Last Chance Placer
in 200 feet to a split rail fence around a mining pit.
Placer mining is a simple technique where gold is
separated from sand or gravel with water.
The miners worked the ground at this site down to
pay dirt (black sand) was found, it was transported by horse
and cart or in sacks on burros’ backs, to be “sluiced in
the rockers.” These
crude gravel washers were located near hand-built earthen
“snow ponds” where runoff supplied the water they
such pond is northeast of the pit, 0.25 mile up the gulch.
The mounds or “tailings” you see are the dirt and
rocks removed from the mine after it was worked for gold.
The prospectors were in search of the mother lode-the
source of the gold-which has never been found.
The mining pit
is behind us here enclosed by the rail fencing.
Another visitor is checking out the Gold Fever Trail map
with me. There are a
large number of lizards that live in the mining pit now.
We enjoyed watching them scamper around inside the pit
before moving onto the next mining site.
of the best unexpected surprises of this Gold Fever Trail in
spring is the assortment of delicate wild flowers.
You really have to look for them, as you can see some
of the wild flowers are no bigger than a dew drop and stand
only ¼ inch tall.
flowers are so delicate; please stay on only marked trails
so as to keep mankind’s impact on the fragile forest flora
and fauna to a minimum.
1. Holcomb View Trail - 2. Last
Wilbur's Grave (Not on the tour)
3. Two Gun Bill's Saloon - 4. Jonathan Tibbett's Grasshopper Quartz Mill
5. Hangman's Tree - 6. Original Gold Diggings -
7. Belleville - 8. Arrasters
9. Ross' Grave - 10. Pygmy Cabin Site - 11. Metzger Mine
12. Gold Mountain A.K.A. Lucky Baldwin Mine