by: oneguy
Date: March 15, 2018 12:50PM
Could anyone give me info of a going club to join I live in Spokane.
Internet is your friend, look it up? I'm sure there's a club outta Spokane! Years ago I went out with a guy and his dredge from Priest River and we went up by Metaline Falls and got some gold (back when you COULD dredge) but I can't remember the name of the stream (NOT Pendorielle)???? You might also go to and look at where the claims are all at in your area, find names and addresses of claim owners, contact them and politely ask if they'd allow you to scratch around or possible SMALL lease type fee to allow you access? In the beginning I tried to find unclaimed areas and with no more maps of individual claims, claims not marked well, county recorder couldn't help much, etc., etc. it was too tuff for me. I did find a claim owner who allows me access for a very reasonable fee and that took all the headache outta finding a place to scratch. The old guys did the work by finding the better spots so look for claimed areas and try and find something in between on your own or maybe try a lease type deal like I did?

Tesoro Golden Sabre II
E-Trac (13" Ultimate, 6" EQ2, NEL ss, Pro, X-1)

2017 silver coins: 5
indian head: 1
V nickel: 1
silver jewelry: 2
gold jewelry:

Re: Eastern WA
Posted by: Bryan V
Date: April 29, 2018 06:41PM
Could anyone give me info of a going club to join I live in Spokane.

The NWGPA meets just across the boarder in Rathdrum Idaho..
They have at least 10 claims plus Eagle City Park Near Historic Murray Idaho.
Great group of people..
Here is a link to their page..

Minelab Equinox 800
Minelab E-Trac
Minelab Gold Monster
Takahashi FC-100DF

Re: Eastern WA
Date: June 01, 2018 11:25PM
You must do your homework. But,this is a great place to live and the hunting is there if you know where to look.


Thank You Steve

Does "Just my two cents" have the same meaning on a treasure hunters forum?
X-Terra 705 & AT Pro

Oldest coin; 1895 Indian Head Penny

Re: Eastern WA
Posted by: Steve in Idaho*
Date: June 04, 2018 10:21AM
You can join the North West Gold Prospectors Assn. in the post Falls -- CD'A area. call Bob Lowe @ 208-699-8128

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