Come to Coloma and dip your gold pan in the river that triggered the California Gold Rush! Folks in the know say that in spite of the best efforts of thousands of miners who extracted gold from the Sierra Nevada foothills in the last century, lots of gold remains.
The gold miner sloshing his gold pan has become an icon of the Gold Rush, and lots of people enjoy reliving this simple process of gold panning, although serious present-day gold-seekers use more sophisticated techniques such as small-scale dredging. But the gold panning ritual lives on.
So where to pan? Possibilities are limited. On private property, you may pan as long as you have the owner’s permission. At the area’s main private campgrounds, for example, registered guests may pan. In Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, panning (hands and pan only) is allowed only on the northeast shore of the river by the Mt. Murphy Road bridge across from the park museum. A concession at the Bekeart’s Gun Shop features trough mining and gold pan rentals. Drive to the west on Hwy 49 to Mother Lode Prospecting & Adventure Supplies for one on one instructions.
Several local businesses sell gold pans and related supplies, among them Mother Lode Prospecting & Adventure Supplies, Ceccardi’s Feed Store, Sutter Center Market, Ponderosa Park, and Coloma Resort.