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:inocent: Hey there everyone. I am new and as green as grass. I am going to chama new mexico for about 5 days next month. I have found some info about gold in that area. has anyone been there and done it? are there any mining stores in the area? :inocent:

pop's

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Yup. Lots of gold in the area. Not much but private land though. Try Hopewell lake. You need to be a member of the GPAA or the Albuquerque club to access.

The Chama River has good gold near Abiquiu. I dont think you can legally work it but many do. Lots of isolated unpublished placers east of Chama in the mountains and near Taos. El Rito has good placer. Jicarita peak has placer. The Rio Grande by Pilar has good placer.

Hope that helps. You will need to do a lot of research to be successful here and not get shot. Chama is the heart of "ousiders beware". Danger danger!

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:inocent: We will be staying on the river at Davis Campground below the dam??

I am not sure where "Davis" campground is, but if you are up near Chama, below a dam, you would be at Heron or El Vado lake one or the other. No gold that I know of around there, but there is a little gold up here in a lot of places. You just never know.

You need to get the little green book and study it! Placer Gold Deposits of New Mexico by Maureeen J. Johnson and the NMBMMR report on gold bearing areas that was published about three years ago by Virginia McLemore. Google it. It is tough to find gold here and when you do you are going to have land issues. No, more accurately you are going to have land issues LONG before you find gold. So get the BLM "surface responsibility" map for Chama area so you get the big picture. You are not going to find any good placer areas there but you will find excellent fishing, food, and some really spectacular country. It just does not get any prettier.

Hopewell lake is the only "club claims" that you are going to be able to find. GPAA has a claim there and it is not too bad. You will have a great time and it is only an hour and a half from Chama...On Jawbone mountain in the Tusas range near Tres Pedras.

Further downstream on the Chama is Abiquiu lake and the entrance to georgia O'Keefe's "Ghost Ranch". Piedra Lumbre is what Georgia O'Keefe painted for 40 years. The rocks are pastel pink, yellow, blue, and vivid purple. You can see the KT boundary in the rocks 300 feet above the valley floor. It is the most bizzare country in the entire southwest. A visual orgasm. There is gold under the lake, in the Chama canyon above the lake, and in a side canyon. Not much, but you can find color. I know a fellow who claims to have found good gold up in that neck of the woods. Who knows?

Unless you are a native here that is going to be your only chance in the Chama area. People are very friendly here but make no mistake about it, outsiders wont get past the public land boundaries. Even in the national forests there are still disputes. Campers and visitors tell many horror stories about Rio Arriba County and most are true. Keep a land ownership map handy and a GPS. And even if you are right dont expect to reason with any of our natives here.

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we will be there from the 9-13 of August? We will below heron lake. I will look around and see whats up and will keep posted, I am also taking my metal det along. I built my own sluice out of wood. I will take pictures of it and post them as soon as I figure our how to do that :thumbsupanim:olddude:

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I've spent quite a bit of time around Tierra Amirilla/Chama and Rio Arriba County. I'll second what Bedrock Bob had to say about land. Do not think you can just go looking anywhere. It is a beautiful area with some very nice people but you do not want to be caught trespassing. If I were you I would stick to the club claims at Hopewell. If you decide to go there be very sure of your location at all times. The lower GPAA claim on Placitas creek has some good gold. You will need a good four wheel drive and the ability to do some pretty strenuous hiking at 10,000 feet elevation. If it rains you may not be able to get out of Placitas creek until it dries out, plan accordingly. If you do have a four wheel drive do not just go exploring without a local to guide you.

You are in for a treat. Take the drive North of Chama along the old narrow gauge RR to the pass. Check out the Ghost Ranch region and make it down to the caldera and Jemez river canyon if you have the time. The Chama region is one of the most beautiful places in the Land of Enchantment. Enjoy the scenery, the people and the weather, you would be hard put to find finer.

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