Dave Mack

“…This page shows you just a few of the privileges you will enjoy as a New 49’er member.”

 Property: Access to around 60 linear miles of proven gold-producing properties. There are miles and miles of beautiful and scenic creek, river and dry claims just waiting for members to pan, sluice, dry-wash, and metal detect or perform other types of prospecting activity. There is also mining property associated with our Southern Headquarter locations in Arizona.

 Camping: As a member, you may camp free and mine on or near most of our mining properties in northern California, providing you are actively prospecting. We are expanding our camping areas on a continual basis and currently have dozens upon dozens of dry camping areas that are ideal for RV or tent-type adventures. Commercial campgrounds, RV parks and motels are also available and generally offer special rates to New 49’er members.

 Learning Through Experience: During the mining season, we have an ongoing program which provides you with the best hands-on opportunities available today in sampling, sluicing (usually with motorized pumps), panning, gold cleanup procedures, electronic prospecting and other gold prospecting techniques.

 Group Prospecting Projects: Regularly-scheduled organized week-long gold mining projects are sometimes available to you for an additional fee-in which each participant is able to share in the work and rewards.

 Success: Most of our active members say that because of the quality of our properties and assistance, they recover more gold within our program than on any previous prospecting venture.

 Newsletter: As a member, you will receive a newsletter on a regular basis along with periodic special bulletins. These important updates keep members informed and solicit your suggestions on important organizational matters and affairs.

 Accident Insurance:  All members are eligible to receive our low-cost group accident plan.

 Friendship: The New 49’ers are miners willing to help each other. The camaraderie we have created makes our program a truly great experience. Families are welcome.

We have created a fraternal organization in the truest sense of the word.
Our motto is “Miners Helping Miners.”Our members are willing to assist each other and share their information and experiences so that everyone can have fun and recover more gold.

Dave Mack

“This video goes a long way to present a live, visual view of how our program works, what the area looks like and how our members feel about The New 49’ers.

There is really nothing else even remotely like this video within our industry. This is the DVD that you want to show to others when they are wondering why you are passionate about gold prospecting!”



Right click on the link below and select “save target as” to download the video file to your hard drive. (108MB) Download now! (.WMV format)

Please contact our office if you wish to receive the new high resolution DVD presentation of our 30-minute video on The New 49’ers.

Download The New 30-minute New 49’er Video in Web Resolution or Order your Free High Resolution Copy on DVD!


By David C. Knowlen

The group gathered in the makeshift campground, nestled alongside California’s Klamath River, was recounting the day’s mining successes. Every night, dinner was as simple as you could make it–not a gourmet feast, but it was plentiful, very tasty and hot.

Tonight’s blue plate special, simmering on the propane camp stove, included hamburger served with a boxed potato accompaniment. After a full day of working our 5″ dredge “just add water and heat” took about all the energy we had left.

My mining partner, “Bedrock Bill,” and I, had left camp early that day to continue our dredging alongside a promising bedrock outcropping that we had successfully sampled on an earlier occasion. Following a full day’s effort, we had found increasingly good color and were well into the deeper, more densely packed ancient gray streambed material, indicating that this area had not been previously worked.

For a couple of tired, hungry miners, dinner also provided a break to take in our surroundings, plan tomorrow’s efforts and converse with our neighbors. The nearest restaurant was miles away and too long a drive. Besides, dinner in this campground was a whole lot more entertaining. Often it became a potluck affair, with others bringing something to add to the selection. A large can of peaches made an appetizing dessert one night for the entire group. How simple and enjoyable life had become!

A dirt floor with five-gallon buckets turned upside down for stools and the table, a leftover, well-worn sheet of plywood, were the extent of our dining area. The gas stove and a camp lantern provided the lighting ambiance. Above us was the evening sky, so unusually clear and jet black that you could see thousands of brilliant stars and the vast expanse of the Milky Way.

It might be appropriate to explain that gold mining is not my full time occupation. Rather, searching for gold is an avocation, an interesting, entertaining and rewarding diversion from a more than usual hectic pace of life. Frankly, I am more accustomed to the routines of suburban life with a roof over my head and sleeping in a comfortable bed. But, then, there is always the possibility that I might make a very rich strike…

The night we arrived in Happy Camp, I remained awake trying to determine what collection of creatures were responsible for the nocturnal sounds emanating from the surrounding forest. Within a couple of days, I was almost at home in this environment.

Every evening, our pleasant dinner conversation was accompanied by the constant rumble of the Klamath River. The wind rustling through the tree-lined hillsides, the hoot of an owl high in the trees, along with a constant melody from the frogs and crickets, were providing the background dining music.

The primitive, virtually spontaneous mining tent city we called home had jokingly been renamed “Camp Liberty” in tribute to the small American flag that was attached to a large oak tree. This place was also home to quite a number of other modern-day gold prospectors temporarily living here in this roadside clearing. Some were from the west coast, and a few had traveled great distances from places all across the country.

One pair had been living here for more than two months, and were working their 5-inch dredge several miles downstream. They had spent more than a week moving large boulders to get down to the bedrock. Another miner had modified an old, well-used dredge into a makeshift motorized sluice and was successfully working the beaches several yards from the riverbank. It was paying off for all of them

This place, and others like it, are deep within the Siskiyou Mountains. I would surmise that it is not much different from the mining camps and towns of more than a century ago People arrive and stay for a few days or weeks, and then move on, often to other mining locations.

To some, prospecting is a way to spend their vacation-time; and to others, it is their profession and a way of life. Gold prospecting provides the common bond among all of these people and there also exists an attitude of mutual interest in each others’ endeavors. Like a desert oasis to nomadic tribes, nearly every morning, someone departs, replaced by someone new who arrives to take their camping site.

All of us were far away from the events of the outside world and no one knew, nor likely cared, what was on the nightly news that evening, It might have been a Monday or maybe a Thursday evening. It was hard to tell and no one really cared.

This truly is a good place to lose your sense of time and urgency, to unwind and leave the stresses of life behind. The sun rising and setting is the clock and there is only night and day to signal a change to your routine.

There was something quickly noticeable here. Honest, sincere and really friendly people occupied this mining camp. I counted more than two dozen with most like me, from far distant places and differing lifestyles. Up and down the Klamath River, separated only by a dozen or so miles, were other camps very much like this place.

There were people named Richard and Dan, a couple of Bills, a Chuck and Kitty, Larry and Rosemary, Myrna, Mike, Terry, Jim and Pat, and a few others including a talented fellow nicknamed “McGyver” who could take others discards and make them useful again. Lastly, there were two Daves, including myself.

All shared a common interest and pure fate placed us together on a warm summer evening.

At day’s end, when returning to the camp, we were welcomed by “Miner Mike.” Once a solitary tree stump in the camp clearing, its two short branches had been decorated by an imaginative person with old gloves and a broken gold pan. Adorned with an old, well-worn straw hat, the facial features were added by creative usage of a camp ax. With a smile on one side and a frown on the other, “Mike” could be turned around to give a graphic assessment of the daily success, or lack of it, to the resident miners in our camp.

As for all of these people, I didn’t meet a person who wouldn’t offer help or at the very least, a friendly hello. They are members of an association called “The New 49’ers”, an obvious reference to the California gold rush miners of 1849. For those unfamiliar with The New 49’ers, the organization has collectively acquired ownership to about 60 miles of some of the potentially richest mining claims in the western United States for use by its membership.

The New 49’ers is headed up by a fellow named Dave McCracken, who came here several years ago, mined a quantity of gold from the river, started the organization, and added a collection of related businesses.

Many of my New 49’er friends have had very good luck on the association claims with hundreds of ounces of gold recovered in recent years. Along the Klamath River and its tributaries, gold is still plentiful in the banks, benches, and streambeds. Many old time miners believe that substantial lode gold deposits remain undiscovered in the surrounding Siskiyou Mountains.

On the Klamath and its tributaries, simple panning and sluicing can bring discernible results. You’ll see all sizes and types of floating suction dredges, with their divers working into the often heavy overburden, hoping to find gold. There is a type of mining here for every interest–including motorized sluicing and metal detecting.

And it was in this idyllic rustic mountain setting that a few people with common interests had gathered, tired from their day’s efforts, yet exuberant from the gold recovery and relaxed without the more usual cares of life.

In this camp, tents and well-worn trailers reside next to “state of the art” high-dollar RV’s with people from all sectors and professions of life. There was a retired accountant from the east coast, a fireman on vacation from Idaho and a doctor from Fresno who gave out free first aid. They joined a retired machinist and a former taxi driver, an elementary school teacher, and a financial consultant, whose partner is a landscape designer.

Gold, for which each has come searching, has also become the great social equalizer in this small camp. As with the historic miners of the 1800′, everyone here had come for the same purpose, yet everyone leaves with more than they anticipated, including the wealth of their experiences.

The most commonly asked question at the end of the day was “How did ya do today?” Often, the response was “Oh, just a couple of pennyweight,” but two people working a private claim a few miles from here had hit a good paystreak. Their response was that they were doing “pretty darn good,” which later proved to be an understatement.

It is a place to leave behind your expectations. If I find a grain of gold or more, it is a bonus. The experiences and associations alone are well worth a fortune. The gold is not only in placer deposits but in the people you meet and the experiences you share and the ability to leave time and worry behind. The main guarantee is that you’ll depart with a renewed spirit and fond memories of your visit.

I arose early each morning, a hot cup of coffee in hand, and sat on the rocks watching bald eagles flying away with freshly caught fish clutched in their talons. I caught a glimpse of a mother black bear teaching her two cubs how to fish. Herds of deer and elk often appeared, watching our efforts. A day didn’t go by that I wasn’t amazed and entertained by the vast amount of wildlife I encountered.

The short time we spent in “Camp Liberty” and mining on the wild Klamath River was soon over. “Bedrock Bill” and I bid goodbye to our new friends and camp neighbors, and to the venerable old camp guardian, “Miner Mike.”

As for our dredging results, we also were quite lucky, recovering a goodly share of the Klamath’s precious gold. The return to the business schedule, the all too frequent trips, the “important” meetings and the urgent decisions could be faced a little more easily. Life, somehow, had regained a proper balance.

Yet driving away, I realized that I was already looking forward to a return visit.


FULL MEMBERSHIP: Full membership in The New 49’ers costs $3,500. There is a 25% discount on full advance payment ($2,625). Occasionally, there is a discounted price associated with a membership drive. Please call our office or click HERE for details..

There is also a payment plan in which you can pay $200 in advance and $22.50 a month until paid in full. On the payment plan, there is also a 25% discount on full payment of your remaining balance at any time.

Our office can arrange to set up an automatic draw from your credit card or bank account to make your monthly payments. In this case, it is necessary to sign an authorization form.

If you do not have an application for membership, please call us at (530) 493-2012. Please send membership fee and application to The New 49’ers, P. O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039. Our web site also has a secure, interactive sign-up form that can be used with a debit or credit card. There is also a mail-in form online.

OTHER TRADES POSSIBLE: On occasion, someone has something or provides some other service which the our organization can make use of to expand or improve our service to members. Sometimes we trade membership credit in exchange for those goods or services. For example, by trading, we obtained some of our office equipment, some sign painting, a boat and motor and some bulldozing in our campgrounds. If you feel you have something that might be of good service or value to our organization, please let us know.

MEMBERSHIPS ARE TRANSFERABLE: Your Full Membership credit can be transferred to another, given away or sold. There is a $50 transfer fee which is payable at the New 49’ers office. Annual membership dues must be paid to date in order to facilitate a transfer.

Commercial operations can elect to purchase additional memberships for their crew, to which they do not need to pay a $50 fee when transferred amongst crew members. For example, an operation may buy two extra memberships and have any two registered crew members working from those memberships during any given time.

COMMITMENT: On the payment program, you can drop out any time you like. There is no contract binding you to continue payment if The New 49’ers is not for you. If you elect to drop out, simply send in your membership card along with a note to that effect, and your active membership will terminate as of that date. We suggest, rather than drop out, that you sell or even give your membership to someone else who can benefit from the membership credit you have accumulated.

Our policy is to drop members who are beyond three months overdue on membership payments if we have not received communication about their plans to bring their payments up to date.

Members must have membership payments up to date in order to actively mine on New 49’er properties.

ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP: We also have a special program for persons who are interested in being involved with our organization, but are only able to spend about a week each year actively participating along the mining properties made available by the New 49’ers.

Associate membership costs $100 per year.

Every Associate Member receives the regular newsletters and will be kept up to date on news, along with other important information affecting our industry.

Associate members may choose one week of your choice to enjoy all of the benefits of active New 49’er membership each summer (between 1 May and 30 September) along New 49’er mining properties. You are also invited to attend any or all of our scheduled weekend group prospecting projects at no charge.

Associate members may not bring guests, but are allowed to bring a spouse and children under the age of eighteen, and also receive the discounted rate on week-long group mining projects (as Full Members do).

Sign Me Up Today!


For a nominal annual fee, independent prospecting organizations, as affiliated groups, have the opportunity to schedule an annual group outing up to two weeks on the properties in Northern California which are made available by The New 49’ers. Ideally, these outings would be scheduled to begin on weekends when we are providing a 2-day group prospecting program. This is to provide affiliate members with different available options when they visit Happy Camp.

If you know of any independent prospecting organizations that might be interested in this exciting affiliate program, please have them contact our office by telephone or email.

The New 49’ers
27 Davis Road / P.O. Box 47
Happy Camp, CA 96039
(530) 493-2012

email: new49ers@goldgold.com


“…This information should answer most of your questions about how our organization works, what our goals are, and what benefits we provide to our active members and guests.”





FULL MEMBERSHIP: Full membership in The New 49’ers costs $2,500. There is a 25% discount on full advance payment ($1,875). Occasionally, there is a discounted price associated with a membership drive. Please call our office or click HERE for details..

There is also a payment plan in which you can pay $200 in advance and $22.50 a month until paid in full. On the payment plan, there is also a 25% discount on full payment of your remaining balance at any time.

Our office can arrange to set up an automatic draw from your credit card or bank account to make your monthly payments. In this case, it is necessary to sign an authorization form.

If you do not have an application for membership, please call us at (530) 493-2012. Please send membership fee and application to The New 49’ers, P. O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039. Our web site also has a secure, interactive sign-up form that can be used with a debit or credit card. There is also a mail-in form online.

Dave Mack

Hi, we’re glad to see you!



Thank you for inquiring about The New 49’ers Prospecting Association. As founder and general manager of this exciting prospecting organization, I would like to extend to you a personal invitation to explore the opportunities and privileges that our members enjoy.

New 49’er members are continually demonstrating that the fun and excitement of gold prospecting can be enhanced through The New 49’ers activities and facilities. Gold recovery usually shows a dramatic upswing whenever individuals associate themselves with our organization.

The mining properties we make available to our members, which are located principally along the Klamath, Salmon, Scott Rivers and their creek tributaries near Happy Camp, California, have abundant gold and an established and proven gold mining history.

We are a serious prospecting organization – serious about recovering gold.

After reviewing this welcome message, if you would like additional information, I recommend you view our free 30-minute video.

This spirited presentation features a number of our members sharing their personal experiences of gold prospecting. It portrays the camaraderie and outdoor adventure we share. The video in DVD format is available free by contacting our office.

Dave McCracken
General Manager
New 49’ers

That’s okay, we’ll show you how. We have hands-on, weekend group mining projects approximately three weeks apart, all summer long, which will help you to get started mining the right way!

To gain more experience, Dave McCracken is organizing week-long group mining projects where each participant will share an equal part of the gold recovered.

Full and associate members can attend any of the scheduled 2-day mining projects, as often as they like, FREE!

Don’t know where to mine for gold?

You can mine anywhere you wish on the many linear miles available to you (more than 60) of gold-bearing property, but help is there if members want it, FREE! Helpful communication in the office, detailed maps, and well marked claims will help you locate an appropriate area. And, with the training you receive, experience and interaction with other members, you’ll soon be able to recognize a good spot wherever you go!

Don’t know what equipment you want to use to prospect for gold?

That’s fine–don’t be in a hurry! Work with someone else until you decide how you want to do it. There are people using many types of equipment here, off and on all summer long, and you can get a very good idea from watching or helping here along the properties which the Club makes available.

You want to know if our claims still have gold on them?

You bet they do! Members bring in gold all year long up here, because in this area members can mine all year on the Klamath River, FREE! And, we are expecting a banner year for gold! Read about some recent discoveries here!

Don’t know if you’re ready to commit to long term payments?

That’s okay! With the structure of our organization, there are no long-term commitments. If you find you don’t use it, you can sell your interest, give it away, or drop it –no further commitment. And, there is NO INTEREST on membership payments to our organization! You only have to pay a $200 down payment, and make monthly payments of $22.50! What do you have to lose? The only way you can lose is to NOT take advantage of it–The New 49’ers is the best thing going for small-scale gold prospectors!

Convinced yet? Don’t rush, there’s more, and it’s all FREE! Send for a complete packet of information, and be sure to ask about our low-cost introductory programs. We even have a free video!

We all live right here in Happy Camp, and our staff works hard all year to make sure that you will have no hassles when you come to prospect. They’re here to take care of your problems and help you enjoy yourself in the peaceful serenity of our beautiful area — we want you to succeed, and to have so much fun and adventure that it will last you an entire lifetime!

Dave Mack

“…This General Information will let you know what our goals are as a club, and what we strive to provide for our members.”

There is a particular feeling of freedom that comes with prospecting. It is something about the quiet beauty of nature’s great outdoors combined with the excitement and expectation of finding that sprinkling of radiant, sparkling gold color in your gold pan or sluice box.

There is the urgency of discovery; a momentum that seems to push those of us who know the challenge of gold to search further and to find that pocket of gold or perhaps some other important strike.

If you are like we are, your leisure time is hard-earned and greatly valued. This is something you want to spend as you choose in the company of people you like, or in the stillness and solitude of the great outdoors.

Our mission is to give you as much hassle-free, proven gold prospecting opportunity as possible at a truly affordable price. We provide our members with extensive and ongoing group mining programs, assistance, and direction. We are dedicated to facilitating our members’ prospecting and mining success.

Overall, the purpose of The New 49’ers is to assist our members to find

increased enjoyment and more profitable yields while helping to create more and more successful gold prospectors in our field. Each year we are proving that a large number of successful gold prospectors, associated together in a responsible way, have a chance to provide greater gold prospecting opportunities for all of us to enjoy. Through working together, we share an excellent opportunity to maintain our present mining rights–and perhaps, over time, even regain some of the rights all prospectors have lost in the past.

New 49’er members always seem willing to assist each other and share information and experiences so that everyone within the membership and even the industry will benefit. We are proud of our rapid growth and rock-solid expansion. Our organization is the fastest-growing membership organization of its type in the world, and the reasons for this growth are simple: We are well managed, have access to great gold-bearing and gold-producing properties, and the majority of our members sincerely believe in our aims and purposes. Traditionally, New 49’er members willingly contribute their efforts to make our program work. Because of this high quality of membership, there simply is no better prospecting opportunity available to most people today. The years have proven that as we grow, the gold recovery opportunities for members continue to get better and better.


The New 49’ers is incorporated as a for-profit, private gold prospecting membership organization. The structure is not set up with members having voting rights. However, the organization is administered by successful prospectors who have a sincere interest in providing the best service possible to members. The fact that we are the fastest-growing prospecting organization, with more mining property available to members, more group mining opportunities and more gold coming from our properties than any other prospecting group in the world, is certainly a good reflection upon the intent and ability of our managers.