Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources

NOTE: Effective July 1, 2011, ADMMR was consolidated with AZGS.
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Gold Panning

A good source of information on gold panning, including prospecting tips, panning instructions, and maps to public panning areas, can be found in the Department's publication, Mineral Report 7 - Gold Panning in Arizona. Go to the publication list.

In general, gold panning is allowed on Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service Land where there are no existing claims. Determining ownership of surface and mineral rights of a particular location can be a complex process. Two DMMR publications will be of assistance, Laws and Regulations Governing Mineral Rights in Arizona and Manual for the Determination of Status and Ownership, Arizona Mineral and Water Rights.

For more information on joining a recreational panning or prospecting organization, see Earth Science Clubs. Information on gold in Arizona can be found in Circular 20, Maps and Books for Arizona Gold and Gold Prospecting.

One suggested location is the Lynx Lake Area. This area (see map) has been set aside for recreational gold panning. Gold pans and hand tools may be used, but not mechanized equipment. No permit is required. From Highway 69 4 miles east of Prescott, turn south on the Walker Road (FS197). The Lynx Lake turn off is approximately 3 miles on the left (east).

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