California is known as the Golden State for a reason and luckily there is still gold left for prospectors to find, as well as tons of history from the gold rush to explore.
So, if you are looking for a golden idea for your next mancation, you can't get one much better than planning a gold prospecting adventure. Another benefit of a trip like this is that if you find something nice you can bring it home to the wife or girlfriend, or just fund your next mancation. The following are a few places to look to get your gold fever started!
Based in California's gold country, about 2.5 hours from Yosemite National Park, 3 hours from San Francisco, and about 3 hours south west of Lake Tahoe, Gold Prospecting Adventures has a ton of great opportunities including an 1849 gold mining camp, and even gold prospecting courses!
Yosemite isn't just a great place to go hiking, there are also some great rivers that you can use to pan for gold. A lot of the streams that you will find around there do have gold you can pan for, but as a general rule of prospecting, you are more likely to find gold where it is more difficult to get to. So, try taking some long hikes and find streams that aren't as popular and you'll increase the likelihood of having a successful gold panning trip.
Before you set off on your gold prospecting adventure, you'll need a few essential tools to ensure that you pan for gold successfully. Some stores like Gold Fever Prospecting will sell gold panning kits that contain all the tools you need to start panning for gold. Gold Pan The most essential tool and an obvious one for gold panning, is well, a pan. While some people may think you can simply use a pie tin, you'll probably be better off investing in a pan designed specifically for use in panning for gold. Gold pans typically have ridges to trap gold dust and have the right angles to allow water and lighter materials to flow off, while keeping the precious gold at the bottom. Sifter Another tool that will come in handy is a sifter to help you sift larger pebbles out from the material you are putting into your pan. Suction Bottle and Vial Finally, once you have collected the gold dust and nuggets in the ridges of your pan, you'll need some way to collect the gold and keep it safe until you have time to return from your trip, or sell it off. Many prospectors are now using suction bottles that will suck the gold dust off the pan and then collect it in a bottle. For gold nuggets, it is suggested that you collect them in a glass or plastic vial to keep them safe as well as be able to display them. Other Gold Panning Tools You will also need to bring along a couple other tools such as a magnifying glass, tweezers, and a guide book to help you identify what is gold and what is just a shiny worthless object in the bottom of your pan.