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garikfox

[AZ] i'm planning my first hunt site location

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Posted (edited)

Hello everyone. I'm new here and have been studying about this new hobby for a month or so. Yesterday i ordered my first ever detector the Equinox 800 and added the 6 in. coil. (i'm targeting Gold)

I've lived in AZ all my life and currently live in Queen Creek. The good spots Wickenburg/Prescott areas are too far for me to travel, so i'm looking to make my first hunt near the Gila River, 15 miles SE of my home location.

I'f I may ask if anyone is familiar with AZ and this area. I was wondering if someone could tell me if from what I've learned so far if these 2 locations below are good. I'm mainly needing to know if i'm on the right track or not. Thank you :)  --Garik

Red Box (1,2 locations)

base.jpg

 

Red Box 1 (zoomedred lines are targeted area's)

g2.JPG

 

Red Box 2 (zoomed. red lines are targeted area's)

g3.JPG

g4.JPG

g7.JPG

Edited by garikfox

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Never been there myself, but if I'd decide to go there, off the top of my head seem to favor the top left quarter of red line box 1.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, garikfox said:

Red Box 2 (zoomed. red lines are targeted area's)

First choice would be #3 which probably is the red line box in #1. Second choice probably area along left side of it in #1.

Edited by Red_desert

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You are not on the right track, but getting warmer.

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Posted (edited)

Thank's :)

Edited by garikfox

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Posted (edited)

Please Check the land status.  I believe the area #1 you are trying to prospect on is state land.  Aside from that, at least from the satellite photos your area could be on top of valley fill and not bedrock.  I got this photo from AZland.gov.  Prospecting on state land is bad news.  I believe that's why the lode claims stop in the west.  I think you used land matters for your photo, and that turns these layers on also.

Edit: #2 Appears to be on Beura of Reclamation.  I THINK prospecting is not aloud there.  It is actually located about a mile south of the picture

 

Apache Junction Land Status.JPG

Edited by chrisski

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Both boulder dash and I are very familiar with that mountain range. There is placer gold there, and really nice mineral specimens including amethyst. You need to get a little more adventurous however. The perimeter of the range you will have minimal if any success.

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Thanks guys! I’ll stay off state land for sure. I think my main problem is where is this gold bedrock found and how to tell on satellite photos. I’m under the impression that multicolored ground satellite photos would be the best places or the black volcanic looking ground?

i thought I studied enough about this, but it seems I have a lot to learn still.

I’m probably just going join the roadrunners and go to their claims but it’s going to be rough getting there for me because it’s 80 miles one way.

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Roadrunner is a goof option.  I know of no GPAA claims in your area, so those would be no closer.  If you still want to look, I put some info below.

Any of that land is OK to cross.  State Land you need a permit available online here: https://land.az.gov/natural-resources/recreational-permits

As far as bedrock, on goggle map Imagery, you can switch to 3D by holding "CNTL" and that lets you rotate the imagery.  On a phone, it may not work, but a computer it will.  The bedrock is usually not apparent in the satellite pics in the area I work in the LSD, but off the main wash that has the light colored sands, are feeder washes that have darker dirt with some bigger rocks visible, and that is where I find bedrock.  It looks like in that area there are the same darker colored feeder washes.

So, this is what I'd do to find open land in Maricopa.  I'd turn the PLSS background layer on, and also turn the land management layer on (May be called something different, but you want to see the township and range for the PLSS Background, and the second Land Management layer is which agency is responsible for the land.  I'd concentrate on the yellow portions.  Next, what I'd do is put a topographical background on, I think that's switching from imagery to USGS maps.  I'd look for a hilly area that had a few claims in it, like two or three, preferably placer.  Next, I'd switch from imagery to USGS background and plan a driving route, and where to walk from.  Keep in mind, not all routes you can drive that it looks like.   My 8k LBS diesel does not give me the access that google maps shows, and sometimes its a couple extra miles.  Those boxes in your picture a one mile by one mile squares.  On my land matters, bring up the info on the two or three claims in that area and get claim names, and all signed claim owners.  I would then go to the a Maricopa County Recorders office(https://recorder.maricopa.gov/recdocdata/), search through there by claim owners names, and then when the claim turned up, you can download and an unofficial filing, that has a map for free.  One of those boxes, 1NM X 1NM has 640 acres.  Once you have downloaded those maps you are free to look on the other 500 or so unclaimed  acres in that section.  A couple of caveats: 1) in the area you are in not all those sections are managed by the BLM, some are both BLM and private property, or shared with another agency, and 2) the BLM may or may not have implemented a travel plan which will limit what you can drive to.

What I mentioned above took me 8 months to learn.  Very few claims are so well marked you can tell by driving through.  Only 4 corners (at one point in time) need to be staked, not a hundred stakes clearly showing a border, so you can't count on the claim to be marked.  Compared to the LSD, there is plenty of land open in that area.

Before I go to a new area, there's at least 40 hours of research I put in, and in that time, I will find at least a primary and alternate, but also eliminate several along the way.  I honestly have not been successful at finding gold, but I love getting out and I consider the hunt a great adventure.

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Thank you very much chrisski, very helpful information thank you

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Posted (edited)

Dear chrisski,

 Does this spot below look better?

g2.JPG

Edited by garikfox

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Posted (edited)

Could be worth an investigation.  It appears there's tire tracks in the wash.  The northern part looks as if it could be cliffs, but they may just be a few feet high.  The darker sands I mentioned earlier, I don't see in this, but I expect there may be same bedrock in the narrow feeder wash on the right side of the picture.  Nothing beats eyes on though.

The trouble about those white sands on the wash, is they can be quite deep.  I suspect the wash people drive on could be 20' deep or more until bedrock.  At least that's the way I feel the wash is where I go by the Hassuytumpa river, but the further away you get from the Hassunyumpa along that wash, the more bedrock there is.  Also gets more mountainous.

Place I live in the valley the fill is supposed to be about 2000 feet deep.

One of the books I like is roadside geology of Arizona.  Doesn't talk to gold at all, but lets you know how different parts of AZ along the highway formed.

Edited by chrisski

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Okay great thanks. That makes sense about the deep creek beds. Oh wow 2000 ft.!

So basically the bedrock "spots" randomly pop out of the ground where the "dirt" isn't covering them

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Yea you have lots to still learn.. Definitely join a club like Roadrunners. I'd learn the basics of drywashing or dredging first before tackling the hardest type of gold recovery which is metal detecting.You need to make mistakes so you can grow. I have found quite a few nuggets in that general range. Good luck

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Thank you boulder dash :)

I have some good news to report! I'm now a member of the RRPC, Yay! :)

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Take any tip the Adam and Boulderdash give you.  They've found pounds more golf than my next to nothing. 

If you do get to the point you're ready to file a claim, you need to know its correct, because the BLM does not check; they only take your money.  Once you get the hang of it, you'll see claims made in state trust land, private property, and all sorts of things.  They'll take your money, give you an AMC #, but it will still not be a valid claim.

I think Roadrunners is a good club.  I get a little excited when I'm prospecting open ground and find that a RoadRunner Claim is nearby.  I know they meet at the Italian Men's club in Phoenix once a month, I forget which week and which Day.  I also like how they are AZ specific and stake their own claims, versus other organizations that lease claims. 

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Posted (edited)

Awesome yeah i talked to the manager of the club today and he admitted me to the club. He was saying they have a upcoming special event were they are bringing in a backhoe to a claim site and going to dig up some dirt with it than letting everyone have at it sorta speak lol, fun!

Edited by garikfox

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5 hours ago, garikfox said:

Okay great thanks. That makes sense about the deep creek beds. Oh wow 2000 ft.!

So basically the bedrock "spots" randomly pop out of the ground where the "dirt" isn't covering them

IMO, A good rule of thumb is to hunt where you can at least occasionally see bedrock, the rougher looking the better. Keep in mind that nuggets get hung up in thin little cracks in the bedrock, and fill up with compacted dirt. Those cracks may look smooth like part of the bedrock but can hold a surprising amount of gold.

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Thanks again BMc. I'm waiting outside for my detector to get here. lol

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Posted (edited)

Just to show you what bedrock looks like in the google images in my area of central AZ.

This is a picture of a wash that has a  but of exposed bedrock.  Not really apparent on the picture where the bedrock is, but the sand isn't white it's pretty gray.  This is with a few hundred yards of the source of the feeder wash, so basically by the top of the local hill group. I think the white sands in your other pictures above are because so much water runs through those washed, the good stuff gets buried underneath, and the less valuable, lighter sands gather up top and get bleached by the sun over the eons as it heads down to the river.

If you look in the center of the wash, you see a white zig-zag, which is actually a 5' granite waterfall.  The other picture with the black circle is the same waterfall.  I swear the hills are steeper in real life than they look in the google pic.  The gold didn't settle in the pool there, but got flushed down the stream a few dozen feet and settled in where the larger rocks gathered, which is right where the stream narrowed again; again not apparent from the pic.  This was dry washable gold.  Worked that area many a weekend, finding enough to keep us coming back, letting us think we're on the verge of the paystreak, but never enough to make it worth the trip.  Also not apparent in the flat pic is at the top where the stream curves to the left, the main part of that wash is littered with boulders and continues straight up and has plenty of exposed bedrock.  I have never seen water flow in this area, but have in the main wash.  Because this area is within a few hundred yards of the source, it never flows a lot, but after a night of monsoon rains, I've come back and seen the sand move an inch deeper.  I think the stream may have only flowed for a few minutes, but flowed a lot and then quickly dried up. 

The old timers worked this area good.  There's the triangular rock stacks, probably from depression area miners.  There's also an old map I found that had prospects marked along the stream.  A couple of times, we found some decent old time maps of the local area just by looking in the claim paperwork that was left by the claim owner.  Nothing wrong about looking at the claim paperwork, especially if you put it back.

 

Feeder Wash.JPG

Feeder Wash 2.JPG

Edited by chrisski
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3 hours ago, chrisski said:

Just to show you what bedrock looks like in the google images in my area of central AZ.

This is a picture of a wash that has a  but of exposed bedrock.  Not really apparent on the picture where the bedrock is, but the sand isn't white it's pretty gray.  This is with a few hundred yards of the source of the feeder wash, so basically by the top of the local hill group. I think the white sands in your other pictures above are because so much water runs through those washed, the good stuff gets buried underneath, and the less valuable, lighter sands gather up top and get bleached by the sun over the eons as it heads down to the river.

If you look in the center of the wash, you see a white zig-zag, which is actually a 5' granite waterfall.  The other picture with the black circle is the same waterfall.  I swear the hills are steeper in real life than they look in the google pic.  The gold didn't settle in the pool there, but got flushed down the stream a few dozen feet and settled in where the larger rocks gathered, which is right where the stream narrowed again; again not apparent from the pic.  This was dry washable gold.  Worked that area many a weekend, finding enough to keep us coming back, letting us think we're on the verge of the paystreak, but never enough to make it worth the trip.  Also not apparent in the flat pic is at the top where the stream curves to the left, the main part of that wash is littered with boulders and continues straight up and has plenty of exposed bedrock.  I have never seen water flow in this area, but have in the main wash.  Because this area is within a few hundred yards of the source, it never flows a lot, but after a night of monsoon rains, I've come back and seen the sand move an inch deeper.  I think the stream may have only flowed for a few minutes, but flowed a lot and then quickly dried up. 

The old timers worked this area good.  There's the triangular rock stacks, probably from depression area miners.  There's also an old map I found that had prospects marked along the stream.  A couple of times, we found some decent old time maps of the local area just by looking in the claim paperwork that was left by the claim owner.  Nothing wrong about looking at the claim paperwork, especially if you put it back.

 

Feeder Wash.JPG

Feeder Wash 2.JPG

Hey Chrisski,... If  there are signs that the old timers really worked this wash and area good, why haven't you found any nuggets left by them ?,...or did you???  Back then they never really got it all.  Looks like it still has very good potential to me,...if you know where to look and / or dig.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks chrisski !

I've studied some locations of my club's (RRPC) claims and found a few near me (lol 75 miles). Instead of going to the Wickenburg areas NW from my home location  i'm going to their newer claim locations located near Kearny/Hayden SE of my home location.

Here below is a aerial view of what the area looks like that i will be hunting for the very first time. :)

Cap1.JPG

Edited by garikfox

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27 minutes ago, garikfox said:

Thanks chrisski !

I've studied some locations of my club's (RRPC) claims and found a few near me (lol 75 miles). Instead of going to the Wickenburg areas NW from my home location  i'm going to their newer claim locations located near Kearny/Hayden SE of my home location.

Here below is a aerial view of what the area looks like that i will be hunting for the very first time. :)

Cap1.JPG

Hope you find it! :)

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That does look good. 

Also on landmatters.org are some geological maps.  One thing you're supposed to be able to do is look at the geological maps in an area that produces gold that is all claimed up, and look for similar formations in areas nearby, maybe a few dozen miles away.  You can also use these to start looking for areas to stay away from.

At least on the Geological maps from my area, the browner sands are classified as Tertiary gravels, which means they were placed there between 2 million and 64 million years ago.  Those tend to have more placer gold than the newer, lighter colored, Quaternary Gravels (newer than 2 million years), and more gold than on top of the basal Volcanic flows.  The Tertiary gravels in the picture above are located next to some pre-Cambrian (Older than 1 billion years) rock formations.  So when I check a geological map and find tertiary gravels, I consider it a good indication. 

A club claim I belonged to (not roadrunner) was about a 50 mile drive from me with fairly easy access, but the geological map said the gravels were newer (Quaternary Period less than 2 million years old), and the terrain was relatively flat, the creeks fairly straight and not twisted around hills, and the sands very white.  It was outside of a gold bearing area, and everything there looked like a wasted day, so I skipped it.  I later found club claim reviews that said nothing was found there and bedrock was non existent.

I've also used the Landmatters mine feature to find gold bearing mines in unclaimed land and then used the geological map feature to find the sections that had the older areas and started there.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks chrisski, I used landmatters to get some interesting information. I took two screenshots. The purple box is claims from my club. The last picture i posted above was taken from here.

From what i'm seeing it looks like i might be in good shape for my first hunt

 

hunt1.JPG

hunt2.JPG

 

 

Edited by garikfox
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