Gold Prospecting in Wyoming
Wyoming is the most sparsely populated and remote state in the nation, so it stands to reason that it has not been as well explored than other areas. There has been gold found in Wyoming since 1842 by pioneers heading west.
Emigrants found gold along the trail at the Sweetwater River, but prospecting proved difficult thanks to hostile Indians. But by the 1860s some rich gold discoveries had been made all through the state, even though the mining season is very short, since the winters can be brutal. If you decide to prospect in Wyoming, go prepared with water, food and all the other things you would need if you were to get stuck in a remote area for awhile.
Also Read: Gold Prospecting in Montana
Wyoming Prospecting Locations
In the late 1800s, the Sierra Madre and Medicine Bow Mountains located in the south-central section of Wyoming was prospected until the end of the great depression. There are quite a few mines in the region, and many were not worked out, they were just abandoned due to low gold prices. Given the price of gold today, these areas could definitely be worthwhile for a recreational prospector.
There are low grade gold ores in the Granite Mountain Range, Rattlesnake Hills, Tin Cup, and Seminoe District, located in the center of the state. Although not commercially viable, you might have some luck here.
The Silver Crown, Esterbrook, Warbonnet and Garrett in the Laramie Mountain Range have some districts worth taking a look at.
To the south end of the Wind River Range is located the South Pass-Atlantic City District, with some other districts including Oregon Buttes, Twin Creek and Lewiston. Initially, very little came out of the area during the early years, but in later years several hundreds of thousands of ounces of gold have come out of these districts.
Panning, dredging and sluicing may be profitable in the Absaroka Mountains in the northwest. Kirwin, New World, Stinking Water and Sunlight districts have enough placer gold to keep the small prospector happy, although again, there is really not any commercial interest in the area.
Fortunately, the state of Wyoming has vast amounts of public land, most of which is open for exploring, so grab your gold pan and good luck!