Dave Mack

“Here follow the mining properties available to our members on the upper Klamath River upstream from where Interstate 5 crosses the river.”


These claims are situated a distance upstream from where Interstate 5 crosses the Klamath River. There are basically two ways to gain access to the claims: One is by exiting Interstate 5 at exit #786, which is where the Colliers Rest Stop is located, and where Interstate 5 crosses the Klamath River. The other is to exit Interstate 5 at exit #789, which is the next I-5 exit to the north. From there, you can drive east several miles and connect with Klamathon Road.

Klamathon Road is a dirt road that follows along the Klamath River, starting where Interstate 5 crosses the Klamath River at exit #786 (There is no sign there calling it “Klamathon Road” at the lower end), and ending at Ager Road around 6 miles upriver. Access to the Club’s UK claims will almost entirely be accomplished from Klamathon Road. The Klamathon Road is almost entirely unpaved, and there are some narrow places towards the lower end. Four-wheel drives are not necessary.

There are some places to park and camp along these UK properties, but please be careful to not block or inhibit traffic along the Klamathon Road or pre-established river access routes. For the future of our activity, it is important to be considerate of others who are actively using the road and river in this area!!



Dave’s Personal Guarantee

We have over 60 miles of mining properties in northern California for you to prospect and mine.
If you can’t find the gold you are looking for on our properties, let me know and I’ll help you find it!”

Dave McCracken

Author: “Gold Mining in the 21st Century”

Dave McCracken
General Manager
The New 49’ers Prospecting Organization, Inc.
P.O. Box 47, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039

Contact us for more information at (530) 493-2012.

Map Thumbnail

“The following mining property is available to our members on the main stem of the Salmon River.”

Important note concerning Mining & Dredging Seasons on this Property

The Salmon River road is located about 37 miles south on Hwy 96 (down river along the Klamath) from the town of Happy Camp. Hwy 96 is a good road, and the drive takes about an hour. The junction is on the left, just past the Somes Bar store, before crossing the Salmon River.

The small town of Orleans can be reached by continuing south on Hwy 96 for another 6 or 7 miles. Orleans has two gas stations (propane & diesel also available), a fairly large grocery store & deli, a restaurant, hardware & auto parts store, laundry mat, several RV parks with full hookups, a motel and other support services. A listing of accommodations with addresses and phone numbers is available from our Club headquarters in Happy Camp.

The Forest Service (USFS) Oak Bottom Campground is on the left as you drive 2.2 miles up the Salmon River road. Oak Bottom is a nice, quiet place to stay. There are individual sites there with BBQ pits (that do not require a campfire permit), picnic tables, running water and large restrooms. The fee in the USFS developed campground is $10/night. But there is a 50% discount if you have a Golden Age or USFS Access Passport. These are available at any USFS office (including Orleans or Happy Camp).

The USFS has agreed to allow our members free potable drinking water (as much as you want) out of their Oak Bottom USFS fee campground. There are at least 10 water faucets in the campground. The ones near the toilets allow for a garden hose hookup. Bring a garden hose if you will need it to fill your containers or RV.

The Salmon River road reduces down to (Salmon River Road 14 feet wide at its narrowest) one lane in places beyond Butler Flat, which is around 9 miles up the Salmon River road. We advise members to take a look with a car first, before driving beyond Butler Flat with a motor home or pulling a trailer. Logging trucks and other heavy trucks routinely traverse the road, so it is being done. There is a very nice USFS fee-campground further up the road at Nordheimer Flat (13.2 miles up the Salmon River road).

Perhaps the most important thing we have discovered about the Main Stem of the Salmon River is that the banks carry substantial amounts of gold which is easy to recover with hand tools and gold pans.



Important note concerning Mining & Dredging Seasons on this Property

Google Earth Coordinates: 41 52’37.11″N 123 19’16.44″W

To view the content from the link above you will need to have Google Earth installed on your home computer. Download Google Earth

T-1 LOWER THOMPSON CREEK CLAIMS – are located on Thompson Creek, which is 10.9 miles upriver from Happy Camp. The creek is marked with a sign on the Highway 96 Bridge which crosses the creek. Since there is private property at the lower end of the creek (Thompson Creek Lodge), our claims must be accessed by a Forest Service road (road #18N01) which is located 3/10 of a mile towards Happy Camp on Highway 96 from Thompson Creek. Since our claims take in miles of the lower end of the creek, there are several points of access. Approximately 1.6 miles up the #18N02 access road, it splits three ways. Taking the right-hand road (may need some brushing) will lead you to the lower-end of our claims. The middle road will take you to the upper end of T-1. This road is not maintained anymore. So we suggest you check it out before driving an RV or pulling a trailer on this road. ATV’s might be a big help to gain access on this creek. To access the lower end of T-1, take the right-hand split in the road. The road will lead you to a small bridge that crosses Thompson Creek 1.3 miles from the split. Just before the bridge, you can take a right turn into a camping area and creek access. The lower creek boundary is a long way down the creek from there. There is another old creek access road that you will pass on the way in, but it will likely need some brushing to make it passable. You can also take a left turn just before the small bridge that will take you onto a 4WD very primitive road, which splits left and right, just after crossing a small feeder creek. All of these primitive roads are overgrown with brush and may require some work before use. They lead to creek access points further up and downstream. There is limited camping space in both areas. We highly suggest you look, before driving into these areas. There is another lower creek access and camping area which can be reached by crossing over the small bridge and taking an immediate left up another primitive road. We suggest you look before driving in. To reach the upper access area of T-1, rather than take the right split in the road (1.6 miles up #18N01 from Highway 96) which leads you to the small bridge, you would take the center option in the road and follow it 4 miles from the split. The right-hand turn follows an overgrown and primitive road which leads to a parcel of private property. The private property is the upper boundary of T-1. Watch for the appropriate posted signs. There is limited camping at the bottom. The bottom of the road is just upstream from the upper boundary of T-1.

PROSPECTS: Thompson Creek has good gold, and much of it is big and slabby. One old-timer (named Briggs) found a pocket of gold up Thompson Creek that was so rich, he was able to retire. His gold was found in slabs-which is typical of Thompson Creek gold. Members have found gold all along T-1, wherever they have dredged. Some do better along the edges, and some find it in the center of the creek. The gold seems to be associated with boulders and bedrock. The gold is spotty-meaning that in some places you find none, and in other places you find plenty. Because access is not easy on most of T-1, member dredging has been limited to the direct access areas. We had several members doing well mining out of the creek in a gravel bar below the lowest campground. They were finding fine gold and flakes in the streambed gravels. Overall, the prospects look excellent. If you are dredging, you must reach bedrock, most often in the boulders, in order to do well. Some areas have bedrock exposed or within a foot or two. Here is a nugget which one of our members recently located with a metal detector. Other areas have several feet, or up to 8 or 9 feet of gravel and material over top of bedrock.

Click on thumbnail for larger image.
T-1 nugget found with metal detector

Map Thumbnail

Upper Topo

Map Thumbnail

Lower Topo

Map Thumbnail

Upper 3D Down

Map Thumbnail

Lower 3D Down

Map Thumbnail

Upper 3D Up

Map Thumbnail

Lower 3D Up

Map Thumbnail


Map Thumbnail

Upper Aerial

Map Thumbnail

Lower Aerial


Google Earth Coordinates:
Parcel #1: 33°37’0.69″N 114°19’1.10″W
Parcel #2: 33°37’48.41″N 114°17’29.12″W

To view the content from the link above you will need to have Google Earth installed on your home computer. Download Google Earth


The Club’s property in Arizona consists of two separate half-mile square parcels which are relatively close to each other, several miles to the west of Quartzsite.

Click On Thumbnail For Larger Image

Original Map

Newer Map

Closer View

Here follows an explanation from Lee Kracher, one of the Club’s long-standing highly-supportive members who resides in Quartzsite during the winter months. Terry McClure, Mike & Sybil Thayer and Anita Kracher were also very helpful in providing the following information and images:

There are very few signs of serious work on either of the two parcels. We had really hard rains lately and most evidence of any workings has been washed away. But it really looks good out there!

I have talked with people who have worked all around the two claims, and they are finding gold. I gather that the gold is spotty and hasn’t moved very much.

For the most part, members should not expect to recover very much, because it is all hand work and limited yardage. It’s not like dredging. A cubic yard per day is a real big day’s work for one person out in the desert!

Desert mining (dry mining) is completely different than most people understand; and because of that, some members won’t have very much success.

Specialized gold metal detectors are the general rule of thumb down here. People who are finding the most gold nuggets at the moment are using the Minelab 3 and 4K Series and the Fisher Gold Bugs.

As for the others, even a blind dog finds a bone now and then. This is desert mining, so members should bring plenty of drinking water no matter what time of year.

Snakes can be a problem during the warm weather months, so those using metal detectors should be very watchful when outside noise is being blocked by head phones

A cell phone is considered a must-have for desert prospecting gear. Cell phone reception is great on both claims.

Directions: (see maps) From exit #17 on Interstate10, exit and go south to Dome Rock Road (look for the stop sign at the bottom of the over pass before the LOVE station). Make a right turn (west) there and go 1.4 miles where you should take a left on Cholla Street. Then go 2.4 miles (until the pavement makes a 90 degree left turn), where you will take a right on a well-traveled gravel road (Pipeline Road has no sign at the moment). At about 9/10ths of a mile, you will see a large rock on the right with “49ers” painted in white. Take that gravel road about 30 yards and you will find a 4″ PVC pipe with a red top. This is the SW corner of parcel #2.

Because conditions change from occasional flooding, I strongly suggest you drive into these sites and take a look, before pulling an RV to these properties.

Camping: The BLM does not allow camping in this part of the desert; it is designated as day-use only. There are campgrounds both private and BLM (improved) within a reasonable distance, where you can camp year around for a nominal fee.

There is excellent quadding in the whole area. So even if you are camping some distance away, you can get to these claims within several minutes.

You can also boon-dock (2 week maximum stay on the public lands) just north of our properties on the BLM land between Dome Rock road and the northern boundary of parcel #2.

Also, there is a park at the corner of Cholla and Dome rock, about 3 miles away. They are usually full-up for complete hook ups, but I believe they have some dry spots which have electricity. You would still have to haul your black and grey water (they have a place to dump) even if you are boon-docking. They also have water available. This is a great area for off-road quadding.

For your supplies, its only about 5 miles into Quartzsite or about 20 miles to Blythe (California).

Parcel #1: (160 acres)

Directions: (see maps) 2WD from the pipeline road. Look for the rock with “49ers” painted on it. This is a gravel road going west. Go 1 mile and turn left at the fork (you will see a “49’er” sign in blue rocks). If you watch, in about 1/10th of a mile, there is a faint trail going off to the left. Do not continue on straight unless you have 4 wheel drive or a quad. This road will dead-end at a 49’er marker. This is located at about the middle of the north boundary of Parcel #1.

This property should have some good gold from erosion and lack of mobilization of material. The canyon in there looks to me to have the best prospects. There appear to be many, many lucrative areas to be worked.

You can get to parcel #1 with 2-wheel drive, but it will take 4wd or quad to venture further out onto the property. This is because there are big washouts in the arroyo. On the sloped/flatter areas, bedrock appears to be around 3 to 6 or 7-feet deep. It looks to me like there should be some good workings on it.

When you go to parcel #1, don’t go too fast down the road. When I say “don’t go beyond,” I mean don’t ! It’s 4 wheel or quad. At the end of the trail to the middle of the northern boundary, you can continue on with a quad. I wouldn’t even go that far with a 4wd, because it gets narrow, slanted and bushy. Even a dune-buggy may have a hard time going up that far. It leads to a very nice canyon in the SW quadrant. You might want to hike up there first to have a look.

More GPS readings: NE corner marker is at 33°37’1.60″N 114°18’48.17″W, and the NW corner marker is at 33°36’59.28″N 114°19’14.95″W.

Parcel #2: (160 acres) The GPS coordinate above will take you to the claim at the southwest corner.

My perception is that this will be a deep claim, because it is a delta fan-type alluvial deposit. You can access nearly all areas of Parcel #2 with a 2-wheel drive.

We can see a few places where some dry washing has been done. This claim is sort of a “delta” fan and is in the drainage of some well-known lode mines. From what I have heard, and my own very limited experiences here in the desert, gold will be found from the surface on down to the cliche (like a hardened clay) and beyond. Some local prospectors have used air chisels to break up the hard pack and recovered good gold out of it, and also out of the overburden.

This is desert mining and in no way is it similar to working areas where movement was water-powered. Here, gold is where you find it, and doesn’t seem to have or follow a common path like it does in river mining.

The gold in this area is mostly fine, but I know of one quarter-ounce nugget found lying on the top of the ground in plain sight, and my neighbor has a hand-full of small nuggets that he has metal detected right above (west) of this claim. There is a guy who has been working a hole in the same spot for 7 years, to the south of this claim. He says that he keeps finding pockets of gold up to 8 ounces.

Upper Klamath :: Upper-mid Klamath :: Mid Klamath :: Lower Klamath
Elk Creek :: Indian Creek :: Scott River :: Thompson Creek
Salmon River Main Stem :: Salmon River North Fork
Master List of Mining Properties



Important note concerning Mining & Dredging Seasons on this Property

Google Earth Coordinates: 41 43’56.0″N 123 0’30.9″W

To view the content from the link above you will need to have Google Earth installed on your home computer. Download Google Earth

Gold Nuggets from S-1

S-1 UPPER SCOTT RIVER CLAIM – The lower boundary of this property is located 3.4 miles up the Scott River Road from the junction with Highway 96. But private property prevents access from the road that far down the river. Watch for our claim sign on a tree along the left side of the Scott River Road 3.9 miles up the road. Just beyond the sign, there is a primitive access road that leads down to the river. The access road is narrow and bumpy. You might want to look before you drive in. Please leave room for others to turn around at the bottom of the road. The lower boundary adjoins private property along the river. Watch for the appropriate posted signs. The upper boundary sign is posted on a tree alongside the river, just downriver from another access road with a cabin near the river (left turn 4.1 miles up the Scott River Road). The sign is posted around 200 feet downstream from the parking area near the cabin. There is an upper access road (goes in the direction away from the river) not much more than a few hundred feet further up the road on the right side. Look for our sign on a post. This is Forest Service road #45N16. You will find a primitive path on the left side, about 1/10 of a mile up this road. The path leads to an old hydraulic dig, which is one of our more popular electronic detecting areas. Actually, a recent wildfire has opened this entire upper side to prospecting because the brush and most of the trees have been burned away. There is camping 2/10 of a mile further up this road. Our claim up in this area adjoins private property just a bit further up the road. Watch for the posted signs. Because the river is relatively narrow, members may claim dredging areas 60 feet long, extending all the way across the river. (Dredging claims on the Klamath River only extend out to the middle of the river.)

PROSPECTS: There has been just a little work on the lower end, along the river. Members have been finding gold nuggets and jewelry-gold in the river, alongside the bank, just at the bottom of the access road. There’s a path that leads directly to where they were dredging. They said the gold came out from around the boulders. Several other members had very good luck about a quarter-mile downriver, around the corner, at the base of a set of rapids. They were also finding nice-sized jewelry gold, up to half-ounce sized nuggets, in and around the boulders. They finally gave up for lack of having a mechanical winch to help move the boulders around. The prospects on this claim look very good. The upper claim area, up into the old hydraulic workings (and some of the gulches leading down to the river), has been producing gold nuggets for members using metal detectors.One member was metal detecting for gold on the upper area above the road; found some ancient streambed that the Old-timers missed; and returned with a zip lock bag full of beautiful gold nuggets. As hard as everyone tried, we could never get him to show the location of his secret hot spot.


Click on thumbnail for larger image.

Map Thumbnail