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Winter Prospecting In Idaho


Active member
Now is the time to prospect the high country. Slightly warmer temperatures, no spring run off yet, and shallow waters. Again, this past Sunday (3-13-11) found me back at this small creek (PHOTO 1). Call me what you will (crazy, nuts, or just plain wacko) but I desperately wanted to move some rock today and did! Grabbing hold of my 5 ft. pry bar, I plunged quickly into the creek. A few heaves with the bar and up came the first. "Yeah buddy" I said out loud, as the rock discharged a tan colored cloud mass. First shovel into the hole produced some nice sands with clay - a sure sign this rock wasn't disturbed for quite some time (PHOTO 2). After a quick clean, I notice a lose rock next to the hole and decided to remove it as well. However this time while prying, I placed both hands beneath the rock and hoisted it up to my classifier (PHOTO 3). By doing so, I saved myself some valuable time and discovered the gravels contained visible gold (PHOTO 4). During the process of cleansing this rock, I also found a nice stringer quartz embedded in some Gneiss rock (PHOTO 5). I wouldn't be surprised to find some quartz in the gold, I said to myself. With an hour and half hike into this area (carrying waders & gear), the removal of rocks, overburden, and the classification for panning - things began to take a toll on me and it was time I called it a day. I was quite certain that my hard work out here would pay off and with about 2 cups of concentrates placed in a Ziploc bag, I headed for the comforts of home. Photos 6 & 7 are the results of a 4 hr. work day (2.1 grams). I was correct in my assumption - there was some quartz/gold in the mix (center piece in last picture).


New member
Randy; Very nice Congrats to you and your valiant efforts, looks like they payed off good for you.


Active member
Thanks Grumpy. I took many photos of the above day and while I did share some with you & others, I thought posting a few more would be of some interest to all. PHOTO 1: Another bedrock slab with gravels lifted to classifier. PHOTO 2: Gravels show visible gold. PHOTO 3: Small gold picker found beneath the water's surface amongst the over burden gravels. PHOTO 4: Close up picture of the small gold picker.


New member
Oh Boy !

That just makes me feel all sort of different ways. LOL

I get the " DANG I want to find me a hole like that !" :drool:

Then I get the "DANG ! I aint NEVER gonna find a hole like that. :cry:

LOL But hey, Thats some nice ground you have there.. Good for you..

And it does still make me get the urge to get out and maybe find a little honey hole over here.
Even though this country isnt known for alot of placer..

keep it up.



Active member
Good to see you again Dusty. Thanks for your comments, they are always appreciated. Well, I was back at it again. Same stretch of river - just moved over a bit is all (as seen in photo 1). After finding a small nugget (see editorial/photos on: Under Water Placer Finds), I sniped up some great color from nearby bedrock cracks and a quick pan session (photo 2), proved it to be quite rewarding. Last photo: A closer look at the nugget and the rest of the gold taken on this cold winter day - March 20, 2011 (2.1 grams)


Active member
Whew!! The spring rains are here and the rivers have swollen to their seasonal flood stage making winter prospecting - a thing of the past. It is now a waiting game for the spring run offs to subside. For those of you who have enjoyed my posts, there is good news. I did make one last trip (March 29th) back to this amazing little "mother lode." I thought to myself as I waded to the center of the stream, time to move the large rock that rests just above my glory hole. What lay beneath this rock, really took me by surprise. As you can see by the below photos, the work was worth the effort. Amidst this great collection of spectacular color was a small quartz/gold specimen and a 1/2 penny weight nugget. Another four hour prospecting day yielded 2.6 grams of gold. Definitely a superb ending to a little Winter Gold Prospecting In Idaho.


Active member
A short day on the claim. I found it to be a cold afternoon with some ice forming on much of the rivers but hey, I still found an open patch to work. All in all, a little gold in a pan does warm the heart. Winter prospecting begins once again.