Go for gold! No, we are not even referencing the Olympic games this time. Did you know that everyday Americans have the opportunity to strike gold right in their own back yards? In fact, historians have dubbed it “gold fever” and it has induced dozens of dashed dreams for every life-changing strike. Yet, the fever continues to burn. Check out our Top Places to Pan for Gold:

Reed Gold Mine – Charlotte, NC


Digging for gold!

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The Reed Gold Mine was the location in which the very first authentic gold claim in the US was documented. In fact, visitors can still pull gold out of the water to this day. Located about twenty miles outside of Charlotte, NC, the site offers free admission and daily tours of the gold mines. Panning is only $2 per person, and it even includes the pan.

Crow Creek Gold Mine  Crow Creek, AK

Should you discover your travels lead you to Alaska and you desire more than spectacular scenery and wildlife, then you might want to try your hand at panning for gold at the Crow Creek Gold Mine. Established in 1986, the mine is presently the most popular recreational gold mining area in the state. In 2008, the mine was featured on the show “America’s Toughest Jobs.”

Libby Creek – Libby Creek, MT

The Libby Creek Recreational Gold Panning Area is located 23 miles south of Libby, Montana, within the Kootenai National Forest. The gold bearing gravels found in the area were deposited as a result of alpine glaciation between 10,000 and 130,000 years ago when glaciers gouged rock off the mountain peaks and carved the valley bottoms. The public is allowed to pan for gold within this area – it’s all finder’s keepers!

Country Boy Mine – Breckenridge, CO

Admission to Country Boy Mine includes both a gold pan to use as well as panning instructions. Guests are invited to explore the authentic mine site, pet the burros, and shoot the chute before visiting the general store. Knowledgeable staff guide guests will assist visitors with gold panning and may even include some secrets, hints and special techniques along the way.

Alabama Gold Camp – Lineville, AL


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Perhaps gold alone isn’t enough for you. If you’re looking to add the possibility of finding garnet, citrine or fossils into the mix, the Alabama Gold Camp is certainly worth exploring further. At just $5 per person, guests can enjoy panning, sluicing, dredging, and metal detecting. Children under 12 are free with an adult admission!

Are you ready to start panning for gold? That precious metal has been lying there for millennia and now it’s up to you to locate its whereabouts. When you do, be sure to share your experiences with us in the comments below. Oh, and feel free to share your riches with us, too!

Panning for gold