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planning my first trip. need advice.


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Hello to everyone.Well I am starting to plan out my first nugget shooting trip.I live in northern CA (citrus heights) so there are plenty of options mountains/deserts old hydraulic pits and so forth.I was thinking of maybe my first desert trip.Looking for input/advice.I am thinking of taking an entire week for the trip.Where do I go?what time of year?where do I start?

Thanks in advance.

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Considering the weather right now I would keep planning for a bit.

I don't know the area around you well enough to provide real advice other than:

If you decide to go hunt an old hydraulic operation, get on those tailings and try to locate the sluice box area. They didn't go after much rock with gold in it. Often it got pushed aside or out the end.

Also - read the post about the claim jumpers caught in Placerville. Make double-damned sure you're not hitting others' claims or private property. Would certainly suck that your first trip nets you forfeiture of your tools and possibly jail time.

My online account to ICMJ isn't working, but there is a story by Chris Ralph (one of the most reliable and respected guys on the forums) about detecting hydraulic sites.

It's worth it to buy at least the online subscription to ICMJ for all the great info on there. While you're spending, throw Bill a few bucks for this site, too. (Something i still need to do once my paychecks start coming in from my new job) :)

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I would recommend joining up with a prospecting club in your area. That way you can go hunt on club claims to ensure you are not trespassing, and most of the guys I've met would be more than willing to help you get started and give you some pointers.

As for the weather you should ALWAYS check it in advance and ALWAYS be prepared for the worst case scenario, including complete mechanical breakdown of your vehicle, what to do if a bear attacks, and no cell phone signal. I'm not trying to scare you away, just giving you life saving things to consider before you head out.

Good luck! I hope you post some pictures of your finds.


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I agree that joining a local club is the best way to get a start at prospecting and working while studying club claims can really boot your learning curve. Good hunting and looking forward to hearing about the trip!

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