By John Olusegun 4:42 pm PST

None of us were alive for the original California gold rush; however, another time has come for you to try your luck. Winter has been hard on California residents, especially in the Sierra Nevada. Storms have been blasting through the counties, causing varying degrees of devastation. However, the storms left more impact than ruined buildings. It has changed the form of rock crevices and rivers, forcing those living in the mountain communities to start discoveries that may lead to another gold rush.

Prospectors must deliberate in their search for treasures as the region gets busier. Some parts are renowned for their prospects for rockhounding, and you can start from those and expand beyond. Of course, it makes sense to start from the original site of the California Gold Rush, but here are some other areas you can explore afterward.

People panning for gold in 19th century California. (Photo: @CaliforniaRush)

Downvielle is one of California’s best areas to start panning for gold. The town, off State 49 in the foothills above Nevada City, was where Major William Downie and his crew discovered gold in 1849. The discoveries then made many people move to the town as businesses lined up to serve the miners taking as much as $1,500 placer gold out of the earth daily. Things, including the population, have decreased a bit in the area, but the Forks, where the Downie River joins north of the Yuba River, is a place to start your gold hunt.

The South Yuba River flows through the Tahoe National Forest in California`s South Yuba State Recreation Area. (Photo © Wirestock |

Another area to start your exploration is the south of the Yuba River. Many activities take place along the 20-mile stretch of the river, including swimming, paddle boarding, and leaf peeping. However, that’s not all that’s on offer in the area. The South Yuba River State Park meanders along the river and is an excellent place to pan for gold.

Start your adventure from Colombia State Historic Park if you want to create fun memories while panning for gold. The breathtaking area is also the perfect place for your kids to learn how to look for gold. The townspeople are friendly and dress in historical garb that will impact kids’ minds. You can also watch a blacksmith at work, ride a stagecoach and engage in other activities that will take you back to a different era.

This two lane road leads up into the Shasta Trinity National Forest in Northern California. (Photo: © Chris Boswell |

The Trinity River is known for many things. One of them is Shasta-Trinity, a beautiful national forest where people go camping and fishing. However, you can go there for more than its famed salmon and fishery resources. Beyond the camping sites are prime spots for panning. The Trinity Rivers and Klamath Mountains are known for their placer deposits. You can try your luck there, and who knows, you might hit the jackpot.

Before you start trying your luck at rockhounding, remember that each region has its local rules and regulation regarding the exploitation of the environment. Ensure you check those rules out so you don’t break any. Once you keep to the rules, you can enjoy exploring the regions. Even if your panning does not yield any gold, the areas are gorgeous, and there are various fun activities you can indulge in.